Chill Time South Africa 2011 Article at Skatepark of Tampa

Chill Time South Africa 2011

Posted on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 by Ryan

Photos by Neal Hendrix
Words and Captions by Ryan Clements

I’m sure by now you’ve seen plenty of coverage from the Maloof South Africa event, but maybe you haven’t seen some amazing non-skating photos yet. I went to the lobby of the hotel the morning we were leaving and ran into Neal Hendrix, DJ Wade, and James Craig, who were waiting for a pick-up to head out to “hold baby lions.” It was 9am and the ride was already supposed to be there. Neal said, “Grab your stuff. Go with us. Let’s do this.” I’m not usually very spontaneous, but I’m sure glad that I was that morning…

This was the day before at the Contest. Boards for Bros made a special delivery to Kimberley, South Africa.
After a 20-minute ride into the cut, we arrived at our destination. First stop was the private zoo with all sorts of animals in an intimate setting. “You want my glasses little monkey?” asked Wade.
Whoa, Mr. Blue Balls. That might be a little too intimate.
As we walked around and viewed the cages, we came across the four-month-old lions. These guys were so young and playful that I’m not sure if they even knew they were the kings just yet.
The close up National Geographic-style photo is amazing, but I can’t tell which age group these lions fell into. We saw so many of them that I was losing track.
Speaking of National Geographic, have you ever watched Meercat Manor? These dudes were chillin’!
The one-year-old lions were especially curious and playful. DJ Wade is making friends.
And their affection for one another was unparalleled. Please ignore Wade’s ass-crack.
Next up we visited this five-year-old male.
The five-year-old male didn’t want to get too close, so Neal got a close-up of him.
On the way back towards the part of the compound that housed the monkeys, I developed a mini-relationship with these three, three-year-old females. They were very intimidating, but once again, I think they sensed that I have a thing for cats. I never thought I’d be sticking my fingers through expanded metal and petting nearly full-grown lions!
I was wondering if the tour was over as we walked back towards our host’s house and found these spring bock antlers.
But then our guide walked us through his home and onto his patio where we found these dudes hiding out.
Just to give you a perspective on how little they were, I included this one.
That’s either one of the best photos or one of the creepiest photos I’ve ever been in, but all I can tell you is that I’ll remember that moment forever.
James Craig was like, “Quit hogging the lions. Let me hold one!”
These two little males were completely oblivious to the world around them. They just wanted to do their thing.
Excuse me young man, but you’re supposed to be the king of the jungle.
Neal got tired of shooting photos and had to be in one himself. Thanks for capturing this day for us, Neal!


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