Feb 112012

A young girl and her mother asked if they could stay after closing to watch keepers feed the mountain lions on a day when the animals received freshly-killed rats in addition to their normal diet. The girl was considering a career as a veterinarian and they felt that this might be an educational experience for her.

After explaining to the visitors what they could expect, the keepers presented the mountain lions with their meals. The cats ignored the feline diet and went directly for the rats. The mother and daughter, fascinated, looked on. The larger of the two cats quickly scooped a rat into his mouth and crunched down on it. He gave the mangled body a vigorous shake, flinging the entrails through the cage front and into the public area, missing the young girl’s face by a matter of inches. She let out a startled squeal and turned a little pale, but she didn’t lose her nerve. She stuck it out until the mountain lions finished.

To this day those keepers wonder if that plucky little girl ever became a veterinarian.

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