Today I'm joining Deb for Friday Foto Friends. Come join us and share your photos!
On Thursday, Sophia, Olivia, and I went to the Minnesota Zoo with our 4-H club. After learning about Hawaiian Monk Seals, we had lunch together. Then we headed to the Tropics Trail.
There was an interesting monkey I had not seen before: a De Brazza’s Monkey. Look at the beard and tail:
Further along the trail, was a Tapir. Today, it was making noises. It has always been silent each time we've visited the zoo in the past, so it was interesting to hear its high-pitched voice.
We headed to the aquarium and watched beautiful fish swim by us.
One of our favorite animals is the red panda...who was asleep again. I don't think we've ever seen it awake.
Then there's an aviary with beautiful birds. I have no idea what type they all are or where they are from.
Regardless, the coloring of them was magnificent - brilliant and subtle shades of greens, blues, yellows, and reds stood out the most.
There was another section with penguins. This one was swimming:
I always enjoy seeing the Snow Monkeys.
We saw an animal that we've never seen before: a Dhole - an Asian Wild Dog. It's larger than a red fox, but smaller than a coyote.
There were four Bactrian Camels that we had fun watching. Two were playing together and then two more came running up the hill to join them.
Also fun to watch were the Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs.
They were near the American Bison that we watched for a while. The baby bison who are born at the zoo are relocated to two state parks in Minnesota where they live in 500+ acre preserves so they are safe and have plenty of room to roam. The goal is to have the bison populations at both the state parks be self-sustaining.
After walking on the Northern Trail, we went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Grizzly Bear area which includes a safe, reinforced cages in the event of a serious storm. There's also a feeding area with attached kitchen (that's the building to the right).
We were able to see three food buckets that were filled with food for the bears: lots of fresh produce and dog food.
There were logs on the wall and table that tracked what the bears were fed.
The sheets noted the type of food and quantity.
We were shown where the bears are fed. No one could go back in that area except the zookeepers. You can see how many levels of reinforcement there are between people and the bears. Even though they are beautiful, fluffy creatures who have playful aspects of their personality, they are dangerous.
We were told that the bears, mountain lion, tiger, and leopards that they are most concerned with in terms of danger to people. They are the most dangerous animals at the zoo.
We ended the behind-the-scenes tour by seeing the incubator. This has been used to raise some baby tigers when the mother didn't do her "motherly duties" and needed help. The zookeepers raised the babies by hand and used the incubator to keep them warm.
After the tour, I had Sophia and Olivia stand by the bear sculptures. We do this each time that we go to the zoo. They were surprised how tall they have gotten since we first started taking the photos.
How quickly time goes by. Having memories and traditions - places you visit many times during childhood - provide a strong foundation and anchor in one's life. It also fosters a love and appreciation for wildlife and the environment; and encourages us to explore the world and our place in it.