Archive for the ‘cheetahs’ Category
I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a Cincinnati Zoo post. Time to rectify that. I believe I posted about John and Imani, the zoo’s power couple.
They had kids! Three female cubs, named “Huruma,” “Kya,” and “Willa.”
I’m afraid that, in spite of good guidance, I can’t tell them apart. One was sitting close to her parents.
The other two stayed by the fence.
…until one of them decided it was playtime!
Nearby, were Imara and Brahma, the African painted dogs.
They had ten pups, all with “Batman”-themed names.
The “Batman” theme started with one, Joker, who seems to have a question mark on his back.
They had paper Easter eggs in their enclosure as enrichment.
It was fun to watch them scamper about.
Just watching them wore the bat-eared fox out.
As we left the Africa area, we watched a cheetah take a bath.
We stopped by the nursery to see Zeke, a serval cub. He was about eleven weeks old when we saw him.
It was late in the day, so mostly, he wanted to groom himself…
…and take a nap.
We had to stop and say “hi” to Nubo and Renji, the snow leopards.
Our visit began as a lazy afternoon.
But Nubo saw something.
He stalked towards it. I was confused, and fixated on the cats.
Renji joined him. Some idiot kids jumped a barrier, and went to a side of the enclosure not accessable to the public. Not cool!
It did stir them up a bit.
Nubo jumped up on an off-camber…he handles them so much better than I do.
He’s such a handsome cat!
On the way out, we saw a peacock, who wanted to show off.
It was fun to see all the cats, dogs, and babies!
From Philadelphia, we went south to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Our first stop there was the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, otherwise known as the National Zoo. There were several animals we wanted to see, and was an amazing campus.
On entry, a prairie dog peeked up to greet us.
But, let’s face, it, I was there to see cats. The National Zoo did not disappoint. There were two sets of lion cubs, for a total of seven.
They were getting into everything!
…and on to everyone!
There dad is Luke, a very handsome dude.
If I’m reading this right, he’s the father of John, the new African lion at the Cincinnati zoo. Good looks clearly run in the family. And he knows it.
But, seven cubs can be exhausting!
There were also two tiger cubs and their mom. The cubs are right at a year old.
They like to stalk…
…have a drink…
…and, of course, take a nap. They are cats, after all.
I was excited to see a caracal, a cat they don’t have at very many zoos.
He was a bit shy.
The caracal decided to wander off. As a cat geek, I understood, even if I think I was one of the few who was most excited to see them.
As is often the case, the caracal was positioned near a bobcat.
We got to see a snoozing sand cat.
And a snoozing clouded leopard. Like I said, they’re cats; they sleep.
Another sleeping cat we saw was an old friend. Lek is a fishing cat, born in Cincinnati. I have pictures of him and his brothers as cubs.
This Queen City boy has fathered four cubs with Electra, a female.
We like cheetahs.
My daughter has also started taking photos at zoos, getting her own perspective on the animals.
There were seven Asian small clawed otter pups.
Some were busy constructing something.
I’m always amused at zoos when there are animal “tourists.” Usually it’s a squirrel or some birds. The elephants appeared to have a pet deer.
The keepers seemed to indicated this was an ongoing problem, but didn’t really pose a danger to either species.
Meet the Ruppell’s griffon vulture. While this one was hanging out on the ground, these are the highest-flying bird on the planet. They are typically cited as flying in the thin air at 20,000 feet, though there are records of them being as high as nearly 40,000 feet.
Lots of turtles on a log.
Degu are small rodents native to South America.
I’m becoming quite the fan of the burrowing owl.
We had a great day at the National Zoo, and walked over its great expanses.
Our summer vacation took us eastward this year. Our first stop was Philadelphia. There, we checked out the Philadelphia Zoo, the nation’s oldest zoo. I was rather impressed by their animals, as well as the enrichment they were afforded.
One of the neatest bits of enrichment was Zoo360 Animal Exploration Trail, a series of enclosed paths for animals to meander. They had it for primates, but I first encountered some goats.
