Monday, May 21, 2012

Zoo Butts

Did you ever go to the zoo and find all the animals sleeping with their backs to you??  Well that's what happened to my friends Diane, Chris and I yesterday at the San Francisco Zoo.  It was a butt day ... and even those that were looking forward, turned their backs to us when we three walked up with all our camera gear.  I'm sure this is a result of being zoo-raised, otherwise I would think they would be watching their backs for predators ... especially the human kind!!  Since I really didn't think you wanted to see animal butts, I waited around as long as I could and got a few good faces.  The grizzlies were very active having just been fed.  Huge guys ... huge claws!!!
Flamingos on the other hand were sleeping.
I was very disappointed to see that the elephants had disappeared completely, to be replaced by a large rhino.  As we were waiting for the penguins to be fed, the trainer walked up with a handful of celery stalks, lettuce and corn on the cob.
As you can see here, the rhino's large horn has been cut off by zoo personnel.  What a shame that people can't see him in his glory, but those horns are valued by some crazy people as "medicine" and may sell for as much as $5000 ... to protect the rhino from being killed for it's horn, they just cut it off.  
Koalas (don't call us bears) were all asleep, snuggled up on their tree branches.
In between the "sleeping" and the "butts" we took photographs of the gorgeous flowers.  This zoo has lots of exotic plants and flowers as well as animals.
This lion was sleeping totally on his back, with hind legs spread out, just like your household kitty.  But of course when we walked up, he turned his back ... zoo butt!!
Peacock butt!!   We followed this guy for about 15 minutes, right past the "employees only" sign, heading to the back lot, hoping we didn't get caught and ejected from the zoo.
Some time later, we ran into him again after I found some bread crust on the ground.  Using that for bait, we were finally able to see his face!!
By far the most impressive of the day, this big guy literally thumbed his nose at us, turned his back and sat stoically for about 15 minutes.   This is BIG zoo butt!!
Having moved to a better vantage point, someone came along with a crying child (human variety) and he turned around as if he were saying "would someone please check the kid??"
My favorite zoo animals are always the tigers ... but this time it was very weird walking around them, knowing that at this exact spot a few years ago, two young men were killed by a tiger that jumped this  barrier (now fully enclosed by an additional 12 foot tall plexiglass wall).  That animal was killed by a police officer responding to the call.  It is my understanding that they had been taunting and teasing the tigers, throwing things at them.  As you sow, you shall receive ....  At this time there were only two tigers in the facility, accompanied at all times by security guards.  Only one was visible, in a very tiny cage inside.  I chose not to photograph this gorgeous animal pacing back and forth.  Even in a zoo, I prefer to see them outside.

Now THIS beauty ... a snow leopard ... was hanging out sleeping atop a large crate next to the window.  Another zoo butt ... but this time lots of "show me your face pretty girl" resulted in this pose. A perfect way to end a gorgeous sunny day at the zoo.

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