Saturday, July 24, 2010

At the zoo

Conrad and I bought San Diego Zoo/Wild Animal Park year passes! Today we went, and I discovered that everyone has their favorite animal that they could watch all day.

My animals were the gorillas. Up until about a year ago, I had no idea that apes and monkeys are completely different. Monkeys have tails. Apes are highly intelligent, and almost human-like in their interaction with each other - they can learn sign language, bond with other species, etc. While we were walking on "Monkey Trail" (I should have pointed out to someone with authority that gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans have no place on this trail), I noticed some of the huge behavioral differences between some of the monkeys and the apes. The monkeys jumped around, swung on trees, played with each other, and did not acknowledge that people were watching. The gorillas, however, laid in the shade with their backs to the glass. The mommy and baby cuddled - but weren't sleeping - and the daddy (who was obviously the "big one") laid facing them watching. They knew we were there. The emotional bond they have with each other is really sweet. I was so in love I didn't even think to get the camera out. (I thought it might offend them... hehe)

This is a picture of a woman taking care of the koalas. She came out, rubbed them a little to get their attention, made sure they knew she was non-threatening, and picked them up like a baby under the armpits.
Conrad's favorite was the otters. They loved the attention they were getting from people. They did back flips off of logs into the water, swam around really fast, and even stood up to pose for pictures. All the while, they never stopped looking up at the people for praise and approval. very funny. We learned who nature's attention seeker is (aside from humans).

Since we had passes, we felt no hurry to see the whole park, but we saw tigers, all kinds of birds, crocodiles, hippos (which Conrad deemed "water pigs"), meercats (which sit slouched like a fat drunk man), Macaws (which screamed really loud), a Komodo Dragon, and lots of snakes, lizards and turtles.

I love animals. I love the fact that when animals are happy, they make humans happy. Watch how much cows love this. Its a machine that washes them, similar to a car wash, and milk production is higher because these cows are happy.

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