Have you ever kissed a mountain lion? I know what you're thinking. No one would actually kiss a mountain lion. They're big and intimidating and wild. I mean, who hasn't seen the video being passed around on Facebook of the brave house cat confronting the mountain lion on the other side of the sliding glass door? And all the while, we're all thinking the same thing – that cat is snack food if the mountain lion figures out how to open that door. Kiss the kitty? Sure. Kiss the mountain lion? No way!
And yet, last Thursday, I did indeed kiss a mountain lion.
About a half hour northeast of Colorado Springs, there's an oasis of wildlife. Amidst the rolling hills and dusty plains, you'd expect to find horses and cows, and there are plenty of those to see as you drive out there. But when the roar of a lion breaks the silence, you realize you've come to a very special place indeed. This is Serenity Springs Wildlife Center.
Dedicated to providing a forever home to big cats and other exotic animals, Serenity Springs isn't a zoo, but a sanctuary. Many of its approximately 120 residents have come from cases of exploitation, abuse or neglect. Now they live their lives in relative peace and quiet, being provided for by loving caretakers. While they have regular tours where you can learn about the various cats and their stories, last Thursday we went for an extra special opportunity.
Having recently been blessed with two young cubs, Serenity Springs is now offering Mountain Lion Encounters. If you love big cats, this one is for you! Hosted in a group setting, these events allow you to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, playing and cuddling with two adorable babies names Louie and Maureen. The night we went there were four people in attendance, which allowed for lots of interaction, as well as some adorable snapshots on our iPhones. And since they're just so cute, who could resist giving them a kiss on the top of their adorable little heads?
But more than just a cute encounter, these half-hour meet and greets also serve an important purpose. Since these cubs were born in captivity, and will live their lives in captivity, they need to be used to being around and handled by people. With playtime comes socialization, which will allow caretakers to safely interact with the cats as they grow up and become much, much bigger. So, by having the time of your life, you can actually help these beautiful cats live long, happy and safe lives. And you'll walk away with a better understanding and appreciation for this beautiful species.
Since the cubs are growing fast, these Mountain Lion Encounters are only available for a very limited time. You'll want to jump on the chance while you have it. This is one not to miss! So, what are you waiting for? Find out more information here.
Note: Sadly, since we first posted this, Serenity Springs has gone out of business. We decided to keep this post up in memory of the special times many of us had there. Thank you, Nick, for the many years of memories.