Jim Gibson

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Traveling with a lion

We did not travel alone, my wife and I were kept company by our 3 pound Chihuahua - "Killer". When we first were assigned the care and feeding of Zaki, she initally stayed in our coach with us and Killer. She was younger at that point and not quite as big. If you know about Chihuahua's you know that they are ferocious and have no fear. We chained Zaki to the back of our motorhome and Killer to the front part to keep them separated as we feared for the safety of Zaki (who was about 20 times the size of Killer at that point.)  

Lions are nocturnal. We were not. It was hard to get Zaki to settle down for the night but we found that if we allowed her to suck our thumb, she would go to sleep. Great, except, a lion has a tongue so rough, it can, literally, lick paint off buildings or skin from the bones of an animal. Our sacrificial thumb for the night had to be rotated to be used every fourth day giving it three days to heal. But, we were able to sleep!

RV showers are small and it's easier to come out of the shower to the more open space to dry off. Zaki would help by licking the water off our legs. That always made me a bit nervous.

This lasted for about 2 weeks until we were able to get back to our factory in Humboldt, Iowa where a special and matching new home was constructed for Zaki. We were all much happier with her being in her own space.

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