Archive for the ‘fishing cats’ Category
Our path back to Cincinnati from Florida took us through South Carolina. We took a break at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, in Columbia. It was a smaller zoo, but had some wonderful exhibits. The first thing we saw was one of my wife’s long-standing favorites, koalas.
We saw two, each in their own tree. We looks a bit closer, and realized our count was off.
One of the koalas had a joey, a little baby, sleeping snuggly with its mom.
Neither did much other than doze. We talked to a keeper, who showed us a video on her phone of the joey riding around on its mother’s back. Cute!
The koalas weren’t the only antipodal animal.
Dragons were hanging out.
One thing I did not like, at least in th aquarium/reptile area, was the lack of signage. I’m not sure if this is an alligator or crocodile. He looked happy either way.
Perhaps because they were playing “dogpile on the turtle.”
One of the many things I learned reading Bill Nye’s book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, is that a group of giraffes is called a “column.”
They had a pretty good cat collection, divided between large and small cats. In fact, they had the largest cat, the Amur tiger.
They had two lions, this handsome male…
…and this shy female (actually, she was just washing her face).
The website indicated they had black-footed cats. Other sources didn’t mention BFCs, but did allude to fishing cats. We weren’t sure what we’d get to see. We first came across a pair of fishing cats.
They are among my favorite felids. We got to see a surprising number of different cats on this trip: snow leopards, jaguars, cougars, leopards, tigers, lions, servals, caracals, lynes, bobcats, fishing cats, sand cats, and black-footed cats. Fourteen in all (fifteen if you include a felis silvestris catus we saw at a bookstore).
I like to take pictures of cats yawning.
As I mentioned, they had a representative of the largest of the cat family, the Amur tiger. The black-footed cat is the second smallest cat.
They are fierce predators–I wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark alley. These two, however, were having fun peeking around their log.
It was a fun stop, and we enjoyed seeing some of our favorite animals.
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.
As I mentioned, until last week, I hadn’t been to a zoo since right around New Year’s Day. I had to look: it had been since late November—NOVEMBER–since I had been to my beloved Cincinnati Zoo.
The Polar Vortex really put a damper on our fun this year.
We made it out this weekend, to make sure we got to see Zoo Blooms. However, the blooms had come up yet.
The Polar Vortex really put a delay on our fun this year.
We did make a point of saying “hi” to the cats. Renji and Nubo were taking a nap, foreshadowing the day.
Nubo did pick his head up to greet us. What a handsome boy!
Naps were the theme inside, whether you were a fishing cat…
The fennec fox was even catching a few Z’s.
Even the animals that were awake were mellow. I’ve never seen a black footed cat on top of this log before this visit. It’s tinyness was obvious.
The caracal, another favorite of mine, was taking a bath. Her camouflage is…um…obvious.
Outside, cougar Tecumseh was also napping.
His brother, Joseph, saw something and made ready.
He gave chase, only to have his prey, a squirrel, run outside the fence.
Better luck next time!
Our journey south continued through Birmingham. When we woke up in Huntsville, I googled the Birmingham Zoo, mostly out of curiosity. It turns out they have perhaps the best small cat collection I’ve seen outside of Cincinnati. It was also close to a restaurant where we thought would make a good lunch stop. Cheap admission through a reciprocal arrangement with the Cincinnati Zoo sealed the deal.
When we arrived, it was a dreary day–cooler temperatures with a drizzle. Cold for Birmingham, but my family are zoo geeks, tough, and slightly crazy. We decided to check it out anyway.
We were the only guests at the zoo–the only other people we saw were staff. The bald eagles looked at us as if to say “primates be crazy.”
We entered the predator house, and started a conversation with the staff, asking about the cats, their names, and where they came from. They seemed to dig that we knew so much, and, as it was near closing and there was no one else around, they walked us through and answered questions.
The first cat we saw was an ocelot named Toby.
Next was a pallas cat (I was told all the names, but for many, I can’t quite read what I wrote).
They had two fishing cat brothers.
I started fishing around to see if they were descendents of Cincinnati fishing cats. They weren’t, but they were Ohio fishing cats–they were born in the Columbus Zoo. They were the third, fourth and fifth cutest kittens in Ohio born in 2011.
They’ve grown to be handsome cats.
Katie is their African wildcat. Wildcats were neat to see for a couple reasons. The African wildcat (felis silvestris libyca) is a subspecies of wildcat (felis silvestris). Another subspecies is felis silvestris catus, better known to me as “Eddy, Luna, and Beso.” Like all members of her species, she viewed humans skeptically, especially ones out on a rainy, drerey day.
