Archive for the ‘birds’ Category

Red Panda Village at the Knoxville Zoo   Leave a comment

Red Panda Portrait
Our last stop on our way home was at the Knoxville Zoo. One really nice perk of a zoo membership is reciprocal agreements with other zoos. Most either offer free admission or give a signficant discount to members of other zoos. In Knoxville, all we had to pay for was parking. Our museum membership has a similar network–definitely a great way to support local institutions and at the same time save money on vacation.

It was, however, a somewhat grey day, with showers on and off. There were very few other attendees, as the animals were also taking it easy. The river otter, however, was having a good time doing back flips.
Otter Backflip

Otter Backflip 2

They have a striking profile.
Otter Profile

My daughter has been taking up the photo habit as well.
Otter Paparazzi


There were a pair of non-releasable bald eagles hanging out.
DSC_0217

The red wolf is a very endangered species. The core wild population is actually in my old neck of the woods: southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas.
DSC_0234

I think we woke the lion.
Relaxing Lion

We went to go see the Malayan tigers, where a keeper was just wrapping up a talk.
Tan the Tiger

We spoke with the keeper. Tam, and his brother, were cubs five years ago in the Cincinnati Zoo. They were some of my first cat photos! I showed them a few baby pics, with a lot of “awwws.” They looked at my favorite shot of them, below, and they thought it might be Tam.
Snug in the Logs

The drizzle picked up, and Tam got bored of us.
Tan Wanders Off

The centerpiece of the Knoxville Zoo is their Red Panda Village.
Firefox Trio

In fact, more red pandas have been born in Knoxville, 101, than any other zoo in the Western Hemisphere. Only a Dutch zoo has had more.
Panda Ball

Red pandas are the only remaining true panda species. The giant panda–the black and white kind–are actually bears.
Boop the Nose!

Red pandas were actually discovered (and named) first.
Firefox Logged On

They also happen to be my daughter’s favorite animal.
Caits and the Red Panda

We had a lot of fun wrestle and chase each other.
Wrestling 5--In the Tree

Wrestling 1

Wrestling 2

Wrestling 3

Pounce!
Wrestling 4--Pounce!

We could have spent a long time watching the firefoxes, as red pandas are also known, play. However, we had to make our way back to Cincinnati.
Bye Bye, Firefox

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Baby Snow Leopards at the Akron Zoo   2 comments

Otter Sculpture

My daughter has been at camp this month, leaving my wife and I alone. This gave us a weekend to ourselves. We felt that the combination of being temporarily childless and our anniversary entitled us to a romantic weekend away…

To Akron.

Not an obvious choice, but there were a couple things we thought would want to do. One of the things we wanted to check out was the Akron Zoo. Zoos are a favorite of my family, but, in particular, we wanted to see Malaya and Makalu, their baby snow leopards.
Siblings

They weren’t quite three months old when we got to see them, and were only out for about an hour-and-a-half. There was a line to see them–groups were allowed to go to the window, and you could get back in line (which we did–four times). It was actually well run. When we got there, Malaya, the girl, was climbing about as snow leopards (and, really, all kittens) are want to do.
Cub on an Incline

On the Cliff

Climbing Cub


Her brother was dozing at first.
Tuckered Out

On our second pass, he moved to the other side, where he could see the deer in the next enclosure.
Interested Cup

It was then that we realized that Shanti, their mother, was in there with her. She was quite stunning.
Mama Shanti


With mom around, everyone settled in for a nap (and a family portrait).
Sleepy Family Portrait
I have a 16:9 aspect ratio version of this photo for use as wallpaper on Flickr.

We walked by the snow leopard enclosure later–it was near the entrance–and Roscoe, the father was out. He was equally handsome.
Roscoe the Snow Leopard

If a bit cheeky.
I Think I'm Annoying Roscoe

Near the snow leopards was a cool jaguar.
Pretty Jaguar

Jaguars are one of three cat species who enjoy going in water (along with tigers, and, of course, fishing cats). This jaguar wanted his floaty.
Getting the Ring

Got it!
Grabbing the Ring

Speaking of tigers, Jae Jae was dozing. Cats do sleep a good chunk of their days.
Tiger Doze

Shani and Tamarr, the lion couple looked quite magnificent on their perch.
Lion Couple

The second most interesting cat was an example of felis silvestris catus, a domestic cat.
Sneaky Cat

She was stealing the food from a pair of storks.
Unaware

We were told that this was a stray who had a kitten. The keepers were trying to catch her, but haven’t had much luck. They said that the storks don’t seem to mind. The cat, however, got a bit annoyed when they took a step too close.
DSC_6085

One thing we did learn in all this is that storks are carnivores. I hadn’t really considered it one way or the other.

