On May 26th Steve took his AP Biology and Zoology classes to Cat Tales in Spokane, Washington for a field trip. The zoo is also the site of a zoo keeper's school and most of their animals are rescues from private owners or past animal performers and such. As the zoo name indicates, the zoo contains mostly large cats. But, being a cat person, I was just fine with that. They also had two black bears and a large python, but we couldn't get any decent pictures of them. The zoo wasn't the largest, or the best, but you got to stand within just a few feet of lions, tigers, cougars, etc. So, it was still pretty neat. Here are a few of the better pictures we got of all the kitties! Fair warning, there are way too many pictures - typical of me and a blog involving animals....
So first off, here's a student who got a friend to drive an hour plus out of Mabton and back so he could chase us down after missing the bus. Now that's commitment - and a good friend.
Next, on to the cats.
If you look closely in this picture, the people in the cage paid to feed the lion through the protective plastic with some raw meat on the end of a sharp stick like thing.
And of course, after he'd eaten, this big boy did what all cats do best - and what many of the cats did while we were there... sleep!
How beautiful is this guy?
Steve and I were really interested in this cat even though we didn't get many good pictures of him. Apparently there are no real black panthers. Even this guy is spotted, but it's hard to see from very far away. Great new fact!
And some more leopards. They also had one leopard which is one of the rarest large cats.
The students learning from the tour guide about the leopards at the park.
This is Steve's group over by the tigers. Because we had to split up, Steve threatened the whole group of kids with my Dad being a part of the County Sheriff's Department and then my group in particular with water-boarding if they didn't behave. Needless to say the kids were complimented by the guides for being so well behaved!
Probably my favorite cat there. What a beauty he was!
They had LOTS of pretty tigers to look at!
And last but not least - more cats! You can see in the second picture this girl has problems with her sight.
And the proof that we were there. We were trying to get the big lion in the background. Needless to say we failed.
Next year the kids will probably go to one of the larger zoos to the West and see more animals, but this was a great first zoology field-trip for Mr. Bennett's first year teaching!