Lawrence The Lion, And The Zoo At Little French Key

After tying up our dinghy on Little French Key, we noticed a sign for the zoo, and headed there first.  All of the structures were large, clean and well maintained, housing a variety of birds, ducks, geese, deer, monkeys and goats.

The owners have also rescued a jaguar and lion from a traveling circus on mainland Honduras. The jaguar is now in a new, larger enclosure at Frenchy’s 44, a restaurant across the water which is owned by Little French Key (we heard that he wasn’t happy downwind of the lion), so we headed off to see Lawrence the lion.

At first, second and third glance, this poor lion seemed to be in sad, sad shape. Lawrence was rescued in June of 2014, and I’d have expected him to look better, two years after being rescued. He hobbles around terribly, his left eye had definitely been affected by some trauma or infection and the skin on his face is also very splotchy. (this photo is posted on Lawrence’s cage. I missed it when we were there, so I borrowed it from my friend Elizabeth’s blog)

I seriously questioned the term “rescue” here, so I did quite a bit of digging to find out more information about Lawrence. I stumbled upon a brief Youtube video, with a keeper explaining his history.

Lawrence was kept in a 4×6 foot cell for the first four years of his life (he’s now 6). The close quarters allowed him no room to move around, and as a result he has an arched back, and also leg pain from being declawed (hence the hobbling).

He was only 150lbs when rescued, but as of last year he was up to 420lbs..hurray! His fur was pale, and his mane wasn’t full (first photo). These things need sunlight to grow and be healthy, and in the photo I took (below), his fur and mane definitely look better. I couldn’t find out what caused his eye to look as it does,  but did find out that he’d had surgery for a cleft palate.

Unfortunately, Lawrence’s early years have left permanent scars. However, I feel that he has truly been rescued and is now leading a better life. No cat that is sad and unhappy would nap like this, letting it all hang out (I borrowed this one too).

Howard can attest to that!

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

 

 

 

Our Day On Little French Key, Roatan

We teamed up with our British slip neighbors, Jan and Richard, for a day on nearby Little French Cay. The private island resort  caters to cruise ship passengers and other day visitors (although they now offer a beach house for overnight rental). I “borrowed” another aerial view. Fantasy Island, and our marina is in the upper right corner of this photo.

The island has several bars and restaurants, beaches with lounge chairs and covered beds, kayaks and paddle boards, massage services and a small zoo (more on that in my post about the zoo). You can also sign up to snorkel or ride horses in the water.

After tying up the dinghy, we wandered through the zoo, and around the rest of the island. There wasn’t a cruise ship in port on the day we visited, so there was plenty of room to roam. The grounds are immaculate, and they’ve spent a lot of time achieving a tropical destination feel.

We eventually made our way to a restaurant that sits over the water, and settled in for lunch.

With full bellies, we ignored the “wait an hour after you eat to go in the water” rule, and changed into our swimsuits for some “bobbing,” a new term taught to us by Jan and Richard. Bobbing involves standing in the water, waist deep, with a drink. Dipping down into the water up to your neck may be required, for cooling purposes, while chatting with friends. Here is an example of bobbing…

Unfortunately, our lunch and bobbing area was surrounded by sand and mangroves, which we have learned are a haven for sand fleas. We all left covered in bites on our backs and shoulders, with itching on our legs catching up later. Up until now, I had been doing a terrific job of keeping this from happening, dousing myself in bug spray whenever I’m outside. Stupid sand fleas.

It was still a great afternoon with our friends. Here are some photos of our day on Little French Key, and a few random ones as well.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”