Tuesday, September 18, 2012

San Antonio Zoo -- Tues., Sep. 18

Condors and gibbons and hippos...oh my! Anteaters, cranes and dogs...oh, my! Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

But I was at the Ssssssan Antonio Zoo. Can you tell I've recently been in the Reptile Housssssse? I am fascinated by reptiles. This zoo has pit vipers, pythons, rattlesnakes, lizards, komodo dragons, and geckos of different varieties. The reptile exhibits are well lit and I actually found most of the little darlings. Boy am I glad there's glass in there to keep them away from us; unlike nature in all its glory. 

Komodo Dragon.
Komodo Dragon
When the zoo opened at 9:00 a.m., I headed up to see the cats hoping they might be awake. Nope, only the fishing cat was up, prowling and glaring at me. Maybe when I head back this afternoon more of the felines will be up and alert. 

Fishing cat.
Fossa (taken through scratched plastic window)
The same fossa in the afternoon.
You'd never know it by watching it sleep!
I think this is a white collared lemur.
Oh did I say I had to go back to the zoo this afternoon? That's because yours truly forgot to charge her lithium ion rechargeable battery. So, I came home to eat lunch and charge up the battery. Luckily the zoo is only 15 minutes away and is open until 6:00 p.m.

The white-cheeked gibbons were particularly fun. A family of four--mom, dad and two kids--were frolicking up and across the ropes, up and down the chain link, and the dad was a complete ham. There were little kids up near the glass and the the papa gibbon (about the same size as the two-to-four-year-old kids) came down to the glass, looked at the little kids and jumped up and down, spun around, climbed up the chain link, but ultimately came back down and jumped up and down in front of all of us lined up at the glass. What a goof! The keeper at the exhibit said papa gibbon really likes attention. Ya think?

Momma gibbon in middle, dad bottom right, youngster in front of momma.
Mom's just hangin' around.
The 3 and 5 year old gibbons, just kids.
While there this morning, I heard a keeper talk about the Andean Condors and saw the birds flying around their cage. Did you know their wingspan is 10 feet?! In addition, the keeper fed dead rats to the condors so we could watch them eat as they would in the wild. Rip, shred, eviscerate! Ewwwww! He warned us it would be gory.

Andean Condor.
At the elephant enclosure, I heard another keeper talk about Asian elephants and watched as the trainers put them through their paces. Two elephants were in the enclosure and the trainers had them pick up objects and bring them back to them, had them balance, kneel and lie down. The keeper giving the talk said training exercises are good for the elephants because they're getting older and need to stay flexible. Tae Kwon Do for elephants. LOL.

I saw some animals today that I've never heard of, but I can't remember their names. This afternoon I'll take photos of their names. Hopefully the battery will finish recharging soon so I can head back! It's 3:30 p.m. and the recharge light is still red. Battery took two hours to recharge. Headed back to the zoo at 4:15 p.m.

Jaguar napping.
Reeve's Muntjac--about the size of dogs.

Zonked out wart hog.

Addax use their long horns, among other things, to scratch their sides or chase away a pesky bug.

Dama gazelle.
White rhinoceros.
Wild African dog.
Look at them snappers!
Nile crocodile and assorted fish.
Black-necked swans
Common Crowned Pigeon (Australia)
Eastern Rosella (Australia)
New Guinea Masked Plover (Australia)

Wouldn't be a zoo without a lion.

Bush dog on the run.

Babirusa napping.

Birds are amazing at the San Antonio Zoo. Local egrets and herons nest in the trees at the zoo. In addition to the birds above, were the following and many, many more.
In enclosures and cages, I saw scarlet ibises, blue-bellied rollers, kookaburras, hornbills, infinite varieties of birds. There is a whole exhibit on cranes of the world.

Scarlet ibis.
Manchurian Crane.

Blue Crane.

Whooping Crane.

Sandhill Crane.
Black-necked Stork.

Don't know what kind of bird this is.

White pelicans.

This bird loved me...kept flying right up to the glass and posing.


Guinea fowl.

Very friendly bird--don't know what it is.
Australian Shelduck.

Overall, the San Antonio Zoo is one of the nicer zoos I've been to. It ranks high up on my list with the Oregon Zoo in Portland. The landscaping is very well done with many shady places to rest out of the sun.

For a desert, there's plenty of water areas for fish, tomistoma (crocodillians), flamingoes and other water birds, giant Japanese salamanders, and even an aquarium. (Note: There are signs throughout the zoo indicating they are under water restrictions because of the drought.)

Another area of the zoo is the Tiny Tot Nature Spot for kids five and under with a riverbank area where kids can play in the water, dig in the sand and generally get wet and dirty.

I ran out of time to take the Zoo Train around Brackenridge Park. Tomorrow is another day and that's where I'll be.

Art and Tammy from It's Good to Be Us are our latest subscribers. Welcome to you both.

Travel Bug out.