another spring break adventure took us out past fort myers to a wildlife sanctuary called octagon. octagon rescues various animals from circuses as well as from owners who were lacking in the common sense department when they decided that an alligator or a raccoon might make an enjoyable family pet. the sanctuary was quite nice and had a very comfortable homey atmosphere about it. the animals were very well cared for and seemed very content. aside from the tiger spraying incident (which luckily only involved a portion of my left leg) we had a marvelous time enjoying the animals from only about five feet away. we even had a picnic lunch with baxter the lion. i am so glad that there are people who undertake this great act of love to care and provide for these animals that have nowhere else to go in a world where their lives mean very little.
as is apparent the big cats somewhat monopolized the pictures. there were so many other animals (bears, turtles, alligators, smaller cats, raccoons, iguanas, monkeys, wolfs, etc,) but i didn't start taking pictures until around nap time (as is also obvious). the tigers and lions were just so charismatic, they talked and made funny noises the whole time we sat by their cages. plus they had the best sleeping poses, i have never seen animals so relaxed. spike is the orangutan at the right. he was a hoot to watch, he would take that stuffed ape in the picture and attempt to groom it, which he did quite thoroughly, and was clearly disappointed in not finding a solitary bug embedded in the synthetic fur. he loved his t.v. which was housed in a rubbermaid container outside his enclosure and he clearly could discern between what foods he liked (carrots and lettuce) and what foods he did not care for (mushrooms). he was also very aware of his looks which was apparent by his consistency in checking his reflection in his toy mirror every couple of minutes just to make sure there were no particles of food or leaves lounging about on his face and hair. this little outing was by far one of my favorites.