The birds were pretty cool. They had five non-releasable bald eagles.
Bald Eagle

I’m afraid I got a bit too close to the burrowing owl. Once again, I’m sorry, little guy!
Burrowing Owl

The flamingos were hanging about in their pond. They always make me think of my mom.
Flamingos!

Two different canids were present. We loved watching the coyote run around, even without a road runner.
Running Coyote

Happy guy!
Coyote Grin

Next door, a red wolf napped in the sun.
Rolling in the Grass

“Why did you wake me?” (We didn’t really wake him, but he did look like he could use a cup of coffee.)
Wolf Needs His Coffee

The otters got a great tank to swim in, and we could easily get different views of them–and them us!
Diving Otter

I love to see red pandas, even when they are in a ball, as Zheng demonstrates.
Firefox Ball

There was a small aquarium, which had lionfish, a favorite of mine.
lionfish

And a Galapagos tortoise sunning himself.
Sunning tortoise

I really liked the Akron Zoo. It is a smaller zoo, but all the enclosures seemed very up to date. Their app is awesome, and gives the names for many animals (in some cases, I couldn’t tell who’s who, but nice to have some idea). They had some neat displays, such as one showing how coral exhibits photoluminescence.
glow in the dark

There was a slide that went through part of the otter’s tank. They could easily stay away from it, but I saw them swim along with sliding kids (or, kids at heart).
Otter Slide


There was a cool sculpture by the eagles.
Eagle-Go-Round

One think I really liked was that almost every enclosure had a tag for an advocacy group for that animal. For instance, by the snow leopards, there was one for the Snow Leopard Trust. Appropriately, I was wearing one of their t-shirts.
Romantic Weekend in Akron


We had a great time at the Akron Zoo, and definitely think we’ll need to go back with our daughter.
Nap on a Log

Bouncy Snow Leopard   Leave a comment

The Marvin Lewis Community Fund sponsored Learning is Cool. Cincinnati Public School students who were on the “A” honor role twice were invited to an evening at the zoo, and receive a medal, given by members of a local sports team. Once again, my daughter was on the “A” honor role four times. Of course we would go to the zoo!

John the lion has a new pal, Imani.
John and Hiding Imani

She’s pretty!
Imani

John must think so, too, as he’s trying to look his best.
John's Bath

They do make a cute couple.
John and Imani

Nearby cheetahs were looking like bookends. No runs were scheduled that evening.
Cheetah Bookends

Gizmo, an African white-faced owl, was out. We saw him before. He’s quite cute.
Gizmo!

A red panda was in the tree, grooming.
Firefox Bath

One of the Malayan tigers was demonstrating his camouflage in the tall grass.
Tiger in the Grass

A cougar was relaxing in a less-than-camouflaged fashion.
Lazy Cougar

The highlight for me was Nubo and Renji.
Handsome Nubo

The snow leopard duo were bouncing off the walls!
Bouncing Off the Walls

Who says cheetahs are the only cats who can sprint.
Who Says Cheetahs are the Only Sprinters?

We got to see a baby flamingo.
Flamingo Baby

Later, they paraded by.
Flamingo Parade

Before we left, we said “hi” to Louisiana girl Sayia.
Seyia

It was an enjoyable evening at the zoo.

Saint Louis Zoo   2 comments

I was surprised to realize that, in 2014, I haven’t been to a zoo. I’ve been to the Newport Aquarium, but the last time I saw non-fish was when we went to the Birmingham Zoo just before New Year’s Day. The Polar Vortex played a large role in that. With Spring and Zoo Blooms upon us, I’m sure we’ll be rectifying that, but it really had been far too long. When we had an opportunity to visit the Saint Louis Zoo, we were excited.
St. Louis Zoo Statue

The Saint Louis Zoo is among the oldest zoos in the country, and has many of the original buildings (at once an interesting and depressing point). It’s also notable that, for what many regard as a top zoo, admission is free. If you look hard enough and/or don’t mind walking, the whole day can be of no charge to you.

