Posts Tagged ‘John Vaillant’

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

~William Blake

Although from a pet point of view, I’m a horse or dog person, when I go to the zoo, I love to see the cats.  They’re sleek, graceful, and deadly-looking.  The cheetah, which has to be the favorite of a sprinter, usually looks bored with the small amount of space allotted it, often pacing back and forth, while eying visitors with an intense look.  Perhaps dreams of fast food are running through its head.

In common with bears, wild cats elicit comments about how cute and furry they are.  But there’s a reason the word “wild” appears in front of the word “animals” and we do well to remember it.

I have two sets of thoughts about zoos.  I regret that the animals there are caged and not allowed to live in their natural habitat.  I also love the opportunity to see them “in person”, so speak.  Many of them would be dead if in the wild and some species are being hunted almost to extinction outside zoo habitats.  So I enjoy the beauty of the animals as the zoo and am grateful for the opportunity to see them.

I’ve already shared a few posts about our trip to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  Here’s the first look at the cats we saw there.

He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
Chinese Proverb

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It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.
~Henry David Thoreau

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God made the cat to give man the pleasure of stroking a tiger.
~John Gardner

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The impact of an attacking tiger can be compared to that of a piano falling on you from a second story window. But unlike the piano, the tiger is designed to do this, and the impact is only the beginning.
~John Vaillant, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival