Friday, November 14, 2014

A Day at the Zoo

Thought for the day:  Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened. [Anatole France]

[Morguefile]
I've always liked going to the zoo, even when they were kinda crappy... you know, back when they were mostly comprised of miserable little cages with concrete floors. When I was a young girl, the Baltimore zoo had two celebrity critters I'll never forget: Robert the gorilla, and Betsy the famous painting chimpanzee. Robert at least had a larger cage than the others, out of respect for his massive size, but he mostly spent his time hanging out on a tire swing and making faces at the people gawking at him through the glass. Betsy the famous painting chimpanzee... painted pictures. (Go figure!) I don't know if she liked painting pictures, but she always looked happy to me. She was even featured on some TV shows... like the Dave Garroway Show... where she sat on a stool and covered a canvas with paint. People allegedly paid good money to buy her paintings, but I doubt if she got a fair share of the proceeds. Maybe an extra banana or two.

Anyhow, now that zoos build more natural habitats for their animals, a trip to the zoo is better than ever. Smarticus and I went earlier this year, and I'm finally getting around to sharing some pics with you.  We actually went on Mother's Day, when (ta-DA!) moms get in for free. (Slick, huh?) Not only did the free entry appeal to my cheap frugal side, but two of the pandas were heading back to China the next day, and I wanted to see them one last time before they left. So, here we go. Some pics... along with a few fun facts.

The more shrimp flamingos eat, the pinker their feathers are. They hold their bills upside-down when they're feeding... which they may do for hours on end...  so they can filter out the food while skimming the water. Cool, huh? Know the proper term for a flock of flamingos? A flamboyance.





[icanhascheezburger]


Theoretically, the gender of a parakeet can be determined by the color of the bump of flesh above its beak. (Called the cere.) It's typically blue on males, and brown on females, a fact my big brother already knew when we were kids. Based on the blue cere, he told our grandmother her parakeet was a boy, and when her little Petey started laying eggs, she wasn't at all impressed with that dirty sow bird.

Warthogs get their name from the wart-like bumps all over their faces. They're so ugly, they're cute. They have good senses of smell and hearing, but their eyesight is quite poor, which is probably a good thing. If they could see each other more clearly, their love lives would probably take a big hit.

Elephants are the only mammals that can't jump, but they CAN swim, and when they're swimming in deep water, they hold their trunks up like snorkels. They're very social animals, and have greeting ceremonies when reuniting with a friend they haven't seen for a while, in which they twine their trunks around each other in what looks like a  hug. They also play, laugh, and ... cry. They even pay homage to the bones of their dead by gently touching the skulls and bones with their trunks and feet. When passing by a place where a loved one died, they stop at that spot for several minutes of silence.

[icanhascheezburger]


Giraffes look kinda clumsy, don't they? But don't interpret that to mean they're slow. Even when they're loping along at a leisurely pace, they're moving those long spindly legs at about 10 MPH. And when running? They can zip along at 35 MPH, but not for long. They run out of breath quickly.

Their fur patterns are as unique as fingerprints, and giraffes from the same area tend to have similar fur patterns, kinda like gang signs.


I don't know if he was moving 35 MPH or not, but this fellow galloped over to the feeding platform pretty darn quickly. Check out his tongue! Giraffes have twenty-inch long prehensile tongues, which they use similarly to the way elephants use their trunks. They not only use their tongues to grab things, but also for personal grooming... like cleaning their ears, and picking their noses. Um, yeah. Moving right along.

Oh, and in case you didn't notice, giraffes are TALL.


[seniorark]

In the wild, a gorilla will build its own nest or sleeping platform, but he'll only use it for one night. (I guess he prefers fresh linens?) Each gorilla has a unique nose print. (Especially if he has the sniffles.) They communicate with gestures, body postures, sounds, and by slapping their chests. In captivity, they've even been taught how to use... sign language.






[morguefile]

And now for the stars of the day. The pandas. I took a lot of pictures of them, but I'll only foist three on you.

For obvious reasons, in China, the adorable black-and-white panda is symbolic of yin and yang. Also of peace. (I reckon pandas spend so much time eating, they don't have any time left to waste by fighting.) Hundreds of years ago, warring tribes in China would raise a flag with a picture of a panda on it to stop a battle and call a truce.