The first animal we encountered was a Malayan sun bear. I confess I thought this small bear was a cub until someone clued me in.
Malayan Sun Bear

Next door, a grizzly bear appeared to be sleeping one off.
Passed Out Grizzly

We set out towards the big cats, making a stop to say “hi” to one of our new favorites, the red panda.
Amblin' Red Panda

He climbed up to some of his favorite treat, bamboo.
Climbing to Bamboo

A nearby prairie dog seems to have picked up the bamboo habit from his neighbor.
Prarie Dog with Bamboo

Some of the enclosures are historic. This isn’t uncommon in many zoos, though they do try to house species which are a better match to the space by modern criteria. There was one indoor area for some animals, such as the giraffe, where the age showed, and was retro in the sense that it wasn’t generally done. In there, I didn’t want to take pictures. I’m sure the animal welfare is considered–the Saint Louis Zoo is AZA accredited (the gold standard, in my opinion), and participates in Species survival Plans–but it seemed some upgrades were needed.

Another place this seemed to come out was in the big cat area. The animals did have plenty of space, but it did not seem to have the modern attempt at habitat like, say, Cat Canyon. The Amur tiger, largest of the felids, had plenty of space, but the area had an artificial bent.
Amur Tiger

He was able to confer with a next-door jaguar, again, in a seeming unnatural fashion. Neither cat seemed to be bothered by the presence of the other. Personally, I worry when two cats have too many conferences.
Cat Conference

As you can see, the jaguar is melanistic–a panther! I couldn’t see spots from the distance, but I always love how light plays on a black cat’s coat.
Stalking Jaguar

I have a soft spot in my heart for black cats.
Black Cat

The lioness seemed to be having a chat by a gate.
Girl Talk

The snow leopard took an afternoon nap.
Snow Leopard Nap

The Amur leopard was also taking a nap.
Leopard Nap

Amur leopards are among the rarest cats in the world. There are 176 are in captivity, and less than thirty believed to be in the wild.
Sleepy Eyes

There were only three small cats on display, mostly due to their position on the purr/roar line. The snow leopard, cheetahs (who weren’t out on this dreary day), and cougars. They were also hanging out in a cave.
Cougars in a Cave

However, for some reason, they had a Bobcat in the black rhino’s enclosure.
Bobcat in the Rhino Enclosure

The zebra grazed a bit.
Zebra

One of the non-cats I always love is the okapi.
Okapi

The oakpi are related to giraffe, which seems obvious from their tongues.
Okapi Tongue

Two cow-like critters were represented. The bantang…
Bantang

…and the takin. Not sure if he’s been promoted to Grand Moff.
Grand Moff Takin

A small herd of red kangaroos was munching on grass.
Red Kangaroos

The sea lions were having an argument.
Sea Lion Argument

The Asian elephants kept their distance.
Asian Elephants

Hyenas always strike me as awkward looking.
Hyena

My daughter is a huge otter fan.
Caitlin at the Otter Statue

A river otter surveyed his domain.
Master of His domain

In the bird exhibit, a rhinoceros hornbill ate lunch.

I had never seen a bateleur eagle before, but was taken by his colors.
Bateleur Eagle

The crested wood partridge also had some great color.
Crested Wood Partridge

The Bali mynah is a rare bird, with only sixty left in the wild.
Bali Mynah

The tawny frogmouths were hanging out.
Tawny Frogmouths

A burrowing owl took a break from lunch to say “hi.”
Burrowing Owl

Outside, there was a bald eagle.
Bald Eagle

His wings were impressive.
Big Wings!

Overall, we had a great time at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Family at Saint Louis Zoo - 5x7

Birds of Lake Charles   2 comments

My mom lives right on Lake Charles. The region seems to attract a wide variety of birds, and we often go feed them. Unlike last year, we saw no pelican. However, two Muscovy ducks were hanging around.
Muscovy Ducks

My daughter and her cousin named them Marvin and Lucy, but truly, I’m not even sure of their gender. We didn’t exchange names.
Muscovy Duck

They were pretty however.
Rocky Shores

They seemed to enjoy looking out on the water like we did.
Sitting by the Docks

Until they decided it was time to fly off.
Goodbye, Muscovy Ducks

The seagulls were all too happy to eat the bread my daughter and her cousin were offering.
All the Birds! 2

Seagulls


Special shout out to Laurie and @twitricia for helping to identify the Muscovy ducks. I honestly had no clue.

