Hamburg Part 3: Wild Animals

Now that I have left you with a bit of suspense from my last post. On our walk back to the hotel, I looked to my right as we crossed a street and in front of a hotel there was a small crowd gathered in front. Before my mind could deduce what was happening, my eyes were immediately drawn to the cause. I could not believe my eyes. 

On the end of a leash, and a somewhat weak looking one at that, was my oldest son’s most favorite animal in the entire world. I immediately told Linda that I had to go over to take photos and in a matter of seconds, I was standing roughly 4 feet away from the fast animal on land. Yes, a Cheetah, and a beautiful one at that, was being photographed by a professional and a few visitors had their digital cameras, including this one, flipping photos right and left (see my photos below!). Some people were even so brave as to gently pet the Cheetah. While I had thought about how cool it would be for me to tell my son that I had pet a Cheetah, something in my knew better and I opted to ask Linda just to take a photo of me ducking in front of it (at a safe distance). Check out the photos below. Good thing I trust my instincts because no more than 60 seconds later, the Cheetah attacked a bellman. Seriously. The keeper of the animal reacted quickly and restrained him and lucky for the bellman, the Cheetah had only one swipe at his arm. His coat was ripped and, based on his reaction and facial expressions, I believe the Cheetah had reached flesh. There were enough people around to provide help if he needed it so we decided to get while the getting was good and continued our walk. 

After a quick stop to do a wheel swap at our athletes hotel, we stopped at a cute, local sandwich shop where I was actually able to order a veggie sandwich and headed to our hotel for a good night’s rest. My feet were pulsating with fatigue and being able to relax a bit in my hotel room was exactly what I needed.