Yesterday (June 3) was my birthday. My mom had come up, and wanted to see the zoo. It’s such a hardship for me…
The key reason she wanted to go was to see Gladys, an infant gorilla.
Her mother, a first-time mom, wasn’t taking good care of her, so the folks who run the gorilla Species Survival Plan (SSP) met. They determined that the Cincinnati Zoo, with a long track record of baby gorillas, would be a great place for her. Right now, she is being raised by a team of human surrogates. They treat her as a gorilla mom would, so they can eventually hand her off to a gorilla mom. They are taking great pains to ensure that she is not overly bonded to humans.
She was sleeping when we first got there. The head of the gorilla department (and on the SSP) gave a talk, and they listened.
Then Gladys decided it was time for climbing practice.
As I said, the keepers in no way see Gladys as a pet. Still, it must be an incredible experience to be part of saving an animal like her. I admire the keepers who take the time to do this, and make a point of doing it right.
This is a Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, who was watching us.
My mom has always liked elephants.
The male is named Sabu. We spent a good while watching him, and talking to a volunteer. He clearly loved this animal.
Dunbar was greeting guests with a keeper. He’s a plated lizard. She said that his ear holes are connected–you can actually see through his head when the light is right.
Lulu, the baby giraffe was out.
She seems big to me…until I look at her parents.
Going with my mom meant I went to parts of the zoo I don’t normally go to. For instance, I don’t often see this clever Sumatran orangutan.
Or Kenneth, the large spotted genet.
It was my birthday, so, of course that meant cats! We went to go see the cheetah run, where serval Jambo showed his jumping ability.
Chance had a great run (and I got artsy with my photography (what do you think?)).
Baby cheetah Savanna ran–the first time I got to see her go.
She’s grown a lot. What a beautiful cat!
Of course, when running on as even a nice day as we had, it’s important to stay hydrated.
While at the Cheetah Encounter, we saw two zoo celebrities. Thane Maynard, the director of the zoo, was talking to some folks as we came in. Sitting two rows in front of us was Catheryn Hilker, who established the cheetah program, as well as the person who had the idea of zoos taking animals to schools. She’s one of the reasons we have cheetahs in the world today. I thought about saying “hi,” but got embarrassed, and didn’t.
I wanted to see the snow leopards. Renji was being a bit lazy.
What was really cool was they were giving Nubo a snack! We got to be relatively close to him, and watched him dine. He is an amazing cat–look at those paws!
Nubo was in a very playful mood, pouncing at Renji, in a game of tag I’ve seen my cats play. The things she has to put up with!
What a gorgeous girl!
What about the Pallas’ kittens?
They were following their mom around.
As is the ocelot mother, whose ocelittle was thought her tail was a great toy.
The bobcat watched us. Miss Lop-Ears the caracal wasn’t there…hope she was OK.
It was a great day, with great weather. I’m glad my mom got to spend my birthday with me and my family at the Cincinnati Zoo.