Posted 2014-01-05 by Mr. Guilt in animals, birds, Louisiana

Checking in on Santos the Ocelittle   1 comment

Santos, the ocelot cub (“ocelittle”) at the Cincinnati Zoo is about the size of Eddy when I first met him. I have to remind myself that he was only two weeks old, and will sleep a lot more than he plays. I decided to check on him today, at the three-week mark. He was still a sleepily little boy.
Sleepy Santos

Love the chin!
Ocelittle Chin

But he did start to wake up a bit. I got to see his eyes!
Santos the Ocelittle

Santos Profile

Clearly, he’s more capable. I got to see him walk around a bit…
Sittin' Santos

And even play with a keeper, and the plush animals in his enclosure.
Ocelittle vs. Clouded Leopard

That Tickles!
That tickles!

I was a bit crazy going out to the zoo–the temperature never saw above thirty. I stopped into Night Hunters, in part to warm up. A black footed cat was in plain sight.
BFC Meatloaf

And a sand cat fell asleep on top of his hill.
Sand Cat Nodding Off

The bobcat looked like he had some news for me…
Bobcat

Miss Caracal was back!
DSC_3118

I hadn’t seen her since at least the spring. I don’t know where she was, but I was getting a bit worried. It was really good to see her again!
Miss Caracal is Back!

While humans weren’t fond of the cold day, snow leopards live for it. Renji and Nubo were up front, and happy to have a chat.
Renji and Nubo Enjoy the Brisk Day

Nubo was a bit of a show-off.
DSC_3140

Renji maintained her mysterious composure.
Pensive Renji

While there are plenty of unusual animals in the official collection, there are “wild” animals that pass through. The problems squirrels were causing made news lately. Today, I saw a domesticated cat, probably a stray, on the grounds.
Stray at the Zoo

I had mentioned I didn’t get to see puffins too often. My wife pointed out the Cincinnati Zoo had them, we just don’t go in the exhibit that often. I was passing it, it looked warm, so I popped in.
Cincinnati Puffin

I also got a family picture of all three red pandas!
Red Panda Clan

While cold, it was a good day to see the zoo, and I am glad to see little Santos growing up.
Sweet Santos

HallZOOWeen Twenty-Thirteen   Leave a comment

DSC_2673

The Cincinnati Zoo wrapped up HallZOOween this weekend. We always enjoy going. My daughter went as Hello Kitty.
Tail

We got to see Gizmo, the African white-faced owl, again. He had just come to Cincinnati last time we got to meet him. He’s really a cool bird.
Gizmo!

Nearby, we got to see all three members of our giraffe family.
DSC_2630

John the lion looked increadibly regal.
Golden John

He was very interestedin what we were doing.

John on the Ridge

The artic foxes are changing from their summer to winter coats. Still, there were a fwe spots of grey.
Getting Out His Winter Coat

The black bear was taking a nap.
Practice Nap

I’m really not sure what this cougar was looking at (I can’t tell if it was Joseph or Techumseh without seeing their face). Watching them, I could see my cats’ moves in them.
What Does He See?

Nubo was looking for something, too.
What Does Nubo See?

It simply bored Renji.
Renji Sings!

Nubo then wandered off.
Nubo Stalks

We’ve become quite taken with red pandas–they’re definitely towards the top of my non-cat list.
Firefox Strut

The zoo has a baby red panda, but he wasn’t out. I suspect this was one of his parents, eating bamboo.
Nomming Bamboo

Overall, it was a great day at the zoo.

An Afternoon at Hueston Woods   5 comments

Cougar CaveI’ve been making trips to Oxford, Ohio on my bike a couple times this month, even doing a loop of Hueston Woods State Park. While doing a loop of Hueston Woods was one of my favorite bike rides while in college, I rarely went beyond it.

However, we were looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon, and I came up with the idea of going out there. I figure we could be nostalgic alumni, having a late lunch at Bagel and Deli. This was one of our favorite places to grab a sandwich while my wife and I were in college. Afterwards, we could go to Hueston Woods State Park, and hike some of their trails. My wife thought it would be fun to go down to Acton Lake, which centers the park. The other advantage is that it set us up for going to the original location of Jungle Jim’s, as we needed some things we thought we could only get there.

The deal was sealed when we discovered their nature center had a cougar. The web page suggested they just got it–cougar cubs are awesome! There was no date on the post, so it could well have grown up by now. Still, it would be great to see the cat.

