Thursday, February 23, 2017

IT'S A ZOO IN HERE!!

Said everyone who has ever walked into my rig!!   There's no sneaking around the motorhome here ... the dogs will warn me with five minutes of VERY loud barking!!  Once you have actually made it inside, Jonathan the yellow head parrot chimes in and suddenly you can't hear yourself think!!

Funny ... both Patty and Dan were heard to murmur the above comment.  For me, I guess it's normal. The only barking is Cooper when I don't throw his ball fast enough, or he wants to get my attention because it's rolled under the dash where he can't reach it.

Thinking about the ZOO I live in, I decided to check out Tucson's Reid Park Zoo.  Who would have thought there was a regular zoo in the middle of the desert?  Honestly, I wasn't expecting much, but I was wrong.  It's a GREAT ZOO!!

I started off early ... it's always good to beat the crowds when it comes to photography.  I check out my route ahead of time, but that doesn't mean I don't get lost.  Somewhere along the way I took a wrong turn ... actually I think I didn't turn when I should have ... and ended up WAY off course.  A quick stop to get my bearings and I discovered I was miles away.  So much for being early.

When I finally arrived, I was pretty disappointed.  The parking lot was small, not boding well for the zoo.  As I walked through the gate after the $8.50 entry fee, I could hear the tigers roaring.  What a great sound to hear in the morning.  I followed it to the elephants.  That's weird .... did I miss something?  Don't they usually give you a map?

After passing ten peacocks sitting on the fences and in trees, I came to the giraffes. As I walked around to get a better shot, I discovered you can FEED the giraffe here for an extra $3.  I'll take that offer.
It was the coolest thing EVER!!  They give you carrots, the giraffe extend their crazy long necks and you hold out the carrot.  These guys actually wrap their tongue around the carrot and pull it in.  It's black ... their tongue that is .... for the first ten inches ... then it is white.  
You're going to LOVE these guys!  The two gentlemen helping out were as nice as they could possibly be ... friendly and animated enough to make you laugh.  I would be too if I had THIS job all day!!
Not really wanting to be touched or petted, they zeroed in on the carrots every time.  I got a quick pet and a raspy tongue wrapped around my fingers.  Pretty slimy, but no worse than horses!!
I'm liking this zoo a LOT!!  Next up a Southern White Rhino.  Although one of the employees was on the other side of the very large enclosure banging on the fence to get her attention, this big gal was only interested in her alfalfa.  The tip of her horn has been cut off, I imagine for safety.  
Next up, the best elephant enclosure I think I've ever seen.  It's probably five acres, all of which keeps the elephants very visible.  This morning they were snacking on 2" thick tree limbs.  Around the entire enclosure were huge tree trunks, like four foot around, for them to play with.  That's big momma on the left with a young, too friendly male.
Meet Nandi the baby, born in 2014.  She's getting pretty big and her tusks are just starting to show.
She was trying to eat the smaller branches, but the big guys kept trying to steal them.  She finally walked within 20 feet of me, stepped on the end, then placed it in her mouth with her trunk.  As she walked forward, a piece broke off in her mouth.  Pretty smart cookie.  There's also lots of African music playing loudly in the background ... a nice touch.  There were 6 or 7 elephants in this big enclosure, along with a waterfall and huge swimming hole.
I kept following the paths around, even though I had no idea where I was going.  It's laid out pretty well ... just keep going and you will see everything.  There were lots of exotic birds ... too many to show you today, so I'll just get back to the good stuff!!

I finally found out where that huffing was coming from ... the tigers were looking for breakfast!
This baby looked like she needed a little glucosamine.  Both looked a little stiff like arthritis had set in.  I pretty much know that feeling!!  This habitat had a huge waterfall with a river for them to play in.
When this baby came around to my side of the fence and turned his butt towards me, I ran.  I knew what was coming.  I can't say as much for the boy who I yelled a warning to.  He didn't get it ... well he DID GET IT ... but it wasn't my message ... it was a nice spray from the tiger.  About that time, the boy got MY message, but of course it was too late!!  
There were three lions in their habitat which was also large and accommodating.   The two females were lounging after breakfast, while the male was sound asleep in the cave.  Sound familiar??   
There were many more exhibits and creatures to see, but I didn't want to inundate you with pictures. The otters (which were HUGE) were playing in their big waterway, chasing each other around.  This guy is actually licking his lips.  Maybe it's springtime at the zoo!!
These little guys were unexpected.  Momma duck had eleven babies swimming around in the capybara exhibit.  They got more attention than anything at the zoo.  
I've got more pictures to show you, but I really need to look up some bird names.  There's nothing less interesting than seeing bird pictures with no names ... oh, here's a bird .... and another bird.  I'll try to do my homework and get some names for you.  

Although bird enclosures may not be your forte, check them out anyway.  Just go in and stand still.  Listen for the tweets (not on your phone) and see if you can find them.  It's like geocaching or treasure hunting!!

Back home in MY zoo, I snuggled with the puppies on the couch.  This is us practically every night.  I can never get much done because if I move, I get ugly looks.  About 9:00 pm, Jonathan wants to talk ... just like a guy, right? ... when I'm ready to hit the sack.  
Yes Jonathan, you're a pretty boy!!  The problems begin when he calls the kitty ... KITTY KITTY KITTY COME ONNNNNN!!!  That makes Jessie whine and howl ..... and the zoo is back in business!!







5 comments:

  1. Those are some beautiful photos.

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  2. Next time you get a chance Look up highbred Jaguar female lion male
    Than switch the sexes Colors are fantastic

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  3. The information was taken from online source

    Do you know that there are four species of giraffes with nine subspecies
    I didn't either until six months ago
    Giraffes are one of Africa’s most iconic animals, instantly recognizable to people of all ages and backgrounds from around the world. Many people don’t realize that there are actually nine different subspecies of giraffe, three of which are found in Kenya: the reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata; also known as the Somali giraffe), Rothschild’s giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi), and the Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi; also known as the Kilimanjaro giraffe).
    Reticulated giraffes are found predominantly in the northern portion of Kenya, but they are also quite common in zoos and wild animal parks; we ticked this subspecies off our list during our visit to the KWS headquarters in Nairobi. Rothschild’s giraffes are highly endangered because they frequently hybridize with other subspecies; only a few hundred “pure” individuals are thought to exist in the wild. One of the few locations where they can be observed is Lake Nakuru National Park, where small herds of them can often be found foraging together. By far the most common during our travels was the Masai giraffe, which can be seen in parks, on reserves, along roadsides, and on pastureland.

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    Replies
    1. I had no idea ... I sure do love them though!!

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