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Travel Review
October 2018
Tiger World
Rockwell, NC
Part III of III
Trend Magazine Online™

By Jay Whipple

Trend Magazine Online™

Not In Someone's Backyard!

Part III of III
Tiger World Rockwell, NC Review Pic
Welcome to part III of my review of the most impressive little zoo/park/reserve in Rockwell, NC, known as Tiger World. Picking up where I left off in part II, I was elated to cross paths with Caretaker Bill at the Lil Wayne Liger cage as he imparted information that I would have not otherwise been privy to during my visit. For example, he informed me that the best times to visit their park were before 10 AM during the spring through fall, and winter months around 2 PM because that is when the big cat feedings take place. In addition, he explained how one can adopt a pet by contacting the office, and that the Arctic Wolves are rare in that they do indeed bark like a dog, and that Tiger World is assisted in feeding these wonderful animals via food donations from area farms and grocery stores.

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Caretaker Bill also shared with me the story as to why their liger was given the name of Lil Wayne -- because one of his songs was playing during his birth; and that sadly their life expectancy was only ten years due to the fact that they keep growing until their heart bursts thus ending their lives. He stated that Lil Wayne was near that age and currently weighed around 900 pounds. Bill was also nice enough to share his contact information (FaceBook, Instagram) so that anyone could be updated on the happenings at Tiger World including the status of Lil Wayne. There you will also find wonderful pics of Lil Wayne as well as other big cats under his care at the park.

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The next area of the park proved to be the most challenging in that in order to get to through it safely required me to engage in a phenomenon known as the "Colorado Quick Step." This walking technique is deployed when walking through any area where Canada Geese inhabit. It involves making quick steps around each package that is left behind one of those northern fowls. As such, I was enthralled to see one of the park staff members assisting us by clearing the way with a broom. I considered his job the most important at Tiger World.

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Next up was these light brown red-faced tailless monkeys known as Snow monkeys or Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata). As their name suggest, they are found in areas of Japan and are particularly fond of warm hot springs. Conversely, they live in places where the temperature can drop below zero degrees. I really enjoyed feeding them from my cup purchased from the gift shop at the beginning of my visit and they enjoyed finding and eating my treats. I could not help but notice that one of them kept reaching behind to his/her rear while snacking on my peanuts. We would consider that a bit ill-mannered in our human world but in their animal world it seems to be quite the acceptable behavior. The males can live up to 27 years in captivity while the females typically live 6 years in the wild and they are listed as an endangered species.

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Next up was the biggest owl that I have personally seen up until this point in my life. It is called a Eurasian/European Eagle owl (Bubo Bubo) and has a wing span of nearly six feet which qualifies it to play defense in the NBA -- perhaps as a free agent. Smile! These owls are found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East and the females are typically larger than the males. Yikes! I have actually seen an owl in the wee hours of the morning while living off Central Avenue in Charlotte, NC, and at first glance it took my breath away as a much unexpected encounter. It is my understanding that this magnificent fowl have keen eyesight and prefer to hunt at night. As such, I made sure that I kept my distance and eye on that curious bird.

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This next area solved my dilemma in terms of what to do with the remaining food in my feed cup as I was nearing the end of the park and did not want to discard my perfectly good snacks. The pond to my left was filled with all sorts of feathered fowl to include one that stood out in the crowd due to its size and color. The White (Mute) swan (Cygnus olor) and can be found in many countries throughout Asia and Europe and in the 1800's were introduced to areas of Canada and the United States. These angelic-looking birds can reach a length of five feet and have a wing span of up to seven feet which also qualifies them to play defense in the NBA. I became an immediate hit here because I had the goods/eats that these birds loved to snack on while providing me with excellent photo opts to include in this article. Not to be outdone, they also have these beautiful Black swans that inhabit the same pond.

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Next up completed the all-endearing cliche' of "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears," for me as I have previously covered the first two in this three segment piece on Tiger World. My next skip along "The yellow brick road" brought me to the bear area of the park where at first glance this guy was hard to spot as it blended in with its environment; just like in the wild. This beast had one of the most impressive domiciles which included a stream, rocks, and logs. The only missing element was salmon jumping down the waterfall on their journey to mate. It was still a quite pleasant site despite the lack of that bear necessity.

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I ventured into this last area expecting to mingle with other park guests; however, found myself alone with several white tigers -- in their sparse cages of course. I was drawn to the end of the path by the repeated sound of one of them roaring continuously every few minutes. It was not quite clear to me as to the reason for the repetitive loud beastly noise emanating from the end of this path, so I quickly scampered back to the beginning just in case it was a warning signal for me to not be in that area at that particular time. On my way back I caught this Bengal tiger by the name of Shirkahn taking a late morning nap which, according to staff, was their favorite time to snooze. I was elated to find that other guests had begun to populate this area along with those very brave female staff members who, as I mentioned in segment one, deserve a raise for feeding these big cats. On that note they were at it again in this section but this time they were coaching visitors to feed these phenomenal cats that stand over ten feet tall on their hind legs.

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I left this area with a new sense of respect and awe for these big cats as well as all of the other wonderful beasts that God created "In the beginning" of our planet. In addition, I am so thankful that these animals are being protected and preserved from those bad human beings that are of the mind set that they were place here simply for the challenge of being hunted, slaughtered, and mounted to fulfill their shallow egos and useless bragging rights. It does not in the least impress me to see these creatures mounted on someone's wall; however, I am quite impressed to see them alive and well even if behind a cage in a safe environment. My last stop was once again their gift shop before exiting this wonderful zoo/park/preserve for our future generations to enjoy.

Well folks, that does it for my final part three of this review of Tiger World in Rockwell, NC. Check back next month for more exciting articles. Remember to "like" our Facebook page to be notified when additional articles are published.

<<<Back To Part II

<<<Back To Part I

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