With summer in full effect here at Fluid, our thoughts are turning toward our favorite summertime activities.
On the top of that list is spending time with friends and family at Lagoon — a hundred-year-old amusement park located just 17 miles up the road from Salt Lake City.
We were excited to learn a recent hire, Abbigale Williams, has an awesome connection to the park. So we did a brief Q&A session with her to learn more about it.
Q: What is your connection to Lagoon?
A: I have always loved Lagoon because I grew up with it literally in my backyard. On top of that, my grandfather, Richard J. White and uncle, Clyne R. White, are the veterinarians for Lagoon. As part of their compensation for taking care of the animals, they get free Lagoon passes.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories of your grandfather caring for the exotic animals at the park?
A: I will never forget the time Titan and Athena, the two White Siberian Tigers, were at my grandpa’s home because their mother didn’t know how to care for them. Since my grandparents are getting older and I live down the street from them, I would run over to feed, bathe and play with the tigers. By the time Christmas came around that year, Titan and Athena were the size of medium dogs. My whole family was eating Christmas dinner with two tigers running around like it was no big deal.
Q: Did you or him ever have any close calls with the animals?
A: We were always very careful, so we never had any really close calls. I do remember when I was about 10 years old, my grandpa let me come with him to check on the animals. I stayed right by his side, but when I passed the black panther’s cage, he stuck out his paw and scratched my shoe. I was so startled that I screamed and jumped back from the cage. But my grandpa looked at me and said, “he just wants to play with you, Abbi.”
Q: What is your favorite memory of helping your grandfather with the animals?
A: I love watching my grandfather work with the animals. He really does have such a love for them, and it’s fun to see that they recognize him. One silly memory I have was back in high school. Lagoon was getting ready to open for the summer season and grandpa needed to do a routine checkup beforehand. He said I could tag along, and I brought my boyfriend at the time with us. The tigers saw my grandpa and got so excited that they ran up to the cage to get his attention. But when Titan saw my boyfriend (a strange male to him), he became very defensive, got up on a platform, and before we realized what he was doing, he sprayed my boyfriend with tiger urine! He smelled awful the whole day.
Q: What is your favorite animal at Lagoon and why?
A: I love Titan and Athena! They are not only beautiful and majestic, but I got to hold and feed them when they were little.
Q: Aside from the animals, what is your favorite attraction at Lagoon and why?
A: I am the biggest fan of Cannibal. It’s fast, furious and the only rollercoaster of its kind. If you haven’t yet, wait through the massive line and go ASAP (it is so worth it).
Thanks Abbi for talking to us and sharing some of your favorite Lagoon memories. We are excited to go to the park this summer and will be sure to check out the tigers.