But the coolest was yet to come: Big Cat Crossing. This path allowed their lions, jaguars, leopard, cougars, and snow leopards to explore the zoo. When we were there, a pair of tiger brothers, born at the Columbus Zoo, were watching the crowds.
They really are handsome cats.
In the big cat area, we also got to see lions.
Maya, a female snow leopard was there with her two (older) cubs, Buck and Ranney. The cubs were quite active, pouncing and wrestling with each other.
Though her kids tried to get her into the mix, Mama Maya decided to stay above the fray.
Such a pretty snow leopard!
The tiger girls were in their enclosure, stalking.
One came right up to the glass I was crouching by to take pictures, and sprayed right next to me. At first I was disgusted, until my daughter pointed out by “marking” me, she was claiming me. I was…honored…really.
There were black-footed kittens!
Of course, they were all asleep. Still quite cute.
Was this one getting up?
Nope. Just shifting.
A Canadian lynx sat in the sun.
There was a cheetah nearby. A keeper gave a talk, discussing his encounters with different cheetahs who passed through his care. The cheetahs had a lure system, which the keeper seemed surprised was good enrichment for the worlds fastest mammal.
The series of tubes proves to be enrichment for homo saphiens, too.
My daughters new favorite animal is the red panda, which I’m a fan of, too.
Quite cute and fluffy!
Tony is a southern white rhino with a big horn!
Ever see a Galapagos tortoise cuddle puddle?
I liked watching the maned wolf. Such striking color.
Having obsessed over their pens lately, it was nice to see brown pelicans Crackle and Snap.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Philadelphia Zoo. It was a good size for walking around and spending a day, and they clearly cared a lot about their animals. And the animals seemed to enjoy each other.
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 must think so, too, as he’s trying to look his best.
They do make a cute couple.
Nearby cheetahs were looking like bookends. No runs were scheduled that evening.
Gizmo, an African white-faced owl, was out. We saw him before. He’s quite cute.
A red panda was in the tree, grooming.
One of the Malayan tigers was demonstrating his camouflage in the tall grass.
A cougar was relaxing in a less-than-camouflaged fashion.
The highlight for me was Nubo and Renji.
The snow leopard duo were bouncing off the walls!
Who says cheetahs are the only cats who can sprint.
We got to see a baby flamingo.
Later, they paraded by.
Before we left, we said “hi” to Louisiana girl Sayia.
It was an enjoyable evening at the zoo.
It’s National Cat Day! Let’s celebrate cats both wild and domesticated.
My wife took up running this year. She started running on a treadmill at the gym. Some mornings this winter and early spring, I’d go to ride a stationary bike (as conditions didn’t support going out riding), I would see her run on the treadmill. She gradually started to incorporate the indoor track, and increasing her endurance. We had an exceptionally nice summer this year, encouraging her to run outside–that’s something, given the hills in our neighborhood.
I’ve been very proud and impressed by her dedication to this.
She decided to do her first 5K run (3.1 miles), which happened this weekend at the annual Cheetah Run at the Cincinnati Zoo. This is an annual fundraiser for the zoo. The course runs both throughout the zoo and it’s beautiful gardens, to outside, looping the perimeter of the zoo.
The run was at 8 AM, but we got a tip from one of my wife’s coworkers that the parking would fill up quickly. This meant that, on a Sunday morning, we were waking up at 6:30. We made sure everyone had their gear, and headed out. It turns out it was good advice. While the lot still had plenty of room when we got there, there were a lot of runners trying to get in to the lot. Complicating matters, some streets were being closed in anticipation of the run. We got parked OK, and had plenty of time to get to the start (at the other end of the zoo).
Still, it was very early, even for a brown bear.
My daughter and I were there to cheer her on (and take pictures). My daughter made a sign, which got lots of compliments.
Notice that my wife is ahead of the cheetah in this drawing.
