I recently visited Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, and although it was sad to see the animals in cages, the big cats simply blew me way.
I hadn't seen a lion or tiger since I was a wee lad, and considering the largest animal I encounter in my urban wildlife adventures is a whitetail deer (and even they're considerably smaller than one would expect) the size of these cats was down-right awesome. They're massive.
Their demeanor also moved me: they truly are as majestic and noble as legend and lore would have you believe.
I had a chance to see so many other animals that day that I simply can't cover them all. Let me just say that it confirmed for me that the diversity of life on Planet Earth is jaw dropping. We're definitely part of something truly inexplicable and amazing. If only we can appreciate this fact and not unravel it all.
The only other animal I'll mention at this point were the chimpanzees. It was these guys where I saw our distant relatives, and most uniquely, an intelligence unlike the other animals in the zoo. They came across as the clever ones, and Lord knows they need it, because otherwise those big cats would eat them up in the wild!