We got a bit of a late start–we didn’t get to Oxford until a quarter of Four. Our late lunch (or is it now and early supper?) would be a picnic. We drove to the Nature Center. One neat thing was that most signs not only detailed facts about the animal, but also their names. Timber, the cougar, was in his enclosure, hanging out in his house.
Shy Timber

Next door Eli, a bobcat, was having supper. Eli was originally a pet, but his owners could not continue to care for him, so he was surrendered to a wildlife rescue. Prior to that, he was declawed, so there is no way he could be released into the wild. Things I believe that this underscores: wild cats aren’t pets, and declawing is bad.
Eli's Supper

The Nature Center was also home to a Raptor Rehabilitation Center. Several birds of prey were present. Nannok is a rough tailed hawk.
Nannok the Rough-Tailed Hawk

Next to Nannook was a great horned owl, whose name I didn’t catch.
Great Horned Owl

The largest enclosure was for a bald eagle.
Bald Eagle

Rose is a red-tailed hawk.
Rose the Red-Tailed Hawk

A close-up of the hawk’s eye.
Eye of the Hawk

Clyde, the barred owl, kept looking away. I finally said, “Clyde, can I please take your picture?” He turned to look at me. Handsome owl!
Clyde the Barred Owl

My personal favorite, however, was Rachel the kestrel.
Rachel the Kestrel

After checking out the nature center, we had our bagels, enjoying the unseasonable-for-August weather, which was absolutely pleasant. Then, we went to the Cedar Falls trail, and started hiking.
Creek Bed

Creek Valley

Blue Rock Falls

What's Down There?

We saw wild crawfish.
Wild Crawfish

“Daddy, can I take a picture with your camera?”
DSC_1415

After our hike, we went to the beach at Acton Lake.
Sailing on Acton Lake

Seagulls and geese…an odd combination.
Geese and Seagulls

Summer strut

Lakewatch

We left as the sun was starting to set. As we drove around the loop, we noticed all the other things at Hueston Woods: horse rental, archery, even tree climbing. It’s amazing how many things are in this area–and it’s not that far from home. We’ll definitely have to come back.

Posted 2013-08-19 by Mr. Guilt in animals, birds, bobcat, cats, cougars, Family, Ohio, owl

Meeting the Lion at the Cincinnati Zoo   3 comments

The Cincinnati Zoo opened up their new “Africa” section while we were on our trip. One of the older parking lots was converted to a large exhibit space, between the rest of the zoo and the Cathryn Hilker Running Yard. Some parts of Africa, such as the flamingos and giraffes, have been there for a while. Other parts, such as the hoofed animals, will be joining next year. This year, we got tawny lions. The first to come out was John.
John and the Donut

He was one of the “Magnificent Seven” born at the National Zoo in 2010. No word on if he knew Rusty.
John from the Front

He’s still exploring his enclosure, and making it his. Here is an example of some of the marking behavior he did to some trees.
Lion Scratches
Could someone get a kitty a scratching post?

This handsome young man will be joined with a female from another zoo, as part of a Species Survival Plan. As I keep telling Renji and Nubo, Cincinnati is a great place to raise kids.
Afternoon Snooze

Or just spend an afternoon dozing back-to-back.
Back to Back</a
The snow leopards are still in Cat Canyon…I just had a good segue.

While there have been cheetahs running continuously, since they closed the old cat canyon, none have been on exhibit until the new Africa section.
My Head!

Paws up, y’all!
Paws Up Y'all!

Speaking of kids, the nursery had a baby skunk!
L'il Skunk

Baby skunks are cute.
Baby Skunk Needs a Hand

Pygmy Falcon Babies are cute, hanging out next to the skunk. Are they plotting an escape?
Pygmy Falcon Babies

Are they consulting with the red panda? Probably not–looks like he’s getting his nap on.
Plotting Panda
…Or that’s what he wants us to think!

We stopped by Night Hunters to check on the little ones there. The pallas kittens were dozing in a “bowl,” showing how their coats camouflage them.
Pallas Kitten, Sleeping in the Rock

The ocelittle was being groomed by his mother.
My Ears are Clean Enough, Mom!

Mom! Not in front of the primates!
Perched Ocelittle

Sand cats aren’t worried about it.
Emergency Sand Cat Bath!