Twins! Cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan, who turned a year old a couple months after I took this pictureare the only surviving giant panda twins ever born in the U.S. It's hard to imagine by looking at them now, but each one was only about the size of a stick of butter at birth. Pandas are still an endangered species, but zoos have become more successful at breeding them. No easy task. A female is only fertile 2 or 3 days a year, and she isn't always in the mood to mate. If she does get pregnant and successfully gives birth, there's still the very real risk of her rolling over on that little stick of butter and accidentally killing it.



These chubby critters eat a LOT. Matter of fact, they spend from fourteen to sixteen hours a day stuffing their faces with bamboo. On average, they eat twenty-five to thirty pounds of bamboo a day, but in the springtime, they may eat as much as a hundred. Their bodies only absorb twenty to thirty per cent of the bamboo's nutrients, so as you can imagine, they also produce a LOT of panda poo. An adult may excrete a mind-boggling sixty-two pounds of poop in a single day. (See? Don't you learn cool stuff here...?)

So how about you? Do you love going to the zoo? What's your favorite animal?

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature.  [Albert Einstein]

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.




96 comments:

  1. We have been members of the L.A. Zoo for as long as I can remember--probably close to 50 years!!

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    1. That's terrific. I'll bet you've seen a lot of changes take place in that zoo over all those years

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  2. I haven't been to a zoo in a long time. Although I'm grateful that more zoos have "natural" habitats for the animals, it makes me sad to see them in cages. I think it was the Indianapolis zoo that pushed me over the edge. Our visit took place many years ago so I hope conditions have improved, but when we were there they had an elephant with a chain on one leg who was under an umbrella in a cage. He was chained to the center of the umbrella. He stomped in a circle around that cage over and over and over. Knowing how sensitive elephants are . . . thinking about him hurts my heart. I think we also had a painting chimpanzee at the zoo in Topeka, Kansas, when I was growing up. If I recall correctly, one of his paintings won an award in an art contest. That's more than I can say I've done. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit. I'm sorry I'm a downer. The good news is that I discovered something interesting in my neighborhood this week. Some people on the other side of my street had what appeared to be a very chunky dog in their backyard. A closer look revealed that the chunky dog is a pig. I've heard that pigs are very intelligent and friendly. When Franklin and I go for our walk, I call out a greeting to the pig.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I know what you mean. It's sad to see any animal trapped in a tiny cage, but the open more natural habitats in most of today's zoos provide room to roam, and zoological studies and breeding programs go a long way toward saving some species from extinction.

      I remember when elephants were treated like that, too. Just horrible. When we first visited the Atlanta zoo, the animal that made me saddest was the poor polar bear. Our weather here isn't exactly conducive to the comfort of an animal like that, in his outdoor cage fitted with a pitiful little pool of water. There ARE no polar bears there now.

      HA! A chunky dog, huh? (Is his name Bacon...?)

      Happy weekend!

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  3. The KFC Witness Protection Program, and the giraffe pictures, made me holler out loud.
    The last time Spawn and I went to the Zoo, we saw people standing around for ages waiting for the Cockatoos to talk...nothing. Until Spawn stepped forward and there was a frenzy of words and wings. It was like that scene out of 'The Omen', when the animals go crazy as Damien walks through the Zoo. (true story)

    Always interesting and as witty as hell. That's you that is.

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    1. HA! That's hilarious, and I'll bet your son got a huge kick out of it. (As long as his mother didn't accuse him afterwards of being a birdbrain...)

      Reminds me of a visit to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. back in the fifties. One of the ladies in our group was a loud in-your-face kinda gal with a very distinctive... and also very loud... jackass kinda laugh. She got to laughing in the bird house, and darned if a myna bird didn't pick it up, and started laughing just like her. The two of them laughed back and forth so long, the rest of us laughed until the tears were running down our faces.

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  4. And giraffes have the same number of neck bones as we do. Which I found amazing.
    Love the pandas - and really, really appreciate how much zoos have improved from the concrete prisons I remember. Sadly they are probably going to be the only places some species survive in.
    Which hurts my heart.

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    1. Oh, very cool about giraffes having the same number of neck bones as we do. I'd read that somewhere, but had forgotten all about it. It sure LOOKS like they oughta have more, doesn't it?

      It hurts my heart, too, but I'm glad people are working hard to keep those endangered species alive

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  5. Hi Susan - thank goodness zoos are 'opening' up their cages and giving the animals more room to roam ... but it's an excellent place to see such a variety of animals ... I have to say the warthogs are my favourite - after my Africa days ...

    It's a wonder of human civilisation that we can help Pandas breed - though it doesn't sound as though they'll ever really be able to live properly in the wild - though I know China is doing its bit.

