So yesterday I had the privilege to go by BGT and watch Kasi (the park's baby cheetah) get his one-year check up! For those of you that don't remember, Kasi was acquired by BGT from the Jacksonville Zoo last March when his mother surprisingly gave birth to him (she was past birthing age), and would not take care of him. Being the animal care experts they are, and with Cheetah Hunt conveniently opening a couple months later, they took Kasi under their wing and hand raised him. He even got a best friend to grow up with, a female yellow Lab named Mtani that the park rescued from a local shelter! They explained that since cheetahs are very social by nature, many cheetah cubs that are hand raised are brought up with a canine companion (usually one from an equally social breed), since adult cheetahs and cheetah cubs do not socialize until the cub has gotten much older.
Fast forward to a year later, Kasi has been growing up quickly (he weighs about 180 pounds), and it was time for him to get his first annual check up! They performed the procedure at the brand new Animal Care Center (amazing place, by the way), and invited whoever was in the park yesterday to come by and watch how they do these annual check ups. Obviously I took plenty of pictures of the check up and many other things around the park, so enjoy!
Here is the main "doctor's office" in the Animal Care Center. They have a surgery room to the left where you can watch animals undergoing an operation, and an X-ray room to the right where you can safely watch the procedure on a TV screen.
And there he is! The first thing they did was give him a series of X-rays to make sure his bone development is coming along well. Obviously they administered anesthetic to him in order to make it much easier both on him and the doctors. They typically zonk out all the animals that go in there.
Sleepy cheetah tail!
This is what it looks like when a cheetah has had too much to drink.
And not wanting to be left out, Mtani came by to check things out!
Along with being a beautiful dog, Mtani was VERY well behaved.
And just like any Lab, she soaked up all the attention, petting, and scratching she could get!
I petted her for a little bit, and she thanked me by licking my hand. I may or may not have melted.
I have said before that I would steal Kasi, and now I'm going to steal Mtani, too.
And now back to Kasi, he's been moved into the main room where they'll perform the rest of the procedure.
I think they were checking his eyes.
I just wanted to go in and hug him and use him as a big cheetah pillow, is that so much to ask?
Checking his toes and claws, those are kinda important to a cheetah.
They were also doing an ultrasound on his abdominal area, and the neatest thing about this was.......
You could watch the ultrasound on the TV!
"Soooo......what do I do with this leg?"
When animals come in for a check up, they take advantage of the situation to do everything at once, which includes a thorough dental exam and cleaning!
Dentist: "Open wide and say ahhhhhhhhh......."
The last thing they did was scope out Kasi's stomach and digestive tract with a tiny camera on a hose. If you've ever wondered what the inside of a cheetah's stomach looked like, here it is, complete with a blade of grass!
They said cheetahs often times have gastrointestinal issues, so this is a very important procedure. Since his stomach lining was bright pink, that was the sign of a healthy kitty.
They also took a biopsy of his stomach lining, which they'll analyze to make sure he's as healthy as he looks.
"Hey! What are you doing to my friend in there??"
He won't remember anything about what happened to him after being zonked out. I wonder if he'll have a cheetah hangover?
And now they're pulling the tube out of his esophagus.......
See you later, and next time you better do more tricks or I want my money back!
"Ha, try knocking us out and carrying us into that tiny little room."
"Yeah, no joke, stupid little cat."
And now we have a few Kumba shots for the dorks.......
Coming off the brake run.
This ride still kicks so much A$$. It's like the Jackie Chan of coasters.
And it still has the best zero-g roll ever.
Ok enough coaster pictures. You can get enough of those in other trip reports utilizing cell phone cameras.
"Try knocking me out and putting me on that table, I would eat your face off."
I would hug him, but I value my life.
Another sleepy kitty, he doesn't seem to need anesthetic.
Sad tiger is sad.
Now we move on to the giant, long neck pink chicken.
"Psh, we don't need two legs."
"I'm WAY more fabulous than that silly spotted kitty."
We join this family at a time when the babies are struggling awfully badly trying to get up the curb and into the bushes.
"Dude, do you see how HIGH that curb is? How in the world are we supposed to make it up there??"
"Come on, kids, that giant man over there is creeping me out."
Duckling on right: "I give up, I'm just going to sit here."
Duckling on left: "Don't worry, guys, I got this!"
Up you go! They made it up shortly after this pic was taken, and my heart melted again.
Left: "Hey, what's a kangaroo's favorite beer?"
Right: "I don't know, but I bet it's something hoppy."
And now for the official cuteness OVERLOAD, it's a joey wallaby!!!
Officially the cutest day ever now, thanks for reading!
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