My wife did great, completing the course in 0:40:25. I’m particularly impressed given the terrain. I’ve taken my bike on a loop around the zoo, and there is a pretty significant climb she had to go up.
I know that, on foot, I could not do nearly as well.
She said she pushed hard, as she wanted to watch my daughter run in the kids’ event, the Cheetah Cub Run.
After the run, the Cat Ambassador Program had a special Cheetah Encounter Show, where we got to watch the cheetahs run. I somehow feel watching a cheetah run after doing a 5K is a bit like watching a house cat stretch after doing yoga: it’s a bit as if the cats are flaunting their superiority. One-year-old Savanna did the first run. I remember seeing her as a cub–it’s amazing to see what a fast, beautiful cat she’s turning in to.
But then she stopped.
The lure is pulled by an electric motor. Mid-run the motor broke down, leaving a very confused cheetah. Watching her confused pacing reminded me of when Beso loses track of a toy he’s playing with.
The backup-up rig was brought out, and the lure restrung. Savanna got a second go at it.
She had a great run.
Sarah, the world’s fastest mammal, shows everyone what true running speed is.
The Cheetah Encounter involves other cats. Jambo the serval came out.
Servals are to jumping what cheetahs are to running–the NBA has nothing on Jambo.
Usually, Minnow the fishing cat jumps into the pool, however, she wasn’t there today. For that matter, she wasn’t there the last time we saw the cheetahs run. I asked afterwards–it turns out her trainer was on vacation, so Minnow wasn’t participating. They said they brought a small pool with fish in it for her. Minnow is a favorite of mine, and I was glad to hear that she is OK.
John the Lion’s enclosure is right near the Cathryn Hilker Running Yard. He was finding a shady place.
I wanted to check on Nubo, my favorite zoo animal. He was asleep, like any reasonable person (or snow leopard) would be on a Sunday morning.
His friend Renji was relaxing, and simply looking beautiful. She could be Queen of the Zoo.
One of the black footed cats disapproved of me. I have no idea why.
The sand cats were sleeping. One up on top of the hill.
The other was off in a corner.
I’m proud of this shot. I got in close, and manual focused to get a good look. However, the lighting in Night Hunters is very difficult to work with, and I suspect the shot would be in the discard pile. However, I think the lighting caught him quite well. A few adjustments in Aperture, and it became one of the best of the day.
Joe the cougar was taking time to smell the flowers.
We checked in on the baby skunk. He’s gotten big!
One animal that was surprisingly lively was the red panda, otherwise known as a firefox.
Ironically, he said he tended to use Safari.
It was a great morning at the zoo. I’m very proud of my wife for her run, and look forward to her next accomplishment.
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.
He was one of the “Magnificent Seven” born at the National Zoo in 2010. No word on if he knew Rusty.
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.
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.
Or just spend an afternoon dozing back-to-back.
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.
Paws up, y’all!
Speaking of kids, the nursery had a baby skunk!
Baby skunks are cute.
Pygmy Falcon Babies are cute, hanging out next to the skunk. Are they plotting an escape?
Are they consulting with the red panda? Probably not–looks like he’s getting his nap on.
…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.
The ocelittle was being groomed by his mother.
Mom! Not in front of the primates!
Sand cats aren’t worried about it.
The black footed cat didn’t care, and was right up in front to let us know he didn’t care.
Another day with a bobcat but no caracal. I hope “Miss Lop-Ears” is OK.
We enjoyed checking out the Africa section, seeing old friends, and making new ones.
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.
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.
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.
The other didn’t let it deter him.
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.
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.
The big thrill in Canadian Domain was the grizzly. One appeared to be juvenile.
The boisterous youngster seemed to be intent on playing with an older bear. Personally, I wouldn’t mess with her.
Adjacent to the Canadian Domain was the Tundra Trek, showing the animals of the Arctic.
Our favorite was the Arctic wolves.
The Arctic fox was displaying his summer coat.
I liked the snowy owl.
The polar bear was having a lazy afternoon.