    We need to protect all our species ... loved the little informative notes - cheers Hilary

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    1. That's right... I guess you got to see some warthogs in the wild when you were living in Africa. I saw a documentary about them in which a young warthog was separated from its mother and was trying to find shelter and acceptance by other animals. He was adorable. (And was finally reunited with its mother.)

      Cheers!

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  6. It is so good that zoos changed a lot! The famous Hamburgian Zoo 'Hagenbeck' started 1907 the first zoo worldwide without bars - thus giving the animals more room (and safety distance for the visitors.
    I always have mixed feelings in a zoo - love of course to see the animals - but at the same time think: an eagle has to be free, a leopard too.

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    1. Wow! In 1907?! That zoo was way ahead of its time. I'm glad the other zoos around the world are finally catching up.

      I understand about the mixed feelings, and admit to having a bit of them myself. For example, I'll never see a family of apes in the wild, so I truly appreciate being able to watch them interact at the zoo habitat, but the question that niggles is whether our right to observe animals should trump their right to be free.

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  7. Zoos are getting better - the best I've seen is the night zoo in Singapore. The open in the evening, and you can see all the night animals doing their thing in the dark. (Including the tiger!)

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    1. How cool! Our zoo also has special evening tours and even overnight packages, but I have a feeling the zoo in Singapore takes the experience to a higher level.

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  8. Oh Susan this was cute... I am glad zoos are getting better... I haven't been to one for many years and our zoo does not have the types of animals you wrote about...

    I want to know how in the world a panda bear is not extinct... wow, unbelievable that they can only mate a couple of days per year and sometimes they don't even want to do that... oh my

    Whoa to the amount of bamboo... I won't complain about the food I have to buy for my cat ... lol

    Have a great weekend :)

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    1. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

      It IS a bit of a miracle the giant pandas are still in existence, isn't it? Lots of people are working very hard to try to keep it that way, too..

      Nope, I'm not gonna complain about the amount of food we have to buy for our cats, either... OR the amount of "treats" I have to clean out of the litter boxes every day. Sixty-some POUNDS of panda poo? Um, no thanks...

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  9. I'm not even sure I have a soul but if I have it has been awakened many times as I have loved so many different animals during my long life.
    I am intrigued by the diversity of creatures at that zoo (including lots of our budgerigars ... I have a granddaughter who is now breeding them).
    I love flamingos and pandas....they always delight me as do nearly all animals and birds.
    Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us.

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    1. It's kinda ironic in a way, isn't it? Loving animals somehow keeps us more in touch with our humanity.

      I only showed a teensy portion of the animals who live at our zoo. (You're welcome...) We have quite a diversity. No bears, though.

      My pleasure. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  10. haha always fun to go to a well run zoo. The gorilla with the finger has to win out for me. But they are all fun to see

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    1. HA! Yeah, that gorilla looks like he MEANS that hand signal, too!

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  11. I never liked zoos - probably because all the ones I saw made me feel sorry for the animals in their cages. I'm glad zoos now make their enclosures more like the real environment and your zoo looks pretty darn nice indeed :)

    As for the pandas, they're awful cute but holy cow! 60lbs of poop a day!!!

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    1. I hope you get an opportunity to visit one of the more modern zoos sometime. It might change your mind after you watch orangutans chasing each other across a field and somersaulting down a hill.

      Yeah, I KNOW! Sixty pounds... that's a lot of pooper scooping!

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    2. With all that fibre I bet they never get bowel cancer.
      Out here zoos bag the manures and sell it to the public as Zoo Poo, a garden fertiliser. More recently Panda Poo has been available. Proceeds from sales all go back into zoo maintenance.

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    3. Probably not. Maybe I should consider adding a little bit of bamboo to my diet, too...

      Good idea! Now that you mention it, I'm pretty sure our zoo sells "exotic" manure, too. I was never in the market for it, so I never looked into it.

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  12. I remember going to The Bronx Zoo many times when I was a child. Once, I made a funny face at a monkey and he/she threw a banana peel at me. I guess I deserved it.

    I agree that zoos are so much better today. It always bothered me that so many beautiful creatures were locked up in cages like prisoners.

    There was a very small semi-zoo near our home years ago that had mostly farm animals roaming the fields and a barn that housed small rodent types kept in cages. There was also a not so large enclosure that held a black bear. I think the prisons in Mexico are more humane. The bear lived(?) there for many years and it was so sad to see. One day the headline in our paper stated that someone killed the bear with an arrow. We never found out who did this deed but I am not sure it was done with malice but rather by someone who wanted to put the poor animal out of its misery.

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    1. You're lucky it was just a banana! (I remember monkeys throwing much worse...)

      I think you may be right about that bear. It's horrid to force them into little biddy cages, and someone may have been determined to give them freedom, one way or another.

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    1. Yep. Aren't you glad YOU don't have to clean it up? (I know I am!)

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  14. Everything I always wanted to know about pandas and more...a LOT more :)

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  15. I love zoos. As a kid I spent as much time as my parents would allow at the San Francisco Zoo. I'm glad I was too naive to realize how horrible it must have been for the animals in those awful concrete and iron cages. I see photographs taken back then, and I cringe. While I wasn't fortunate enough to visit the Atlanta Zoo or see the pandas (darn!), I am a member of the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. It's one of my favorite places in the world. I still have yet to visit the New England Zoo.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. Too bad you never made it to the Atlanta zoo to see the pandas. When the first one first arrived, you had to schedule a time to be there, and were limited as to how long you could stay, but now, there are more pandas, and less restrictions. (I'd say NO restrictions, but I'm sure climbing into the habitat with them would be highly frowned upon.)

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  16. My last zoo visit was to the Central Park Zoo to research something I needed for a book. I enjoyed all the animals greatly, but I do admit I spent a lot of time scouting out places for my characters to run and to hide ...

    I felt like a kid again, imagining an adventure in the zoo where I had to hide from bad guys. ;)

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    1. I can just picture you checking out viable hiding places. That'd give a whole different (and fun!) perspective to the experience.

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  17. I love going to the zoo, and you're right, it is much nicer now than it used to be. I enjoyed your photos. Walking around and seeing all the animals is a fun and relaxing way to spend the day. It is a different experience every time you go too. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Yes, you're right. It IS a different experience each time, and I like to take my sweet time and enjoy every exhibit. (Just like going to a museum!)

      You have a terrific weekend, too!

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  18. I am not an animal person, but I do like the zoo. The San Diego Zoo is fantastic. Here in TX - the FT.Worth Zoo is nice and the Dallas Zoo has really improved - their Elephant savannah area is great. I've always liked the monkeys, of course and I find the snake area creepy but intriguing. Nice post and yes - pandas are awesome. Oh and koalas.....can't stop listing 'em all. Have a great weekend

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    1. The San Diego zoo has GOT to be fantastic. (Remember when someone from that zoo would take some of the animals on Johnny Carson's show?)

      Um, for somebody who isn't an animal person, you seem to enjoy an awful lot of animals!

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  19. You're making me want to go to the zoo!

    I love the sign, the flamingos and the parakeets! Have a great weekend, girl!

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  20. I too have never liked zoos. seems kind of cruel. But after seeing what "humans" will and can do to the wild animals it is an option.
    Tucson has the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum which has local wildlife and plants. Fabulous !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I know what you mean about how some people treat animals in the wild. Unfortunately, humans are sometimes far less than humane.

      Cheers back atcha!

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  21. I have been torn, but I am certainly glad that they're building enclosures that more closely resemble the animal's habitat! I wish you a terrific weekend :)

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    1. Me, too. Some of the old zoos were pretty dreadful.

      You have a terrific weekend, too!

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  22. This was a wonderful tour conducted wonderfully well, Susan. Especially glad to learn about Betsy the chimpanzee --I didn't know anybody beside me painted for bananas.

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    1. Thanks, dude. Hey, nothing wrong with painting for bananas. In fact, the idea holds some a-peel...

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  23. SUSKI ~
    This was a very fun and informative blog bit. Good stuffs!

    >>... Know the proper term for a flock of flamingos? A flamboyance.

    Wow! That's so... PERFECT!

    I learned a number of things here today, and had fun doin' it, too.

    One photo above reminded me of a clever meme I saw last week:

    "Dear Middle Finger:
    Thanks for sticking up for me."

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Mr. McC-

      Thanks.I'm glad you enjoyed it..

      I missed that meme. What a hoot!

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  24. That's a lot of bamboo...
    Gene Simmons has nothing on that giraffe!
    Zoos today are so much better.

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    1. Yeah, it takes an incredible amount of bamboo to feed all the pandas at our zoo.

      Well, I dunno. Simmons might have a shorter tongue, but I'll bet he plays the guitar a lot better than the giraffe.

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  25. Lovely post that brings a touch of nostalgia to my heart...

