Monday, May 6, 2013

Another Day at the Zoo

The Greater Vancouver Zoo. 5048 - 264th Street, Aldergrove, BC
My love/hate relationship continues with the idea of a 'zoo'. My inner child always wins out because we're going to see animals and lots of them.

This visit, I went into the 'reptile exhibit' for the first time. It is hot in there and "everybody" is kept warm under red heat lamps.
a green iguana
a caiman
the talons of one of the 'raptors'
an ostrich
domesticated bunnies
intense swan
staring contest with a muskox . . . he won
bald eagle
In all the years I've been visiting the zoo, I have NEVER seen our resident grizzly. This was my lucky year!
There s/he lolled in all his/her grizzly glory. S/he is magnificent to look at. We must have stood there waiting and watching for him/her to make any kind of move. S/he did not disappoint. Photos NEVER do justice to the beauty of nature. This is truly one of Mother Nature's finest ambassadors.
Some interesting fact about the grizzly: they are the second largest land carnivore (the first is the polar bear). Most grizzlies are medium brown but can also come in every shade from sandy blonde to mahogany. The male is often referred to as a "boar" and the female referred to as a "sow" and the young are called "wobs".(not cubs?) huh!
Grizzly bears live 15 - 34 years in the wild and as long as 47 years in captivity.

Here's something for us all to be proud of: the grizzlies have lost almost 1/4 of their Canadian range and worse yet - 99% of the grizzlies in the lower 48 Unites States are all gone.

It's stats like these that make me feel that zoos have to exist just to protect the threatened/at-risk/high-concern/endangered from human greed and stupidity!
staring contest with a grizzly . . . guess who won
grizzly basking in the sun
smelled something on the breeze
Push-me-Pull-you? where does one end and the other begin?
happy hippo(potamus) basking in the sun
and the back end of one
this poor moose was one of the saddest creatures I've ever seen
semi silhouetted roosevelt elk
not sure if that was meant for me or if he 'tasted' his dinner on the wind
think it was the food - he waded right by me without a second glance
And now my FAVOURITEST critter in our zoo! The stodgy, aloof capybara. They are the largest rodent in the world. They live up to eight years in the wild and up to twelve in captivity. Look at those faces!!!
more basking in the sun
waiting in line for the water bowl
got tired of waiting and took his muddy butt off for a walk
a couple of argentinian mara chillaxing in the sun
peccary (also known as a javelina) - fast asleep whatever he is
big tiger paws
the - rarely seen in the wild -  juvenile mohawk
not like any wal-mart greeter you'll ever want to see
A few of the 'exhibits' we thought would be there were not. The zebra were nowhere to be found. It looks like the wallaby have hopped on to greener pastures. I didn't see the rhino anywhere. And the bighorn sheep space was empty. And sadly, because the ring-tailed lemurs have made one too many breaks for it - are now incarcerated behind fences and wire so thick you can barely make them out.
And last, but not least, aside from the sad, sad moose, there is one very lonely looking giraffe left at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. And this swings my acceptance for the necessity of zoos back around to the 'why do we do this to these poor creatures!' argument.
Why have we let our world deteriorate to such a point that a zoo is necessary for a species existence?!?

I wonder if there isn't a planet out there somewhere that has a zoo of glactic 'species' on display. What would the 'earthling' enclose read....

"Endangered due to over consumption, selfish greed and indifference. Can live 54 - 76 years in the wild. Can live up to 110 years in captivity"?


I know I'll go back to the zoo again and again and I know I'll have this argument with myself over and over. I'm just going to go back and look at my capybara and feel good about the zoo now........

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