I've heard that from numerous people, really. Not sure it ain't true!
AS I've said in previous posts, I have mixed feelings about zoos. I have no doubt the animals would rather be in their native, open habitats. I do also think that most of them wouldn't live as long as they have out in the wild. I know for a fact that I would *never* see any of these creatures in the wild. Or, if I did, I'd be far too terrified to enjoy the experience. Face to face with a puma or a lion or even a larger-than-me-by-far herbivore would cause me serious incontinence.
All qualms aside, though, I do love going to the zoo. The grace, the perfect adaptation to environment, the ineffable self-ness of these creatures is something to behold. I do think there is some consternation going on with some of these creatures, though.
Dirt's not supposed to be orange, yo. Damn Dixie red clay!
The zoo authorities actually had a notice up stating that elephants are not supposed to be this color. At least they provide the animals with a dust wallow, even if it is not an authentic elephant colored one.
Aside from that detail, the animals in the big Africa enclosure seem happy and calm. Speaking of large hebivores, the NC Zoo covers two continents. There are a few other African species there.
A zebra having a good scratch,
and this very tall crew.
We can count some big North American animals too!
This guy looks like he's posing for his portrait on a nickel. We also get some major American omnivores.
Black bears, who apparently do the social grooming thing, and..
...grizzlies! Who can do whatever they please, as long as they do it far away from me! Big, big scarey beasts, these.
I do, though, love the cats most. Like you couldn't guess that one.
There is a charming little ocelot (ocelittle??) in the Sonora Desert exhibit. It was found in a trap, and had to have two toes removed. Since it probably would have had a short life in the wild, it was acquired by the zoo. It is one of the prettiest creatures I've ever seen. I got a short, poor quality video of the creature having a wash. There's crowd noise, and some faces reflected in the glass, but it's the best I could do.
We also saw the lions.
I don't think I've ever seen this dude do anything but sleep.
No, no...you're right. It's all he does. And he snores. My mama told me about males like him. <sigh>
I wouldn't want to piss this lady off! Look at the triceps on her! (note: Ivy had some seriously powerful triceps like that, too!)
Probably the coolest animal I saw, though, was the cougar. The zoo had had to put down their old cougar several months ago. He was 17 years old (came to the zoo after being rescued from an owner who had him illegally) and his kidneys failed, poor guy. The zoo acquired 3 cougar kittens from Oregon, where they were rescued when a hunter killed thier mother. They are about 7 months old.
They came to the zoo when they were about 8 weeks old. We saw them in lounge-mode in the morning. Went back on our way to the car in the afternoon and saw one of them get up!
She came down to the very edge of the enclosure and proceeded to roll around. She was also looking at the walls and roof of the enclosure. I can only assume that, being an intelligent creature, she was trying to discover a way out. Here's a short video with the same disclaimers as before. I did, however, managed to capture a yawn, some cougar-kitten tummy and some not-so-wee-feets-for-Fiona!
Cats, it seems, is cats.
That being said, this cat could, and probably would, end me. Lovely, lovely animal, though.
You've been admiring other cats again? You should remember, THIS CAT can end you. Really. Now, give me treats and chin skritches. I might, just maybe, forgive you.
Time to run. Thanks for plowing though a long post!