Posts Tagged ‘Henry Doorly Zoo’

Lions are the second-largest members of the cat family, after tigers.  The lion population has been declining rapidly, beginning in the last half of the 20th century, with loss of habitat and clashes with humans the largest contributors, although the causes aren’t completely understood.

As you would expect, females do most of the work.  🙂  Males prowl their territories and fight; both spend much of their day resting and sleeping.  In most species, the male is characterized by having the mane we’re used to seeing.  The females hunt in groups for the pride but lions can’t run for long distances, so they sneak up on their prey.

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Please bear with me!

Posted: December 9, 2014 in Animals
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This is a traveling week for me, bringing our younger daughter home for Christmas, so I won’t have lots of online time.  Seems like a great time to share another set of photos from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  I’m not sure what sort of bear this is; I really need to start writing this information down.  But he’s an unusual one as you’ll when you look for his ears and at his fur.  As for that last shot, I managed to catch him at just the right moment!

He was lazing about at the top of a tree, right at the level of me and my fellow gawkers, and didn’t seem interested in going much of anywhere until a keeper dropped a cantaloupe to the ground.  Faster then you can ask “Are you hungry”, he moved down with alacrity and began eating.  Priorities!

If you missed the other zoo posts, I also have for your viewing pleasure giraffes, penguins, a tiger, fish, and a young gorilla.

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More from our zoo trip, this time from the aquarium…

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Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

~William Blake

Although from a pet point of view, I’m a horse or dog person, when I go to the zoo, I love to see the cats.  They’re sleek, graceful, and deadly-looking.  The cheetah, which has to be the favorite of a sprinter, usually looks bored with the small amount of space allotted it, often pacing back and forth, while eying visitors with an intense look.  Perhaps dreams of fast food are running through its head.

In common with bears, wild cats elicit comments about how cute and furry they are.  But there’s a reason the word “wild” appears in front of the word “animals” and we do well to remember it.

I have two sets of thoughts about zoos.  I regret that the animals there are caged and not allowed to live in their natural habitat.  I also love the opportunity to see them “in person”, so speak.  Many of them would be dead if in the wild and some species are being hunted almost to extinction outside zoo habitats.  So I enjoy the beauty of the animals as the zoo and am grateful for the opportunity to see them.

I’ve already shared a few posts about our trip to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo.  Here’s the first look at the cats we saw there.

He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.
Chinese Proverb

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It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers, any more than it is to make sheep ferocious.
~Henry David Thoreau

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God made the cat to give man the pleasure of stroking a tiger.
~John Gardner

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The impact of an attacking tiger can be compared to that of a piano falling on you from a second story window. But unlike the piano, the tiger is designed to do this, and the impact is only the beginning.
~John Vaillant, The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival

The tall of it

Posted: November 22, 2014 in Animals
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The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha was ranked by Trip Adviser readers as the #1 zoo in the world in 2014.  I’m not sure that’s true, but the zoo is quite good, particularly for a city of just under half a million people, and very visitor-friendly.  The day we visited, the weather was beautiful, especially for November in the Midwest, a day so warm that we wouldn’t have needed coats.  An additional treat was that it was Appreciation Day with free admittance.

I always look forward to seeing the giraffes. They’re such an interesting combination of grace and awkwardness.  The day we visited, the giraffes were inside, feeding.

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While we were close, the glass and lights caused some inconvenient reflections.

 

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The keeper took a large push broom and gently rubbed the giraffe’s neck.  If you look closely, you can see giraffe’s mouth twisting in pleasure.  Every time the keeper stopped, the giraffe turned toward her until she started again.

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