On Saturday I went to the San Francisco Zoo (ostensibly to measure baby turtles, and the baby turtles were, indeed, measured), but mostly we went so we could see the BABY TIGER!!! (The first picture is from NBC; the three crappy ones are my own).
She’s two months old, and she is literally one of the most beautiful things I have seen in my entire life. I cried. (No, really. My friends still haven’t stopped teasing me about it).
She was supposed to be on “view” between 2 and 4 on Saturday, so when we finished with the turtles around 2:30, we went to the Lion House to see if the baby was out. Unfortunately, she wasn’t – she was sleeping in her den box. We could see her on the video camera, but that was kind of boring. So we wandered off to see the dinosaur exhibit (which turned out to be really disappointing; there weren’t any DINOSAURS just stupid signs, some of which had dodgy information), and then came back around 3:30, only to find there was a queue of a couple hundred people waiting to get into the Lion House to see the baby. UM, NO THANKS! I really hate waiting in lines like that, and I was already feeling a bit overwhelmed by crowds of people (we’d gone to Oakland Zoo that morning to measure the turtles there, so I was just about done with dealing with people). We looked around to see if we could find someone we knew who might sneak us in the back way (we know lots of keepers, including the woman who cares for the tigers), but couldn’t find anyone.
So, we mostly gave up on seeing the baby in person, which was making me sad. We wandered around and visited the bears and some other animals, and then, at about five minutes to 4 (when the Lion House and all the other zoo buildings close, in preparation to clear everyone out of the zoo by 5), I suggested that we try again. And it was kind of magical. We walked in literally less than a minute before someone came to close the door, and then we went over to the tiger enclosure, and THERE WAS THE BABY!!!!!
She was out with her mama, and OMG SHE IS SO PRECIOUS. Her little tiger face – thinner than her mama’s – and her bright eyes, and the way her little back-end wiggled as she walked and jumped around on her mom, and then her mom started licking her clean, and she was just really, really beautiful and it was so special to be able to see her like this when she’s so small, and I just got overwhelmed and tears came into my eyes, and then when we were leaving I got even more overwhelmed, and my friends asked if I was okay and I was, because I was super happy that I’d gotten to see this incredibly beautiful little girl, but also sad because she’ll have to live her whole life in a zoo, but probably she won’t mind because she doesn’t know different, and also I do have to admit that tigers are my VERY FAVORITE of all animals. Even more than owls or dragons or turtles. I try not to make a big deal about having a favorite (because really I love almost all animals), but when it comes down to it, there is something about tigers that just makes my HEART SING and then I was crying, and it was awesome. 🙂
And now they will probably tease me about it forever, but I don’t care. I’m not embarrassed about crying about something this beautiful. OMG I love this baby. I love her so much. OMG I LOVE TIGERS and this baby is so ridiculously wonderful.