Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 2 -- zoo -- part 5


Rocky Mountain big-horned sheep.

Here he is again, with his girlfriends.

Sheeps and shadows.

Here's the Dall sheep ewe.

I saw peacocks now and then over the course of the day.  There were several gathered here, enjoying the sunshine.  I didn't get a shot of the group, and now I can't remember how many there were.  At least three, and maybe as many as five.

What astonishing and gorgeous birds.

And now for something completely different -- a tiny primate.  Busy, quick, behind glass -- I am pleased to have gotten a shot as clear as this one.

Andean condor!  This may be the first time I've seen a condor in the flesh.  It is certainly the time I've been closest to condors.  The info at the zoo says these birds have one of the largest wingspans on the planet.

Remember I said at the beginning of the day that the animals found me *much* more interesting than I'd ever experienced at a zoo?  The dogs, the cats, the big African mammals -- not so much.  But look how the condors are watching me......  Both of them are keeping close track of what I'm up to.

I am very taken with the way their wing feathers drape.  If you tried to design a cloak or a fancy gown, I'm not sure you could come up with more interesting or more beautiful draped patterns.

Given their wingspan of around 10', they were in a tiny enclosure.  I don't know why, but birds in captivity bother me more than anyone else.  When they ought to have all the skies to inhabit, being confined to a space where they can't even fly a few strokes without encountering a barrier.....  It seems as bad to me as the old-fashioned cages for big carnivores that allowed two paces in each direction......

On the other hand, captivity is arguably better than poaching or starvation due to habitat loss.

How I wish we were evolved enough to grant that others have rights to the planet.  We don't even allow that other humans have rights, too much of the time, and I fear we are a long way from taking adequate care that non-humans can live (let alone thrive)..........................

Here is someone who has chosen to be in an enclosure, at least for the moment.  This is the bald-eagle enclosure, and this magpie has come in for a visit.........  I read that magpies are very widespread in the American west.  I wonder why we don't have them in Michigan.

We don't have these in Michigan, either.  But I know why.  If it was too cold for them to be outside on a perfectly gorgeous upper-40s (F) day in Denver, it is way too cold for them, most of the time, in Michigan.

The info said there are two different sorts of flamingos here.  Perhaps that accounts for the color differences.

The condors watched me closely, and so did these girls.  I believe they are nyala.

The bongos also watched me carefully, and the male even got up and moved, eyeing me all the while.

They look chilly, I think.  Curled up (near each other) to keep warm?  The sun was getting low in the sky.  I think it must have been about time to go inside in the warm, and perhaps have a spot of supper?

Here's someone who did not seem chilly.  Watching the monkey...............

This is a Somali ass.  Love her striped over-the-knee socks.  She heard something, and responded with a set of brays.  I'm no donkey expert, but she sounded very much like a domestic donkey to me. 

She looks like she's in beautiful condition.  It seemed that she was alone in her enclosure.  Equines generally like to be in groups.  I hope she has companions that I didn't see.

I spent a little time in the gift shop, and then I went out, crossed the street, and waited for the bus that would take me back into town.

Denver skyline, from the street in front of the zoo.

The zoo is on the same campus with the science museum, and a lot more area right there is park.  This huge park is across the street from the zoo.  Wouldn't it be lovely if the zoo had enough money to enclose all of this land and let the animals have more room to move?

As it was, the only animals I saw enjoying the park were Canada geese.

A closer look at the mountains.

Back in the hotel room -- one skinny pink cloud, at sunset.


No comments: