Feeding Lions at Shanghai Wild Animal Park

Shanghai Wild Animal Park put visitors and cages and lets the animals roam freely!

Unlike regular zoos, this park is extremely interactive and lets you get up
close and personal with many of the animals.

You can feed a wide range of animals from doves to tigers and the prices range from 5 RMB to 30 RMB ($1 – $5).

In addition to feeding animals, you can also ride elephants, camels and horses. Oh, and you can hold adorable baby tigers!

I recommend that you get to the zoo as early as possible to skip the lines and enjoy the animal welcoming ceremony. Every morning at 9 AM animals are bought out to wait by the entrance and welcome guests: expect an unlikely assortment of dogs, flamingos, elephants and goat-riding monkeys.

There is a fork in the road soon after you enter the zoo and I strongly recommend that you go left and loop around the park. Make sure you check the schedule of performances and feeding times so that you don’t miss anything you’re interested in. Most animal feedings start at 11:00 – 11:30 and go on for about three hours.

One of the highlights of the park is its vehicle area. For 40 RMB ($6) you can get locked up in a caged bus that will spend about an hour driving through an area where wild animals roam free.

The best place to sit is up front because that’s where the guide sits. The bus will stop for him to feed giraffes, lions, tigers, bears, sun bears and wolves!

Take the safety instructions seriously despite some of the crazy people on the bus. Expect the bears to climb up the side of the bus and hang on with their sharp claws.

If you time it right, you can have lunch after the bus drops you off. Prepare to pay way too much for little portions but avoid the cheap stalls – their chicken is inedible and their tiny burgers will surely disappoint you. You’re better off going to a nicer looking restaurant with proper food.

Around noon, the zoo will fill up and you’ll find yourself dodging pedal cars and overexcited children. This is one of the reasons why I recommend coming so early. The lines for feeding animals aren’t so bad, perhaps because it can get expensive if you want to feed several animals and buy lunch on top of the 150 RMB ($22) entrance fee.

My husband and I did almost everything we could: we rode in the caged bus, fed a bunch of different animals, rode camels and held the baby tiger. We avoided riding elephants due to ethical issues and we had doubts about holding the baby tiger – as soon as it was handed to us it started crying and squirming, clearly distressed. With these exceptions, the animals seemed happy, healthy and excited to get fed!

Before visiting the park, I had many questions that the park’s website couldn’t answer. I’d like to give a shout-out to ILP for their informative blog post that convinced me to visit the park.

Watch our video from the park: https://youtu.be/CEh44u6fsYQ

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Living with Pets, Nika Kagui

I will never forget the day I came home from school to find a tiny puppy sitting on the stairs. With her big eyes, wet nose and chubby pink tummy, it only took Nika one second to make me fall in love with her. She made my whole family come alive and change.

Living with Pets, Nika Kagui was originally published in The Bridge, the magazine published by IWAP – International Women’s Association of Prague. Nika Kagui was more than just a pet, she was a beloved dog that was part of our family. We still miss her every day, but the memories of her are no longer sad.

I will never forget the day I came home from school to find a tiny puppy sitting on the stairs. With her big eyes, wet nose and chubby pink tummy, it only took Nika one second to make me fall in love with her. She made my whole family come alive and change. My busy mother found time to take her on countless of walks every few hours, my neat germ-phobic father heard her howling one night and she’s slept in his bed ever since, and I discovered the true meaning of unconditional love.

But there were many sacrifices too. We couldn’t go on as many family trips, we worried too much about leaving her with others. Also, just like many other purebred Labradors, Nika had many health problems; one vet even recommended that we ‘don’t waste our time and money and put her to sleep’. She had hip problems among many others, and she was at risk of not live past 3. We decided to take our chances and vowed to keep her alive for as long as possible as long as she didn’t suffer and had the will to live – and boy did she love living.

She was always full of energy and curiosity. Among driving in the car and playing with Leia, a puppy we bought for her because she couldn’t have her own, her passion was swimming. She would climb the ladder into the blow-up pool in our garden with confidence; look at us to see if we were watching her and then jump in and swim for hours. When she got out she would dry herself on a towel that we laid out for her. Watching this regular routine never got old and always raised our spirits.

But despite the happy moments, there was also a lot of worrying involved. She underwent over 7 operations over the 8 years and 5 months of her life. Seeing her shaved in strange placed, bandaged up, limping with sleepy eyes after a long operation was always horrible. But no matter what state she was in, she would greet us warmly; wagging her tail, begging us for a treat and making us scratch her back. Her eyes always twinkled with gratefulness and happiness that made every single sacrifice worth it.

When she died in surgery a few months back, we were devastated. She was more than a dog: she was a member of the family, a friend and a reflection of ourselves. She fought for her life until the end. When her heart stopped during other surgeries, she would make it beat again. When we worried that we were selfish to put her through the operations, she showed us that she too wanted more than anything to live. Her bravery, determination, happiness and her endless supply of love is something that along with the memory of her will be with us in our hearts forever.

This post was updated on June 14th, 2018: the text, as well as title and headline, may have been edited, proofread and optimized for search engines. The featured image may have been changed due to copyright or quality issues.