There were many surprising things I learned that day about tigers. The most surprising was that, as large as they are and as ferocious as you know they can be, their mannerisms are very much like Tinkie, Max and Newbie, our three house cats. She liked to rub against you as she walked by. She made little grunts, which Marc said were her "hello," as she walked by. As Marc warned us earlier that Tessa likes to nip you in the butt, but I must tell you she never once tried to nip either Anne or myself.

And, when in close proximity Tessa likes to butt her head against yours. The still photo at right shows Tessa with her head pretty close, but this is nothing compared to the videos. Take a look at these photos extracted from the video scenes!

Do you believe these sequences of pictures? It's almost impossible to believe that it's me in the picture with Tessa! Would you believe that I wasn't in the least scared by being so close to Tessa? Well, it's true, I wasn't at all scared by her. I knew all the while that Marc was nearby to intervene if and when she might decide to play rough, which she never did. She was always the perfect lady.

I must add that it was evident to Anne and I the close and loving bond that exists between Tessa and Marc. You can tell that she was raised by his hand almost since birth. She listened intently to him and he watched her closely the entire time we were with her. I believe he was more worried about what we might do to Tessa than what Tessa might do to us. While some may not agree with what Marc and Helen are doing by displaying Tessa in such a fashion, I believe they are serving the entire tiger community at a critical time when so much is needed to saved this dearly beloved endangered species. Hopefully, many that visit Aruba and enjoy such experiences with Tessa as Anne and I did will return home with a different, closer opinion of the tiger and, if they do, maybe they'll open up their pocketbooks and donate to the different organizations that are dedicated to preserving the tiger.

Coming soon! ... short video clips of Anne and I with Tessa. Stay tuned.

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