Photographer Dyrk Daniels noticed the 370lb Golden Bengal Tiger had taken an interest in the child, who was leaning against his glass enclosure.
As the tiger, called Taj, headed over to her, Mr Daniels got his camera ready, expecting him to snarl and bang against the glass.
‘I noticed that Taj had taken an interest in the girl and was heading towards her.
‘I thought for certain that the little girl would need therapy after the encounter and fear cats for the rest of her life.
‘I could not believe my eyes when Taj approached the girl, bowed his head and then placed his huge right paw exactly in front of where the little girl’s left hand was.‘It was incredible to watch. Taj let down his right paw, rubbed his cheek against the glass where the little girl’s face was and moved off.’Far from being scared, the little girl was so excited that she started clapping as she walked back afterwards towards her mother.
‘I have never seen such tenderness from such a large predator,’ Mr Daniels said.
My Own Reflection
As I shared on my facebook page earlier...
This powerful tiger could have easily crushed the body of this tiny girl in a second if the glass weren't between the two. He also could have scarred her for life, like Mr. Daniels said, but, after taking an interest in this little girl this powerful creature's reaction was entirely unexpected. He bowed to her! Not only that, but he tried to reach out to this small and innocent baby.
Two things were brought to my attention as I was reading this article.
1. We can all take a lesson from Mr. Tiger. He was obviously the more dominant species of the two, but he did not use his power to intimidate. Instead he showed respect for that little girl and reacted as if she were his own baby. (And he'd never been exposed to her before.)
How much of a wake up call is that? If this powerful creature can treat a stranger, who is clearly inferior, with love and respect, why can't we?
In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says...
If we are more valuable than the birds of the air and the tigers of the land, why is it that they are more civil? Why is it that this tiger showed more respect to a baby than a boss does to their employees or a child to their mother? Why is it that this creature can bow it's head to a baby, yet we (including myself) find it hard to make time to bow our heads and thank the Lord for all He has so freely given?
2. As we all know, the Tiger is often referred to King of the Jungle.
Hmmm.... a King bows to a baby... why does that sound so familiar?
Ooooh! The story of Jesus' Birth!
This "Tiger King" has got it right. He is honoring this tiny child who will hopefully one day become a great warrior of God. This tiny baby will grow up and become a savior. Not the Savior of the World, we've already got that. But, somebody's support, somebody's shoulder to cry on, somebody's protector, somebody's healer. She will be somebody's savior.