The black footed cat didn’t care, and was right up in front to let us know he didn’t care.
BFC Back

Another day with a bobcat but no caracal. I hope “Miss Lop-Ears” is OK.
Lazy Bobcat

We enjoyed checking out the Africa section, seeing old friends, and making new ones.
Lion Family and My Family

All Over the Toronto Zoo   1 comment

A six hour drive westward brought us from Montreal to Toronto, where Canada’s largest zoo is located. The Toronto Zoo has a large collection of animals, as well as visitors in the parking lot.
Birds on Cars

In terms of area, this is the largest zoo I’ve seen with the exceptions of the Wilds and the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park. Most of the large animals had enormous enclosures. For example, the bison practically had a prairie.
Bison in the Field

The Bison were in the Canadian Domain section. Half of the small cats we saw were there. Two Canadian Lynxes were hanging out in the drizzle. One was trying to hide from the rain.
Lynx Hiding from the Rain

The other didn’t let it deter him.
Lynx in the Rain

They also had a pair of cougars. When we were standing there, we learned that a government agency released a couple of cougars to take care of an overpopulation of fishers, a fierce member of the weasel problem.
Relaxed Cougar

We saw plenty of “moose crossing” signs as we drove through Quebec, but never saw a moose (or a deer, for that matter). We watched this gentle giant enjoy his lunch.
Moose (No Squirrel)

The big thrill in Canadian Domain was the grizzly. One appeared to be juvenile.
Romping Young Grizzly

The boisterous youngster seemed to be intent on playing with an older bear. Personally, I wouldn’t mess with her.
Mama Bear

Adjacent to the Canadian Domain was the Tundra Trek, showing the animals of the Arctic.
Peeping Wolf

Our favorite was the Arctic wolves.
Arctic Wolf

The Arctic fox was displaying his summer coat.
Arctic Fox, Summer Coat

Sleep-Walking

I liked the snowy owl.
Snowy Owl

The polar bear was having a lazy afternoon.
In a Cave

One thing I found interesting was an inuksuk, a marking stone used by the Inuit.
Inuksuk

The America’s section was home to the otters.
Underwater Otter

We always love the antics of river otters.
Otter on the Float

Waving Otter
Hi there!

The spectacled owls watched us as we entered.
Spectacled Owls

One enclosure had parrots and capybaras. A capybara got a bit too curious about the parrots’ goings on.
Nosy Capybara

He was escorted off their perch.
Pushy Parrot

The Toronto Zoo has two jaguars. One is tawny, taking a bath.
Bathing Jaguar

The other was melanistic. It looked a little like Luna.
Black Cat

The cheetah keeper was giving a talk at 1:30. We got there at 1:27, and saw no cats. Right as my watched hit half-past, we saw a head.
Peeking Cheetah

Zeek the cheetah knew when he’d get a snack.
Zeek Looks for His Snack

Happy Cheetah

Such a handsome cat.
DSC_9800

Phhhht!
Phhhhhbt!

Next door was a white lion pride. A male.
Lion Meatloafing

…and two females.
Lionesses

We watched them for a bit. I think we bored him.
Dreamy Lion

Obviously, this was in the Africa section, also home to Southern white rhinos.
Rhino Butt!

The antelope played in the drizzle.
Antelope

And African elephants. African elephants have larger ears than their Asian counterparts.
African Elephant

I’ve seen plenty of pictures of sugar gliders, but I don’t think I’ve seen one in person before.
Sugar Glider

This was in the indoor Australia exhibit. I liked the reptiles, such as a one year old emerald tree boa.
Juvenile Emerald Tree Boa

The bearded dragon just watched.
Bearded Dragon

A sign indicated that their clouded leopard was an older cat, and the zoo keepers were trying to keep her comfortable. She simply dozed as an older feline should.
Tired Cloudie

The gaur is a fairly rare species–from what I can tell, the Toronto Zoo is the only one in North america who has them. Also known as the Indian Bison, it is the tallest species of wild cattle.
Gaar

The spider tortoise is one of the smallest of the tortoise species.
Spider Tortoise

Only one of the two subspecies of tiger, the Sumatran tiger, was visible when we went.
Relaxed Tiger

A reindeer was sprinting around his enclosure. It was fun to watch him run.
Reindeer Sprint!

The Toronto Zoo is getting two giant pandas on a five-year loan.
Panda, from Above

There was a large “Interpretive Center” on the way in, speaking about these creatures. It left me perplexed: they eat only one species of bamboo, but only get nutrients from about half of what they consume. They eat all of their waking life. Have they become overspecialized?
Panda with Bamboo

The Eurasian exhibit was, for the most part, closed. A tram went through part of it. We were told we could see the snow leopard, and given a series of wrong directions, leading us to circumnavigate much of the zoo, only to finally find out that, while the snow leopards were still at the zoo, they could not be seen while we were there. This exhibit is being remodeled, set to open in 2014. This was a major disappointment to me.

However, it was still a very impressive zoo. We were there pretty much from opening to close, and I’m not entirely sure how we would have fit in another section during our time there. The exhibits were well done, and there was a lot of space for the animals living there.

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