Creatures Great and Small Live Together on Noah's Land
"When a tiger is happy to see you, it makes a sound. It's a greeting. They want you to know that they are happy to see you. It's called 'chuffling,'" Cheri says as she encounters "her babies" close up, with only a few strands of metal between her and the hungry carnivores. "It's a good idea to chuffle back," she says. Cheri is Ranger Rick, Jane Goodall, and Sheena of the Jungle rolled into one. This matronly Tarzana knows all of her "babies" by name (the park boasts over 400 animals, from at least 50 different species -- including many endangered) and can tell visitors the story behind the acquisition of each one. There are many high points of the drive-through safari tour, but the uncontested king of the beast is this big cat compound area. Each cat or pairing of cats has a yard, some trees, and ample room to run. Most retreat to the shade of their lockdowns or under yawning trees once the midmorning sun gets high. They come back out in the heat of the day to enjoy a cool plunge in the tub.