Carolyn and I love animals. When I say we love animals, I mean, we really enjoy animals. We have yet to base a trip around a potential yet unlikely wildlife encounter, though. Sure, every time we’ve been diving we’ve said the obligatory “maybe we’ll see a whale shark today” kinda thing, but it hasn’t happened yet. We love animals, and in a deeper, more specific sense, we love cats.
See that cat? We love it. He’s our favorite little feline friend. In fact, the cats at the zoo have become so much cooler since the first time this big grey ball of brains and fur decided that my face was the most comfortable place to sleep in an apartment filled with soft cushions. Anyhow, domesticated kitties aside, there’s some cats we’ve seen in zoos that we would just love to see in the wild.
The big cats I most want to see in the wild:
Snow Leopard, Nepal
The big cat I’d most like to see in the wild would be the snow leopard. We’d have to hop a flight to Kathmandu and spend days trekking through the high Himalayas to even have a chance to see one of these beauties, but even if we didn’t see one that trip would still be a win, right?
We’ve been to Thailand, where this big cat lives, but we didn’t see any on our trip. There are “tiger temples” all over Thailand where you can go into cages with chained up tigers and pet them and such, but I’m not sure about how ethical that whole experience would actually be. Admittedly, it looks like it would be cool as all get out. I’d much rather see one of these giant kitties stalking through the jungle, though.
We listened to a lot of Radio Lab on a road trip before moving to Korea, and there was a super interesting episode about a scientist who worked to count the jaguars remaining in one of the Central American countries. The details have escaped me at some point in the past couple of years. We’d love to see one of these big cats in the jungle, somewhere in the trees. Carolyn could surely get a great photo if we saw one without a fence.
I think any list of big cats would be incomplete without saying you’d want to see a lion. Duh. It’s one of Africa’s Big Five. Seeing one of these from a Land Rover in the Serengeti would be pretty sick, don’t you think?
Cheetahs are fascinating to me for more than their beautiful fur. I’m pretty shallow, so that’s saying something. I’ve seen them in the zoo many times, but it always seems so wrong that the fastest of the big cats (and land animals, for that matter) can be caged up. I’d like to see one of these going after gazelles at full speed. For sure.