Wow. I'm so glad that we were able to have this opportunity! It really is one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of things. I truly love animals; They are as beautiful as they are amazing.
When we arrived at the zoo, I was unsure how the tiger encounter was set up. I was surprised at how generous the zoo was with their program - Patrick and I had Sheena, the 8-week-old tiger cub, all to ourselves (along with 2 handlers). They brought her out to a pen with toys and a small pool and we got to pet her and play with her for half an hour. It was great! It was sure hot outside and she enjoyed a nice dip in the cool water. The only time she sat still was when she was in the pool and we were pouring hand fulls of water over her little back.
If you ever make to the gulf area, be sure to check out the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. I loved my time there. It's wonderful. I really think the animals are happier in this zoo than any other zoo I have ever been to. They have toys, fun obstacles, and climbing areas for each animal. How often do you see that sort of things for bears when you go to a regular zoo? Never! Most of the time, the animals are just pacing back and forth. AGCZ had a lot of large cats as well, which are one of my favorites. I spotted 4 leopards (teehee), 3 bobcats, 3 Serval cats, 4 tigers + 1 tiger cub, and 3 lions! That is more than some of the larger zoos I have been to in the area.
Here are some photos to share of my tiger cub encounter! I've got some video from a flip video camera, but I haven't figured out how to optimize for Web yet! Enjoy!