Going to See Coconut, 09-23-18

Around 8:30 I headed over to the Sacramento Zoo. It was 64º when I got there and 78º when I left.

I’d gone to the zoo primarily to see Coconut, the new Snow Leopard cub.  He was born in May and had several birth defects that made it difficult for him to walk and see normally. When I first got to the Snow Leopard enclosure, the dad, Blizzard, was out, pacing around. But the second time I passed the enclosure, Coconut and his mom, Misha, were out. The baby had a small watermelon he was playing with, and he’d work himself up into such a frenzy of happiness that he’d jump up away from the water, then jump around in circles, and roll onto his back. Sooooo cute. Misha wrestle with him occasionally and let him jump on her face and pull at her tail. They were so sweet together; she’s such a good mama. Later, as I was leaving the zoo, Coconut was up on a stone ledge, napping. To look at him no, you’d never know that just a few months ago, he couldn’t walk in a straight line without falling over.

The male Jaguar was out today, too. Jaguars don’t really “roar” like lions do, but this male was doing his best impersonation of one; loudly “chuffing” and grunting.  He sat out on a ledge in his enclosure, grooming himself and licking his paws.

The male and female African Lions were also out this morning; both of them lazing in the morning sun. At one point, the male laid down and rolled on the ground, getting his mane full of woodchips.  The tigers are gone. After their new male attacked and their female, their got rid of him (sent him back to the zoo he came from) and aren’t going to replace them. It looks like the zoo is going to expand the lions’ enclosure and put glass along the front of it for easier viewing.   There was actually a lot of construction going on. And they’d just completed a new parklet with picnic tables across from the giraffe enclosure.

I got to see the Orangutans when they first came out, bleary-eyed, not really wanting to get up yet; and the Chimps were out, too, but hiding in the darker part of their enclosure or up in the rafters where it was hard to see them – and even more difficult to photograph.  My favorite Red River hogs were out, though, so that was fun.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Before I left the zoo, I stopped at their café for some lunch: turkey-bacon club sandwich, fries and a Coca-Cola Icee. Mmmmm

Posted by

Mary K. Hanson is a breast cancer survivor who, at age 61, took coursework to become a Certified California Naturalist. The author of “The Chubby Woman’s Walkabout”™ blog, Ms. Hanson has also written nature-based feature articles published in regional newspapers, authored over ten books, including her "Cool Stuff Along the American" series of guide books, and has had her photographs featured in books, articles, calendars, on the American River Parkway Foundation’s Instagram stream, and even the White House blog. This year Ms. Hanson is helping to launch and teach a new Certified California Naturalist course through Tuleyome, in partnership with the University of California and the Woodland Library, so members of the public can themselves become certified as naturalists in the state. All of the photos seen on her website were taken by Ms. Hanson herself (unless noted otherwise) with moderate- to low-end photographic equipment more easily affordable to the everyday nature enthusiast. She also occasionally leads photo-walks through the American River Bend Park for the public and is sometimes available for public speaking.