Golden & *BIG* Kitty Love

10-month-old leopard Salati leans in for a cuddle with her best Golden pal Tommy

At Glen Afric Country Lodge near Pretoria in South Africa, one can see a somewhat odd pairing. Rescued as an orphaned cub, Salati came to this family-run country retreat, which does great work rehabilitating injured and destitute animals. Their huge enclosures also allow those  animals who will never be able to survive in the wild to enjoy wonderful lives.

This unique lodge is open to both day visitors and resident guests every day of the year. With elephant walks, viewing of lions & giraffes, horse riding, and afternoon guided walks, it seems to be a marvelous way to enjoy wildlife.

Baby Salati

Salati is the newest member to the family of Glen Afric, coming to the facility in June 2009 at 6 weeks old.

Animal wrangler Richard Brooker, 23, raised Salati and takes her and family dog Tommy for their daily exercise together. Each morning, he walks them on his family’s 1,850-acre estate and then lets them run free to their hearts’ content.

He said: ‘Wherever you see one the other is right behind. They are inseparable and both have lots of energy so they get the exercise they both need together.

‘When we first received Salati she was tiny and Tommy could chase her around. But now with Salati matching him for weight the tables have turned. ‘It’s all fun and games and they love playing together.

‘But dogs aren’t used to being chased by cats almost the same size as them. I think it was a shock for him when she started doing the chasing but it’s fun to see them exploring together.’

Salati & Tommy take daily walks together at the South Africa lodge

Playmates Tommy & Salati enjoy some rough and tumble in the South African bush

These travelling companions lie contentedly together waiting to go on a good run-around together in lots of space.