Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Pretty Animamals

My father and I had the opportunity to visit the Henry Vilas Zoo, one of the few remaining free zoos in America.

I've never heard lions roaring before. These lions roared a lot, sounding like a barking dog more than something from The Lion King.




We visited some of our close relatives.
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videoMy sleeping father.
It was rather eerie how much this sleeping chimp reminded me of my father...







They definitely had some sort of communion, as they both stared at each other, disheartened at the glass separating them.





















The capbara, at four feet the largest rodent in the world. Imagine these rats under your floorboards!














It's exciting that the zoo has some marine life, like harbor seals. Sadly, the penguins and river otters were hiding, so we'll have to visit the zoo another day to see them. But there were some freshwater fish.
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videoI actually didn't know there was such a thing as a freshwater stingray.
video Piranha!

Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree...

and black swans sleeping.
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The other marine animal at the zoo. (Or, if you're Sarah Palin, the other white meat.) Along with the elephant, the most dangerous zoo animal.

The Henry Vilas Herpetarium

A lesson in diffraction. Beware the actual location of the alligator.










Or else lose a foot.

One of only two poisonous lizards in the world, the Gila Monster.





Aldabra Tortoises aren't Galapagos, but they look to be the same size. I remember getting to kiss one in South Dakota.



My dad remembers dogs in the UP coming back, covered in these quills.

At one point, this beautiful animal was believed to be related to the pig, but we now know it is closely related to the rhinoceros and the horse.
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Aaaaah- kangaroos! (Let the reader understand.)
videoIt is well known that camels are no fun to ride. I'd sooner ride a horse than the one-humped camel, or dromedary. But the Bactrian Camel of Mongolia- that looks to be a lot more pleasant.
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Our final stop was to visit a Brahman and Pot Belly. I was disappointed that the Pot Belly didn't want to talk much, even after I uttered the standard swinian mating call, chant de coeur, which usually never fails to please.

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