On Friday we went to the San Diego Zoo, mainly to see their panda exhibit, one of two in the US. Of course we saw a lot of animals that we’ve seen at other zoos so here are some of the more interesting tidbits we experienced:
The San Diego Zoo has a new(ish) koala exhibit and it is huge! They probably had over 20 koalas out when we were there, and I think several more tucked away or out on breeding calls etc. This was the first exhibit we saw, so the koalas were eating their eucalyptus breakfast. This is one of the males, which they have to keep in separate enclosures or they fight, and the females were all together in another area. They sure were cute!
Something we hadn’t seen before: Animal Ambassadors, this program they use where they pair domestic dogs with cheetahs, which apparently helps keep the cheetahs calm and supposedly the animals, together from a young age, form a bond. We saw these two engaging in some aggression we assume was playful.
The “mixed family” of the zoo: a zookeeper told us that they have one male giraffe who has mated with three or four of their female giraffes, resulting in two or three babies and another one on the way. And they all live together in this little muddy pen. Just one example of a situation that would be awkward for humans but quite acceptable for animals. This little giraffe was born last fall, I believe.
We went to their one little show that had a sea lion, several dogs, a couple birds, this cheetah, and this wolf. We agreed it was not quite as clever as the SeaWorld shows but still fun to watch. Not pictured are the canine companions of the cheetah and wolf.
Aaaaand the pandas! We did have to wait in line to see the mama and baby panda, but it was just a really neat experience! When we got up there, the baby was napping, but still oh-so-cute and the mom was chowing down on some bamboo.
We may have spent the most time in front of the Capuchin monkey exhibit, an animal which does not seem to observe nap time but instead runs and plays and entertains all day. We caught one of them vigorously swinging on the ceiling of the exhibit, and were amused and took a video and then even as we moved on, we saw he was still swinging as if to the beat of a metronome for at least five minutes, and we wondered why that activity would be so enjoyable that he would do it for so long!
Finally, oh man, this video just kills me. We passed this enclosure of a large number of sunbathing turtles and this one little guy that just couldn’t quite find a path to bliss; we probably watched him struggle and fall back into the water two or three times before we took a video, and then watched him struggle and fall another time or two before he succeeded. It was so sad, he was just straining and trying so hard and couldn’t quite make it happen!