18 November 2010

Zootopia

November is time for my annual trip to the Toronto Zoo (and my birthday--shh...) and I always look forward to it. It was a sunny, cool day this year--perfect for strolling and taking pictures. Word to the wise, though: if your camera has an auto scene-selector, don't use it. I thought it would be easier than switching settings for each shot. Well, it was easier. And half my photos didn't turn out. Boo. But here are some of the ones that did turn out. Enjoy (and click to enlarge)!

I love carousels and this one is new at the zoo. It's also possibly the nicest one I've ever seen (and I believe it raises money and awareness for endangered species). Alas it wasn't running the day we were there...




I think this is the first year I got to see a rhino outside. Don't believe Jumanji--they're very calm and gentle. They're also prone (in the wild) to being poached and slaughtered for their horns.

There's a rainforest pavillion with butterflies and birds just flitting about among the visitors. This was the only one of either I could get to sit long enough for a photo:

It's not what it looks like--the little guy really seemed to think going over his buddy was the most expedient path to take. A few seconds later big guy just started walking away:

One of the mama orangutans deep in contemplation (the babies were off in the distance wrestling for supremacy of the high platform):

The reticulated python was unusually active. I felt like I was in that scene from Harry Potter (you know which one):

This guy was very obliging about posing for photos:


The zoo is not only fun, it's also educational. For example--who knew Monkey Chow was an actual thing? Apparently sold at "Just Monkeys." (But shouldn't the gorillas be eating Ape Chow?)

This is truly a gorgeous sight:



The zoo has all sorts of theme areas. This sign is from the African camp recreation. I'm appalled at the anti-goat prejudice:

We actually managed to get a much closer look at the giraffes this year. I couldn't tell if they were anxious about getting fed or because the third guy was being kept in a different enclosure (but within sight):


After making the long trek to the Canada pavillion (the worst part is getting back up the damn hill) this is the sight we were met with (lazy grizzly!):
Although, to be fair, the second grizzly was pacing endlessly in front of the viewing glass. It's sad because that one is always pacing, every year. I don't know why he's so restless (the zoo is very good about keeping the animals stimulated, although maybe not quite enough in this case):

Not great shots but I had to share because this is the cutest animal ever: The Tree Kangaroo!!

Can't remember what kind of bird this is because I was too busy trying (and failing) to get a shot of the turtles swimming below:

Komodo dragons:

Green tree snake. We also got to see her recently hatched babies (tiny and yellow). Very cool.

Part of the lovely coral reef display:



I love these jellyfish (well, anything bio-luminescent, really).

Wallabies!
Some local wildlife that likes to hang out at the zoo (which is set within a massive ravine):

We just happened to notice this red-tailed hawk near the polar bear enclosure:

Snow goose, not quite sporting a winter coat yet:

Arctic fox, going for a drink:


The jaguars were fun this year. This guy just relaxed the whole time but the black one was having a ball chasing a fellow visitor who decided to entertain kitty by running back and forth in front of the enclosure and ducking behind things. It's pretty amusing to see a big cat imitate his domesticated relatives by shaking his butt ever so subtly before pouncing in a playful way. When his original "toy" left, the SO took over. It was just like playing with our cats, only, you know, scarier. But very cool!

When we parked our car at 10:30, this seagull was sitting on the roof of the vehicle next to us. When we returned around 3:30 he'd moved onto our car. He seemed rather put out by the fact that we wanted our car back! I might've been more sympathetic if he hadn't left us a "gift" on our windshield. Jerk.

Overall it was a lovely day at one of my favourite places. Eventually I'm going to have to visit in the spring or summer, so that I can actually see the seasonal animals like the sharks and stingrays (and ride the carousel!) If you're interested in visiting, you can find more info here.

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