What was cool about Katie in particular (aside from her wild good looks) was that she is a clone, produced at the Audobon zoo, to find ways to save endangered species. This is the first time I have (knowingly) seen a clone in person. Even though my morning was spent looking at rocket ships, it was the most SciFi thing I did that day. Katie mated with another clone, and produced a litter of wildcats, who I was told lived up to the wildcat name.
There were two black-footed cats.
Tut was the male.
He watched Mica, the female, walking around.
He’s a handsome cat!
Sand cat Toby seemed eager to see us.
The female, Angsa (but I may have that wrong), just wasn’t feeling sociable.
At 3:30, they do a demonstration of feeding the lions, and how they have been trained behaviors to help facilitate their care. The keepers who do that were walking through, “come on. Let’s go feed the lions.” Though it was rainy and we hadn’t intended to see the lion feeding, we followed our new friends–we were the only guests, and we couldn’t let Aquila and Kwanza down.
Kwanza is a nine-year-old male lion, born on the first day of Kwanza that year.
Back inside, we saw the non-cats such as the mongooses (mongeese?).
We are big red panda fans. They had two adults and two cubs.
We made one last stop, to see the giant otters.
They were huge.
We enjoyed our day at the Birmingham Zoo. In spite of the cold, rainy day, it was a great experience, and it was neat to have an unofficial private tour of their predators. Thank you so much!
Last Sunday (September 23) was World Rhino Day. Rhinoceroses are critical endangered, in no small part due to poaching.
The Cincinnati Zoo was in the headlines recently, as they are attempting to breed the only two Sumatran rhinos in North America. So of course, on World Rhino Day, they were hanging out in one of areas in the back. In their defense, we were there rather late in the day.
The Indian rhinoceros, however was not only out, but playing with some bamboo. Rhinos are among my favorite zoo animals (outside of felids, of course).
Coincidentally, Saturday (the twenty-first) was International Red Panda Day, another favorite zoo animal (outside of felids, of course).
The Bactrian camel really doesn’t care what day it is.
A takin is goat-antelope, native to Himalayas. They are regarded as a vulnerable species.
We went to check out Woodstock, a manatee.
He did rolls near Betsy, another manatee.
Prom season is in the spring, isn’t it?
We went to go say “hi” to Renji and Nubo. When we walked up, it almost seemed like there was only one snow leopard out.
But, it became apparent that they were both in there (Nubo is on the right).
Heart-shaped snow leopards!
The pallas kittens are still hanging around–one up on some rocks; another was down low. He wanted to go up to see his pal.
So he jumped!
It was quite impressive!
It is sometimes hard to imagine these little pallas kittens are smaller than adult black-footed cats.
The sand cat was dozing–love how his paws were arranged.
We haven’t seen the caracal all summer–I’ve been worried. She wasn’t there this visit, but we did see scat in her enclosure. This made me feel a little comforted.
Ever since they remodeled the Cat House into Night Hunters, it’s been very difficult to get a good picture of the fishing cat. Usually, it takes pulling every light-gathering tick I have, manual focussing, and anticipating where she’s walking. Today, she was still, and I pulled out my 50mm f/1.8 for the first time in a while. And, got a really good shot.
It was a great afternoon to spend learning and supporting one of the great animal treasures of this world.
We went to the zoo today, for the annual Zoo Blooms event. Where last year, where a mild winter left us without blooms, it was a colorful spectacle.
Of course, the main reason I go to the zoo is to see the animals. The first animal I took a picture of was a little wallaby.
The black bear was having a nap.
The Siberian lynx, however, was watching everyone.
One of the clouded leopards was on a pedestal.
She was bathing herself, in the “cello” pose.
A black-footed cat was watching what we were doing. He seemed concerned about what was up.
Miss Lop-Ears the caracal napping on top of some rocks.
Mama fishing cat was, too.
We went outside to see what was going on. I’ve been fascinated with tigers a lot lately.
Springtime is when snow leopards usually have cubs. I have no information, and snow leopard Renji has been dozing the last few times I’ve been to the zoo. Fortunately, Nubo makes a great pillow.
Two reptile animal ambassadors were out today. Periwinkle was a blue tongue skink in the Night Hunters building.
Tallahassee the alligator was hanging out in the gift shop. We’ve seen him before.
It was an absolutely gorgeous and colorful day at the Cincinnati Zoo!
Just when it looked like we’d go the whole month of March without getting out to the zoo, we had some of the best weather we’ve had in a while. The zoo also had some things going on for Easter. We caught the tail end of it, when cougars Joseph and Tecumseh were given melons to roll around.
They rolled them around like toys our coalition plays with.
Such handsome cats.
