While they may seem out of their element, as these pictures show, Mother Nature’s wild and domestic creatures alike love to frolic in snow.
Deep in the backwoods of Rockton, a project was underway — it began with a small clump of snow. Encouraged by their trainers at the African Lion Safari — 1/2 hour outside of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada — these ‘packaderms’ have resolved to roll with it.
Unlikely as it is that this creation will end up at an ice or snow sculpture exhibit, these elephant-sized snowballs are symbolic of a surprising reality — animals love snow.
These creatures know how to have a good time. Even at 4,000 pounds (1,818 kilos), this elephant is known for getting down on the ground and making her own version of a snow angel and having a ball.
The African Safari was founded by a retired Canadian Army colonel, opening its doors to the public in 1969 — nearly 40 years ago. From 1985, the Safari made a concentrated effort to breed Asian elephants.
The animals have been born here, so the elephants can remain outside for about 4 hours on a warm sunny winter’s day, as they’ve been acclimatized very well. They have a large campground forested area and go for hikes throughout the day.
An appreciation for a good old-fashioned Canadian winter is shared by other animals strolling the property of the African Safari. There are temperature restrictions for each species, and heated buildings provide shelter to all herds during extreme conditions.
The cheetah is well-known as the fastest animal on earth. But these cats step with trepidation in the freshly formed snow drifts. Much like our domesticated pets, these felines prefer a well-shoveled walkway. And just like our Canadian cats, they grow a heavier coat come winter. They as well have heated facilities, so if they’re not comfortable they can remain inside to stay warm.
Under clear blue skies, these rolling hills reveal winter at its best, but off in the wooded brush, there’s a hint of spring in the air — the Safari’s first mouflon lamb of 2008, and a sure sign this latest snowfall will soon be nothing more than a memory.
Off in a distant winter wonderland, the fox — with its keen ears — pinpoints its prey. And when it strikes, it strikes with staggering style.