One of my favorite parts of the San Diego Safari Park, formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, was hangin’ with the cheetahs. For some reason I’m drawn to big cats, maybe it has something to do with being a Leo or possibly the fact that cats are just really cute.
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I was a little bummed to find out that the lions were not around on this trip, the park was in the process of building them a bigger and better space, so I was happy to find these two cheetahs enjoying the sunshine that day.
It made me feel at ease to see these cheetahs so happy in their environment. There is only one other place besides the Wild Animal Park where I have felt like the animals are really well cared for and it shows.
I think this is attributed to the fact that the big animals have a lot of room to roam around instead of tiny little cages. The fence on this cheetah enclosure did not look very high. I wouldn’t be surprised if these cheetahs could get out if they really wanted to.
It’s really hard to know how animals are feeling, but I think you can usually get a sense about whether they are satisfied with their environment and more importantly that they feel safe.
We write posts on our site about animal cruelty, such as the elephants in Chitwan, Nepal and the dolphin slaughters in Japan, so instead of always focusing on the negative, I wanted to highlight a place that we feel is doing a good job with animals.
You may be thinking it’s cruel to cage animals no matter how big the cage is, but the reality of it is that our wilderness areas are rapidly becoming filled with humans, homes, shopping malls and whatever else our heart’s desire.
National Parks around the world that provide a safe haven for animals have boundaries as well. It may be a fence or it could be a town with people who would not take kindly to a large, potentially dangerous, wild animal roaming around.
I think it’s important to recognize the places that are doing a positive thing. In addition to making sure these animals are happy and have plenty of space, this park is dedicated to preserving and protecting rare and endangered wildlife and habitats.
Now, how can that be bad?