We went to the zoo the other day as part of our getting-to-know-the-new-home-area project. I don’t think it’s big as zoos go, but the last time I visited a zoo was more than 20 years ago and it was the San Diego Zoo so I may be way off. Given its location, the Oregon Zoo is quite hilly which made for some good exercise and interesting views.
As a cat lover I’m naturally drawn to the big predators, but the only ones that were out that day were the lions. And they were doing what lions do most of the time – sleeping. We walked up to one of the viewing points and saw two lionesses splayed on a rock. One had a hind leg braced against the other and her tail draped over the edge of the rock, the picture of pure relaxation.
There were a lot of people around, many squealing children, a chorus of clicking shutters, and plenty of other noise, but it didn’t seem to bother the napping beasts.
But then one of the lionesses raised her head, surveyed the crowd, and looked directly at me. For that instant I felt she was considering whether I would taste good for lunch, and there was no question that I was looking at a wild carnivore. After that she went back to her nap and I was glad to move on with all my body parts intact!
On a nearby rock the male lion slept through it all.