We wanted to see if the ocelittle born New Year’s Eve was out. We couldn’t find her, but did see an ocelot.
I was playing with my camera, trying to use my manual focus in some of the darker enclosures, where it seems to struggle. One result was a decent shot of the fishing cat. They had put some fish in her enclosure to chase after.
I also got a picture of the black-footed cat at the far end of the enclosure.
The other one stood up top and judged me.
U haz no skillz.
Miss Caracal, on the other hand, was posing, and looking gorgeous.
The Snow Leopard Trust was pointing out that snow leopard mating season has been going on. I have no official word, though I did want to check on Renji. She and Nubo, however, were having a cat-nap.
I thought it was birds of a feather that flocked together.
I watched some snow leopard videos last week, that left me jonsing for a trip to the zoo. I made it out that this last weekend. On the way to the Night Hunters, I saw an Andean condor.
Next door was a stellar sea eagle.
Once at night hunters, one of the Pallas cats was hanging out on a rock checking out everyone who came in. He seemed quite interested in me.
The clouded leopard was having a bath.
How many cat owners know what I mean when I describe something as the “chello” pose?
I got my best shot of the bobcat! Such a handsome cat.
The fishing cat is in the hardest spot to get a picture. There are computer screens immediately opposite her glass, giving everything a very blue light. Black and white, unfortunately, is the only way to go.
The sand cat, always a favorite, seemed quite pensive up against the glass.
Outside, the Siberian lynx was out–it was a cold enough morning for it. I hadn’t seen her in a while.
Tecumseh the cougar was sleeping in a ball.
His brother, Joseph, had to photobomb him!
The tiger area wasn’t too crowded, so I could spend some time looking at these amazing cats.
The Cincinnati Zoo has Malayan tigers, the second smallest tiger subspecies. They weigh in at just under two hundred pounds. In contrast, the Amur tiger, the largest cat, weighs nearly twice that. I’ve been reading a book about Amur tigers, titled Tiger: A true Story of Vengeance and Survival. I’ll probably post more about the book once I finish it, but the author cites a description of tigers having a “heavy grace.” I think it is quite apt.
Snow leopards Renji and Nubo were having a quiet Sunday morning, relaxing in the sun.
I have no idea what Renji saw.
Nubo wasn’t that interested.
It must have moved. She’s such a pretty cat!
Yes, Nubo, you’re cute, too.
The arctic fox was in his vantage way up high.
I walked up to the otter enclosure. One walked right up to me.
Could someone please clean this window?
Finally, the Mexican wolves were enjoying their morning.
I had an afternoon off, and went to the Cincinnati Zoo. I heard they had two arctic fox pups.
Cute little guys.
While not the Arctic, it was a chilly day.
Snow leopards Renji and Nubo were having a nice day. Renji walked with her tail high.
Nubo just laid in the sun.
Renji thought laying in the sun was a good idea.
Joseph the cougar surveyed his domain.
Inside Night Hunters, the Pallas cat practically insisted I take his picture.
The black-footed cat was posing, too.
So cute for a cat known as the ant-hill tiger.
I have no idea what he’s doing back there.
For whatever reason, there were a lot of toys out. Sand cats aren’t that much bigger than house cats. It stands to reason, they might have the same taste in toys.
Mama Fishing Cat was pondering deep thoughts.
I also took a few pictures of Miss Caracal…but more on that later.
It’s an annual tradition at the Cincinnati Zoo: the Festival of Lights. The zoo stays open late, with hundreds of LEDs strung throughout the zoo.
Obviously, a yuletide theme was used on many of the lights.
Of course, some were suggesting warmer climates.
Being dark and after their typical hours, many animals weren’t out. However, the polar bear seemed quite appropriate to say “hi” to.
Apparently, the Cincinnati Zoo is one of the places a team of reindeer hang out. Will they be there tonight?
The iconic Elephant House at night.
The turtles weren’t out, but they were represented in lights…
…and in bronze.
The cougar brothers were being quite active, and had quite the crowd. It was difficult to get a good photo of them. Still, it was neat to see them romp and tackle each other, much like Eddy and Beso.
Cat Canyon, where snow leopards Renji and Nubo are, was closed. Perhaps they were busy helping the Christmas Snow Leopard?
Inside the Night Hunters building, however, the pallas cat kept watch. They look warm and fuzzy.
Most cats were asleep, including the clouded leopard…
…and the black footed cat.
Even Miss Lop-Ears the caracal was sleeping. Can you find her?
However, Mama Fishing cat was up and active.
Good to see her up and about.
The fennec foxes kept watch as well.
It was a great night to go to the zoo.