For the Love of Big Cats (Or, So Begins No-Technology Friday)

by Gigi Griffis

Last month, I started a new thing I like to call No-Technology Friday. The gist of the idea is this: take one day to get away from my computer screen. No email checking. No Facebook. No blogging. Just single-minded focus on getting outside, enjoying nature, watching a movie (without multi-tasking), catching up with friends, etc.

I’m not great at it yet (I frequently cheat and check my emails in the mornings or evenings), but even starting the practice has been rewarding. Not only because it helps me focus and gives me a much-needed breather each week, but also because it frequently gets me out of the house. Like this week, when I did one of my favorite things in the whole world:

I went to the zoo.

It was a chilly October Friday, which meant a total lack of crowds. So much of the time I found myself alone, wandering the quiet, snow-dusted grounds and stopping for long periods to stare at the animals that fascinate me most: the big cats.

Tiger at the Denver zoo

Cheetah at the Denver zoo

Lionesses at the Denver zoo

My special love for the big cats started a couple years ago when I stumbled upon an old TV series called Big Cat Diaries. It followed various African cats’ lives out on Kenya’s Masai Mara. I was particularly fond of the reclusive leopards and the mohawked baby cheetahs. But I also had a special place in my heart for the lion cubs, particularly when buffalo would try to stamp them out of existence.

The insights into the lives of those African cats made me love them desperately. It has since been a goal of mine to A) make it back to Africa and spend some time with these intriguing creatures and B) land myself an African conservation client at some point. Those things are in the back of my mind most of the time, but days like Friday they come rushing into the forefront.

Dear god, do I miss Africa.

Leopard at Denver zoo

Leopard cub at Denver zoo

It’s not quite the same to see them through the glass. But I still love them. And I really love that the Denver Zoo is involved in conservation projects around the world for animals including clouded leopards and tigers. They also just built the most sustainable zoo exhibit in the world, newly opened this summer.

I wanted to support these conservation efforts, so I picked up a little something at the gift shop on my way out. Something to remind me how much I love those big cats. And how much I love No-Technology Friday.

Stuffed tiger from the Denver zoo

Luna has already coated it in slobber. But whatevs.

Special thanks to Visit Denver and the Denver Zoo for making this No-Technology Friday rock. My zoo admission was waived, but I made up for it by spending fifty bucks at the gift shop. Oh, yeah, and all opinions are my own.

Interested in Colorado? This guide is for you.

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Montecristo Travels November 12, 2012 - 1:47 pm

Oh awesome. I think we need to really give that a go. The No- Tech Day. Maybe after Sunday Tag line is posted we should shut down. Yeah … sounds perfect.

Zoo’s have always left me with mixed feelings. But those are some amazing shots! Love the big cats too. I am fascinated by monkeys especially the tiny ones. I am just always in awe by them.

I think this no tech Friday is going to end up being a source of much bloggie inspiration.

gigigriffis November 12, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Yeah. It’s been really wonderful when I actually stick to it! I am going to try and be more consistent with my No-Technology Fridays – and I agree! I think it is great blog fodder.

Have you read Life of Pi? I was a bit mixed on zoos myself, but I really liked what he had to say about them.


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