Unfortunately lions and cheetah are not vegetarian, so ‘meat prep’ is part and parcel of looking after them. What goes in must come out, so the day after the lions and cheetahs have been fed, we clean their enclosures. As they are quite large areas this involves searching in long grass with a shovel at the ready and a wheelbarrow that gradually fills up! Here are the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos!
Whilst looking down, it’s easy to miss any spider webs that are spanning the trees, and Aaron (who hates spiders) narrowly missed walking into a rather large one. Actually the web was hardly noticeable, but the spider sitting on it certainly was!
Their water also needs replacing so we empty a large pond by scooping out with just a bucket. There is a hose pipe to re-fill it though, otherwise that would take forever.
There is a lot of dry and dead wood around too, and we take the opportunity whilst in the enclosures to pick this up and remove it, especially anything from the Acacia trees which have vicious thorns. The cheetah enclosure hasn’t been cleared for a while, and dragging piles of heavy branches out left me in need of lots of water and a sit down afterwards!
I should add that the lions are in a holding area whilst we clean as they are getting big enough now to be naughty and try to pounce on us. They only want to play, but their skin is 7 times thicker than ours, so if they play with us the way they play with each other then we’d be ripped to shreds!.
We cleared the cheetah enclosure whilst they were still in there as cheetah slink away if you approach them. They will hiss and snarl if you get too close, but providing you keep your distance and of course are not on your own, then it’s not a problem (or at least it hasn’t so far!!).