Saturday, July 6, 2013

Animal Sanctuary

I feel as if I should apologize for my abstinence, but I don't know if I really want to. I had considered doing lots of productive things this summer, like planting a garden or going on lots of hikes. The garden didn't work out because there is a large table where I usually plant and it has been an odd summer - going from hot to cold without any warning.
I still plan to go hiking, just as soon as I can get my hands on a working car. Jenni, my dog, loves being outside so I'm not lacking in a hiking partner. 

Since I am starting college in the fall, I figured I would spend my summer doing what I did all my other summers in between school - with my nose in a book. Again, maybe not the most productive past time but certainly a lot of fun. I've read a lot of good books, and also some annoying ones, but the good ones made up for it.

Also, my family surprised me for my birthday - as if Jenni wasn't enough of a wonderful surprise - and took me to an animal sanctuary outside of Denver. It was really cool to see. This family saves exotic animals which are being kept illegally. They had a lot of lions, tigers, and some wolves. William loved the wolf packs and was ready to move in with them.
He also got a lot of cool pictures!
 *Note, these were all taken by my brother, William Knisley. He is working on starting his own photography business. You can learn more about him at his own site.*

There are almost a hundred pictures...but they are all of lions, tigers, wolves, and such so it is worth it.

They said these tigers were rescued recently and are kept in these cages until they get used to each other and can be released into the bigger fields to be with the other tigers.

Some of them liked to sit and snarl at each other.

This one was in a bigger cage and he liked to walk back and forth and taunt the others in the smaller ones.

Family picture above a pride of hungry lions. In order from left to right is William, me, my mom, dad, and Ryan.

I think these were the lions rescued from the same home, they were owned by some rich man who had to give them up when they got bigger. (I believe, there were a lot of lions there.) He had them declawed but the person who did it didn't do it right and their claws came back, growing out of their paws. The people who saved them did surgery to fix it they best they could but the lions still have trouble walking sometimes.

They let the animals roam in a wide habitat much like the one where they would have lived if they were still in the wild.They cannot release them back into the wild because they couldn't survive, so they do the best they can by keeping them safe and allowing them to think they are in Africa. 

He's majestic and he knows it.

One of those random pictures that show up every time someone has a camera

The bears. These ones were so much fun to watch. They were chasing each other all over the place, wrestling and batting each other. Two little ones ganged up on a bigger one, but he won and chased them through the grass.

This is where William fell in love. These wolves were owned by a rich couple who split up. The wife hired someone to shoot the wolves, whom she and her husband had raised from cubs, so she could spite her husband. However, the man hired couldn't bring himself to kill them all so he called the sanctuary and they saved them. This pack was all siblings.

William almost jumped down the walkway to wake a nap with this one. He reminded him of a dog we once owned.

These were timber wolves, if I remember correctly. 

Their den

We plan to go back in the fall so we can see them all when they are more active. It was too hot to play when we were there.

Some sleepy Linx.

This one was watching a bird who kept hanging out at the top of his cage. William was waiting for him to jump up and try and eat it so he could get a good picture. He didn't comply.

On the way back these tigers had moved so two were sleeping almost on top of each other. One kept biting the other's ear.

I love his zoom, we weren't nearly this close.

There they are.

These bears were playing until the food truck drove by, then one of them chased after it and stared sadly when it didn't stop but kept going.

The food truck that kept going.

This bear was HUGE! His paws were bigger than my dad's head. He spent the whole time in the pool, probably because he knew no one would ever dare to tell him to get out.

Some of the animals they saved had sad stories. One man kept a bunch of, I forget if it was lions or wolves, in his house but he didn't take care of them right. They kept having babies, but the babies kept dying so he put them in his freezer. The sanctuary saved all of the ones they could.

More family pictures.

A two legged creature of the female persuasion in her natural habituate

Like I said, William really liked the wolves.

Ryan and I in front of a hungry wolf...poster

It was a great birthday surprise and I can't wait to go back.

Now I suppose that was long enough for now. Besides, Hawaii Five-O is on.

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