Well, I “slept in” a teeny bit today, The dogs still got me up at about 5:30 am, but after letting them out to pee, I went back to bed for about an hour. Did a load of laundry, got the dishwasher rebooted, did my morning ablutions stuff and had a little breakfast before heading over to the Sacramento Zoo for my walk this morning.
I got there about 15 minutes before it opened and found a good place to park in the shade. An SUV with two older women in drove up as I was getting out of my car and asked where the zoo was. I told them, “Park in this lot and you can walk right across the street to the zoo.” They thanked me and went off to find a spot to park. When I walked up to the zoo gates the ticket office wasn’t open yet, so I found a nearby bench and sat down… and the two women walked up asking what “Fairy Tale Town” was and how much to get in there. I told them it was a kids’ park and if they weren’t meeting any children inside, they wouldn’t be allowed in. The place has a “no adults unaccompanied by a minor” policy. So, they passed on that idea, and decided to stick with the zoo. I told them about all the baby animals that had been born in the zoo recently, and where to see the red pandas and stuff. (I should get paid for being a “docent”; hah!) Again they were grateful, and when we entered the park, they thanked me again and wished me a nice visit. I saw them on and off throughout the park as I walked.
I figured “everyone” would be going to see the new baby tiger, “C.J.”, so I went over to see the new hoglets born to the Red River Hogs were out yet. I got to their pen, ahead of the crowds, just as the hogs parents and the babies were let out. The little ones were so funny, running around, butting their heads together, poking at their dad — who was very patient with them — and then bushwhacking mom to get some milk before running off again. There were two new docents there, a husband and wife team who were “in training”, and they started telling me about the hogs… and then the woman complained that she’d forgotten her camera. She wanted to get photos of the hoglets to use in her talks. I offered to email my photos to her, and she gave me her email address. This scenario played out again later when I was filming the river otters, and one of the otters came right up to the glass of the enclosure to see a little girl. Her folks couldn’t get their cameras out fast enough to get a shot, so I told them I could email a link to the video after I got home, and the mom gave her email address. Hah! What would we do without email and the internet?
I was “rewarded” for being nice by getting to see all of the critters I really wanted to: even the jaguar and snow leopard, which are “never” out when I’m at the zoo, were out where I could get photos of them. I also got to see the new baby Mongoose Lemur (who never let go of its mom), the baby Wolf’s Guenon (who was so active and jumped around so much, I couldn’t get a photo of it), and of course, CJ the baby tiger (who is also super-active). The baby Red Panda wasn’t out; it’s being hand-raised because its mom doesn’t know how to care for it properly. The new owlets weren’t out, either. I got some good shots of the orangutans and some of the chimps… I enjoyed my walk at the zoo (even though I missed not having Sergeant Margie with me).
I stayed there for about 2 hours and then headed back to the car… forgetting to buy some cotton candy (my favorite zoo snack) on the way out. D’oh!
And here are some very short videos of my favorites today:
Red River Hoglets: http://youtu.be/n9-NmErrPAY
Tigers: http://youtu.be/5hnd5OUzrwU (Mom plays with her rolly toy and you get a running glimpse of CJ)