|The Eurasia section is closed until next May when the pandas arrive!|
|Little pied cormorant keeping cool|
|The lionfish mid-tank, looking like a trophy on the wall|
The Aussie animals were active outdoors as well. We spent time with a cute wallaby and some adorable emus, which seemed quite young judging from all the down still on their heads:
Sarah stopped on a bridge to tease some carp (ok, kidding: I took a couple of shots but just missed them with their mouths open in each case and complained about it, so Sarah wiggled her fingers over the side of the bridge and they came together expecting - I imagine - to get fed):
|Carp looking for a free lunch|
From there we walked our usual route: the Tundra Trek, the Americas and the African Savannah. I didn't get any shots of the jaguars, Sambuca and Luca, this time because they weren't in a great spot to do so. I did post some video of them in an earlier blog piece if you'd like to check that out. Here are the shots I did take along the way (or, at least, my favourites of the bunch):
|Common marmoset just hangin' out|
I also shot a short video of Hudson, the polar bear cub, enjoying his cool pool on this very hot day:
|Matata and Chupa, the youngest penguins at the Zoo|
We visited the elephants again but didn't take any pictures today. Two of them each have chain "anklets" on three of their legs (the third elephant has none) which we figure must have something to do with preparing them for their trip to the sanctuary, whenever that comes about. I'll be sure to get back closer to the time they go, although that will be a very tough visit to the Zoo. But before we made it to the elephant enclosure we passed by the cheetah's domain where we found this little fledgling sitting on the top rail of the fence around the exhibit:
|Fledgling on the fence around the cheetah exhibit|
There was a nest in the tree right above where this tiny little bird was sitting and we could see some activity in there, but couldn't tell whether it was from the parents or siblings. We couldn't be sure for a while if the baby had arrived on the railing on purpose or by misadventure so we stuck around to see what would happen next, hoping to see the mom or dad come along or at least a Zoo staffer so we could ask him or her what they thought should be done. Eventually, though, the little guy (or gal) turned around, spread its wings as best it could and fluttered off a short distance into a nearby bush. At that point we realized it was in control of its own situation and felt we could move on to finish our visit. Neither of us really has any idea what kind of bird it was, though. It had a reddish-orange tail but the rest of the body was pretty nondescript. Can anyone shed any light on this? We'd love to find out what it was.
It was, as usual, a pretty terrific day at the Zoo. The only negative energy at all came from some misguided souls that I only briefly want to talk about. I love the Zoo. I am comfortable with its purpose and with the animals that are necessarily "captive" to serve this purpose. By contrast, I do not care for circuses or any environment where animals are on display for purely entertainment purposes. I realize this is a fine line and I appreciate that there are many people who do not see things this way. Several of my friends have mentioned that they are not in favour of Zoos (or, at least, unsure where they stand) and I know that it's a very personal matter and I respect their opinions completely. I also am thankful that these friends have not used my blog or Facebook threads to take a contrary stand on the Toronto Zoo. But today on more than one occasion we came across a member of the public who had gone to the Zoo, spent the money to go in, walked around taking pictures of the animals, but decided that they should proclaim their revulsion at all of the "poor, caged animals" while they were doing so. These people made me sick. I don't imagine it's possible to be much more hypocritical, not really. Take a stand, don't take a stand, it's all good. But to allow these animals to give you an afternoon's enjoyment, all the while snapping off "trophy pictures", and then to say for public consumption how revolted you are at their "lot in life" is beyond repulsive to me. If you don't agree with the Zoo from a fundamental point of view, that is perfectly ok. But then don't go to the Zoo. This is not an incredibly difficult concept to grasp. Stay home and shut up. Or, if you feel strongly enough about it, write a letter of complaint to whomever you see fit. What they were doing, in my opinion, was a lot like going to a restaurant, ordering a steak and eating it, all the while complaining that we shouldn't be eating meat. Your stance is valid, except you yourself have invalidated it through your very actions.
I don't remember ever hearing someone at the Zoo make those kinds of comments before; if I have heard them I've forgotten about it. I can be sure, though, that I've not heard them in a long time and yet today it happened multiple times. I simply don't understand it.
But at least we got to spend another day at the Zoo together, Sarah and I. So it all worked out in the end.