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  26. I'm still cracking up at that first photo. That gorilla knows very well what it's doing. Great post. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thanks.I'm glad you liked it. I dunno if that gorilla knows what he's"signing," but that picture sure cracks me up.

      Greetings from Atlanta.

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  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  28. I always learn something from your posts! Interesting stuff about the elephants...well, and the panda poop, too!

    (Had to delete the previous comment due to an embarrassing typo!)

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    1. You might not always learn something you WANT to know, but hey! Who knows when someone might ask you how many pounds a panda poops in a day...

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  29. Love elephants. Love giraffes. But really, the flamingos tickle me pink!!!

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  30. I do enjoy going to the zoo, they sure have improved over the years and as for a favorite, I like the ones that are awake when I am there, how many times have you found the animals napping :)

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    1. Good point. There were quite a few times we went in the heat of the summer, and all the critters were curled up in the shade somewhere. One might say they were behaving more intelligently than we were.

      Thanks so much for the super review on Amazon and Goodreads. I really do appreciate it.

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  31. I love going to the zoo, but it's too expensive here, so I rarely get there. Our pandas barely look at each other, let alone mate.
    I learned from my mum that parakeets can change sex when necessary, for instance if a flock has too many males, (or none) some will become female to lay the eggs and increase the numbers. The cere changes colour when that happens.

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    1. Getting into our zoo is pretty expensive, too, which is why I was so psyched to find out they were letting mothers in for free on Mother's Day. Some of the other places around town offer free birthday entrance. Maybe your zoo might offer similar deals? Your zoo probably has something I'd dearly love to see some day... a duck-billed platypus. The only zoos in the world that have any are in Australia and New Zealand.(You lucky ducks!)

      Very cool info about parakeets changing gender. Thanks! That would explain why my grandmother's male bird suddenly started laying eggs. I don't remember if its cere changed color or not. The poor frustrated thing. It was in a case by itself, so none of the eggs were fertilized.

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    2. ARRRRGH. It was in a CAGE by itself...

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  32. Thanks for your reply in my latest post. You're right, who got us into this pickle? Men in suits and ties. And yet we're afraid of hoodies. Goes to show, doesn't it? Thanks. :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  33. Yep, and hoodies are so much more comfortable and practical than a suit and tie. Too bad society isn't afraid of the suit-and-tie image.I have a feeling most men would gladly stop wearing them. Purely to put society's minds as ease, mind you. Has nothing to do with getting rid of the noose-like strip of cloth strangling them. (Riiiight.)

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  34. Many Bears live in zoos. I, for one, however, do not. Life in a zoo seems so limited and confining. I'd rather be out in the wild, creating havoc, or having fun. (Right now, though, I'm settling in to hibernation.)

    Blessings and Bear hugs

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    1. There used to be quite a few different kinds of bears at the Atlanta zoo... even a polar bear, which was the cruelest of all, considering our climate here. No bears at all there now. Although I miss seeing them, I'm glad they're gone. Better they be like you, out in the wild, creating havoc and preparing for hibernation.

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  35. I get in trouble with fellow tree huggers sometimes when I say not only should more zoos be built but that the ones that exist should be increased to the biggest possible size. With seven billion humans on the planet, and many of them tearing the place up to make a buck, we'll need zoos to protect as much of our natural heritage as possible.

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    1. You're not in trouble with me. I'm all for devoting sizable pieces of land for top-notch zoos, so they can be as favorable for the animals as possible.

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  36. I like all bulky, fatty type animals like bears, I think bear's my favorite. They're pretty huggable. I like them in white, brown, black & white. I spend most time watching them at the zoo. Whenever I look at panda, I can't stop thinking of "Poh" from Kung Fu Panda the movie hehe.

    I like the warning which says you could make them sick if you fall and git eaten :) I guess that's the main concern.

    Again, I've learned somthing from you today - about flamingos pink feather. Interesting!

    Your posts are not only fun to read but also educational...that's why I keep coming back for more. :)

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    1. Some animals (and people) are definitely more huggable than others. Hugging a bear would be amazing... as long as they don't hug back!

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    2. Hahaha, right. It's the same with "bear service". Bears as clumsy as they are would unintentionally destroy things and spoil plans if they try to help or be of service :)

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    3. Absolutely. (I know some people like that, too...)

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  37. Know the proper term for a flock of flamingos? A flamboyance.

    I think that's also what I'd call my wife's brother and all of his friends during a night out at the gay bar. The only thing more colorful and more covered in pink than a flamingo is a cluster of Britney Spears impersonating drag queens. :)

    I like our zoo. It's huge, it's well kept, and the animals always seem very happy and alert. I try to go at least once a year.

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    1. HA! Yeah, that would work, especially if they're fans of pink sequins.

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  38. Wonderful pictures. I haven't been to the zoo in ages. I did go to Parrot Jungle awhile ago and they have many other animals.

    Parakeets were my first childhood pets, but I wouldn't have them today. I don't like to see birds in cages.

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    1. We always had birds as pets when I was a child, too... parakeets, canaries, and finches. I especially loved the canaries and the beautiful songs they sang. Now, no more birds. My hubby doesn't like to see them in cages, either. Besides, having pet birds and pet cats at the same time doesn't sound like such a terrific idea.

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  39. This is such a cute panda header! Love the KFC witness protection program photo too! When the kids were little, my husband got more excited about going to the zoo than they did. If an animal was sleeping, he liked to wait around until they woke up. Finally, I had to ban him from the zoo. Now he doesn't get quite as carried away, but I still limit our visits to smaller zoos, so we don't have to pitch a tent! Even I would be tempted to wait around for the painting chimpanzee!

    Julie

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    1. Isn't that header picture adorable? Our daughter actually took that shot with her cellphone, and since I can't make my camera zoom, I "borrowed" her picture. (parental rights!)

      Oooh, good thing my hubby isn't a zoo-dawdler like your hubby. Since I'm the same way, we'd NEVER get out of the zoo... (or museum, for that matter...) I reckon being opposites helps us balance each other out a little.

      The painting chimp was totally cool.

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  40. Buahahaha I laughed out loud when I got to the 'giraffes are tall' picture. That's a good one. :) :) :)

    My daughter would have loved to have seen the Panda Bears. She's a Panda lover at heart.

    Good thinking getting in free on Mother's Day. ;) They say the Detroit Zoo is pretty fabulous but we didn't get over there to go this summer, and now it's too cold!

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    1. Glad ya liked it.

      I can just imagine how cold it is up there, because it's freaky cold HERE right now. And going down to NINETEEN tonight! Doggone it, this is Georgia! (Supposed to be close to seventy by next week, though...)

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  41. I have many fond memories of going to the San Diego zoo when I was a kid. Animals are wonderful and I'm happy that most zoos are making the habitats better. Loved the photos.

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    1. I understand the San Diego zoo is quite wonderful. Lucky you!

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    2. The San Diego Zoo is FANTASTIC! The National Zoo in Washington is also wonderful. And not just because it's free!
      NOTE: At least it used to be. I think it still is.

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    3. I loved the National Zoo, but it's been well over fifty years since I went there. I HOPE it's still free, but then again, it IS in D.C...

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  42. While I intellectually understand the beef people have with zoos, I love going. The Philadelphia Zoo, for example, is a wonderful place and an oasis smack dab in the middle of urban decay.
    I just know that, if I was able to be a zoo animal for one day (a gorilla, perhaps), I'd be the foulest creature in captivity. I'd flip people off, show them my bum, fling poo everywhere, and lick whatever body parts I could reach.
    Ah, good times, good times.

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    1. Gee, isn't that one of the up sides of getting older? We don't HAVE to be stuck in a cage to get away with doing some of that stuff you mentioned. We're free to say and do... whatever we'd like. Even if we wanta be animals. (We're "old"...)

      Just kidding. (wink, wink)

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    2. True. But, even so, if I flung poo in a crowd, I'd probably get into trouble.

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  43. That is one big chunk of animal information. I think all of the info was new to me. I always marvel at how tiny the baby pandas are, compared to the size of their mama. Many people think flamingo is the kind of dance I do. LOL
    You and Smarticus know how to spend a fun day. Yay

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    1. HA! Well, if I ever tried to dance something like the flamenco, I'd probably look about as graceful as a flamingo.

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  44. I didn't know elephants could swim, I don't think I've ever seen a pic of them swimming. I'd love to see that sometime. They are such amazing animals and when I read things like how bonded they are and how they grieve, etc, it makes me even more anti-circus. I've learned about some elephant sanctuaries recently and would love to visit one some time.

    I can imagine I would have taken 100 pics of the pandas. So cute! <3

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    1. I've only seen elephants swimming in documentaries, and for as big as they are, they're quite graceful in the water. It'd be totally cool to visit an elephant sanctuary.

      Pandas don't move around very much. so even though I took a lot of pictures, a lot of them look alike. (And all adorable!)

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