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Get information about the South African Lion Park, near Johannesburg, and the wonderful work being done there.
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South Africa is rich in natural heritage which needs some development and support. Volunteers work closely with the animals and the experts at the projects. Volunteers gave to work day by day with the cubs rearing them, preparing the food, getting involved with maintenance on the reserve, assisting the guides with the tourists. I will never forget a volunteer who went to South Africa. She said she would never be scared to go into a job interview again of to going into and enclosure with the lion.
The reason why the lion parks mainly here is for education. This 80% of the population in South Africa that think that going to farms and looking for wild animals is just for white people. Okay, that is not the case that is for everybody. This is our future that belongs to everybody wherever, as a tourist, do you ever get close to a lion—this close, it does not matter how many lion films you see. You never really get the—how large they are. And a lot of people go, “Wow!”
Well, we will start about 8:00 and we woke up to the nursery and we kind of get into two groups.
Up in the nursery, we make up the bottles. We make the formula milk...
And then we get to actually feed them as well so one person has one cub, feed it with a bottle or taking each and everything in that bowl.
Yes, they get quite vicious and they are possessive over their bottles and sort of grab it out of your hand.
Yes, so when we get into enclosures, we have to clean out the enclosures, we have to clean out paws? So we have our wipes and clean out the paws, clean up any leaves that are around. We tend to water in their paws and the cubs love it. The cubs’ claws and paws are a little bit bigger. They are probably about five months [voice overlap]. They tease you around. They jump on you, scratch you.
Take your rake.
And it does hurt. It does hurt. But it is worth it, definitely.
And when you are playing with them they are not meaning to hurt you at all. And then when we have done that, the one person will go to the giraffe-feeding station.
And then another job is to sit on gate and actually take the kids from people as they come in from the customers.
Another job is just relaxed, really.
Enjoying, playing with the cub.
The staff will take you out on a game drive which is fantastic. He takes you out to the big lion camps and some of the staff get out with the lions and play with the big grown lions. That is amazing.
Yes, it is amazing to see.
Be nice be nice. Put your lipstick back.
And how can they handle them like that. We are actually—we are not allowed in any animal—[voice overlap]
That is unfortunate. [Laughs]
Yes, they have to be less than six months old.
It is amazing. Such a small animal for such big teeth, bigger than these girls I think.
You know, if you can educate people and if you can somebody that hands—if you can stop one in a year—you have done some good. You know, not one of us like hunting. There an awful lot than that. If you could stop one, you are doing a great job, as far as I am concerned, okay? Because you do not want to be hunted, do you?