Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Warmth (or food) brings out animals

Having joined the Friends of the Zoo we are getting our money's worth!  Despite it being a tad warm today we headed in with Arabella, possibly a little earlier than usual.

I'm not sure if the added earliness got us there at a better time relative to feeding or if the warm weather made the animals livelier but it was a really great visit.  A further possibility is that because they are refurbishing the entrance we had to enter through the overflow car park.  Thus we started at the places that were usually the extremity of our visit.

Normally the African Painted Dogs are sacked out asleep.  Today they were around and patrolling.  I think this one was the leader of the pack.
In the next enclosure the Ring-tailed Lemurs were putting on the salad.
I suspect Arabella saw this and decided to emulate them.  Fortunately proud parents had despatched her with a large container of chopped vegies so she was able to munch away happily and healthily.
The hair in this snap belongs to an employee of the Zoo.  Quite why she was providing transport services to a small Lemur is unknown to me.  Frances wondered why I had gone charging off in pursuit of a young lady!
In a FONZ newsletter all was reveleald.   The young lady is the Team Leader of Primates and here is what she has said about this lemur:
This year I have worked particularly closely with one of the zoo’s Ringtailed Lemurs. Makai was born on the 30th September to our female Lily.
Unfortunately, Lily stopped producing milk when Makai was 2 weeks old and we had to intervene to ensure his survival. Hand-raising Makai has been a challenge and an absolute pleasure.
The 1am wake up calls leave you exhausted the next day but he makes up for it with his hugs and constant purring. Makai is now thriving and we are hoping to have him back with his family by the end of the year. 
We then moved to the less exotic displays (anything we see on the lawn ain't exotic) to our first carnivore.  (I have a scar to prove this classification.)  I was quite surprised to see it wandering about at about 10:30.
The Tiger attracted Arabella's attention for a while, but....
 .. the tigers attention was entirely on its bone.
An exhibit featuring Parma Wallabies a Koala had a shade-cloth sail above it, which turned out to be a perfect site for a Peacock to perch and utter its melodious call.
Last time we visited I was pleased to see the Otters.  Today they putting themselves around a buffet of prawns and small fish.
 Once we pointed out to other punters where they were a horde was soon perched on the wall around the pen.
Then into the aquarium (which had been our target - it being cooler than the open air jobs.)  I thought this Eel was quite attractive, as well as being rather large.
 Some small pretties.
I presume this is an aquarium worker trying to capture some of their charges.
 This shows the comparitive sizes of Arabella and a huge Groper.
A little later we met up with a school group, and Arabella seemed to be about the same height as several of the schoolkids.  I see a basketballer in our future.

Some of the keepers were entertaining the kids with snakes but I didn't like to use a flash on them and the snaps were every ordinary.  I was also unsure about the sense of encouraging children to pat snakes.  Most of the ones around here were likely to get a trifle toxic about such treatment.

Well short of basketball size, but with great athletic ability was this spider monkey.  Also a salad
Please note no matinee jackets were harmed in the taking of the following photograph.
I really do think Dingos are fine looking animals, but noted the small grade chook wire erected to keep little fingers out of harms way.

Our final carnivore was this fine Cheetah, which for once was out and about patrolling its run.  (I think the last Cheetah I saw was carrying a Thompson's Gazelle on the floor of Ngorongoro Crater.  The only time we saw one in 2 years in Tanzania.)
Going back the way we came in the Lemurs had swapped from salad eating to leaning against a wall.  They do manage to look very human - in this case like people trying out for roles in a gangster movie!

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