One thing I found interesting was an inuksuk, a marking stone used by the Inuit.
The America’s section was home to the otters.
We always love the antics of river otters.
The spectacled owls watched us as we entered.
One enclosure had parrots and capybaras. A capybara got a bit too curious about the parrots’ goings on.
He was escorted off their perch.
The Toronto Zoo has two jaguars. One is tawny, taking a bath.
The other was melanistic. It looked a little like Luna.
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.
Zeek the cheetah knew when he’d get a snack.
Such a handsome cat.
Next door was a white lion pride. A male.
…and two females.
We watched them for a bit. I think we bored him.
Obviously, this was in the Africa section, also home to Southern white rhinos.
The antelope played in the drizzle.
And African elephants. African elephants have larger ears than their Asian counterparts.
I’ve seen plenty of pictures of sugar gliders, but I don’t think I’ve seen one in person before.
This was in the indoor Australia exhibit. I liked the reptiles, such as a one year old emerald tree boa.
The bearded dragon just watched.
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.
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.
The spider tortoise is one of the smallest of the tortoise species.
Only one of the two subspecies of tiger, the Sumatran tiger, was visible when we went.
A reindeer was sprinting around his enclosure. It was fun to watch him run.
The Toronto Zoo is getting two giant pandas on a five-year loan.
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?
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.
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.
Last Saturday, my mother-in-law has a tradition of taking my daughter to the Nutcracker in Indianapolis. It’s a very involved thing, including a pre-performance tea with the dancers. This year, they invited my wife, as we were planning on being in town for the first night of Hannukah. I suggested that my father-in-law, also an amature photographer, and I go to the Indianapolis Zoo.
When we got there, there was a California sea lion being very loud.
I mean, very loud.
He got in the face of a harbor seal. I thought it would be a confrontation.
The harbor seal barked back, causing the seal lion to leave. Otherwise, the harbor seal was rather zen-like.
The keepers came out and fed the seals and sea lions. I really like watching the interaction between the keepers and their charges.
One grey seal was paralyzed, and a decision was made to amputate the lower flippers. She seemed to get around fairly well, however.
Indianpolis’s zoo has a significant aquatic section. They had some rays floating around.
The rockhopper penguins perhaps inspired Bobak Ferdowsi.
Judgemental walrus disapproves.
The Asian small clawed otters were rather noisy.
And scattered away.
I liked watching the staw colored fruit bats hang out together.
The Alaskan brown bear slept. Look at those claws!
They had an enclosure with a raven and a bald eagle. I wonder what they talked about.
As we moved to the Plains section, we observed some southern white rhinos telling secrets, probably talking about us.
When we were at the Wilds, we learned that Rhinos use a common latrine. You actually could see it in Indianapolis (though I realized when I got home I neglected to take a picture of it).
I need a price check. Anyone got a bar code reader?
In the Desert Biome, they had a blue iguanas and a radiated tortoise.
Breeding rare iguanas is one of the specialties of the Indianapolis Zoo.
I decided to play with the macro feature on one of my lenses in the snake area. So, I was able to get quite close to a northern copperhead.
The Florida pine snake was somewhat plainer.
Finally, I took a good picture of the eastern massassagua rattlesnake.
Only three cats. I think this is an amur tiger.
The signs did not specifically say they had an amur (or Siberian) tiger on exhibit, but it did speak extensively of a field project about the largest member of the cat family.
I said this female lion had “bed head.”
Her mate took offense to that.
Such a handsome cat. I was trying to describe something specific to my father-in-law, and couldn’t think of the word. I started with “he’s so…” Someone standing next to me chimed in with “incredible.” Fair enough.
The only small cat was a cheetah.
The Indianapolis Zoo appears to have partnered with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. The signage had a cartoon image of their founder, cheetah expert Laurie Marker, explain the efforts to save the worlds fastest land animal.
The cheetah was the only small cat at the Indianapolis zoo.
I had a good time at the zoo, and shooting with my father-in-law.