In addition to the “The Penguins of South Africa”, we were able to interact with a couple of other animals while in Cape Town. We visited Hout Bay, a wharf run by families of local fishermen.
Hout Bay fishermen have an interesting relationship with a few of the seals that live on the wharf. They train them so that people can go pet them and feed them. Xavier was bold enough to hold some fresh tuna (a pretty long piece, I must say) in his mouth and feed the seal. Check him out in the video below! He even ate the rest of the tuna since it was “just like sushi”. Sebastian, on the other hand, was good with just (slightly) petting a seal.
Later on our trip, we visited one of two Cheetah Reserves dedicated to protecting and fostering the survival of South African cheetahs. We learned that cheetahs are not nocturnal (i.e. mostly awake and active at night) like most other big cat predators. They generally sleep for 16-18 hours a day and do their hunting mostly during the day. Because of this, they are often mistaken for eating farmer’s livestock and are killed. The Cheetah Reserve helps protect them.
We got to meet, and pet, Ebony, who has a brother named Rafiki also living in the reserve. He was resting and very calm.
We received careful instruction on how to approach him: kneel down on one knee, and only stroke his side and back in the direction of the fur.
Sebastian also met a namesake meerkat at the Cheetah Reserve.