Dinosaurs and other Critters at the Zoo, 10-18-19

Up at 7:00 am.  Well this was a busier, longer day than I thought it would be.  I was going to go to the zoo on Thursday but was too tired to go anywhere.  I was feeling stronger today, so I took a shower, put my laundry away and then went to the Sacramento Zoo.

 When I first got there, there were only about 3 other people in the zoo, so it was nice and quiet, and I was able to get lots of photos without interference. I noticed that Tuleyome’s wishing well now has 69,494 tokens in it and is in second place, behind the lions’ well but ahead of the zebras’ well.  The more tokens we get, the more money the zoo will give us at the end of the year for our habitat restoration and wildlife studies at the Silver Spur Ranch.

I was able to see the Snow Leopards Misha and her son Coconut just as they came out and went after some big beef bones that had been set out for them.  Coconut is so much larger than his mom, now, it’s amazing.  He used his beef bone like a giant toy and threw it around the enclosure before settling down to chew on it. Hah!  Both of the Bongos were also out, as were the Zebras.

Coconut the Snow Leopard is now bigger than his mom, Misha.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos and video snippets.

What I really wanted to see today were the newly upgraded lion and jaguar enclosures.  The lions’ enclosure used to be behind chain link.  Now, it’s double the size it used to be with an all glass front so you can see the big cats without any encumbrances.  I was able to get quite a few close-ups of both the male and female lion. 

Female African Lion

The jaguar enclosure is the same size it was before, but they’ve cleared out a lot of the heavy brush that was in there and put glass along the front.  Right next to its enclosure, though, there were some mechanical dinosaurs and the roars from the dinos was kind of freaking out the female jaguar.  She kept trying to figure out where the roars were coming from and sat with her tail flicking nervously before rushing off to the back of her enclosure.

The dinosaurs were part of the zoo’s “Discover the Dinosaurs” exhibit.  I don’t know if they were life-size, but they were all certainly very large.  Some of the children were afraid of them; others kept saying, “They’re not real. They’re just robots with skin.”  Hah!  A couple of them were by the main gate, and others were scattered around the zoo.  The T-Rex was back behind some building where the okapis’ enclosure was.  You could hear it before you saw it.  There were little “clue dinosaurs” around the zoo that would let you know where the big ones were “hidden”.  If kids could find all of the little clues and write down a list of where they found them, they could get a free sticker.  Cute. I saw all of the dinos except for the Pteranodon which was apparently hiding somewhere around the gift shop (maybe inside?).

Me an T-Rex

Part of the big pond where the flamingoes, pelicans and ducks live was under construction, so everyone was crammed into a smaller pond. Some of the flamingoes weren’t happy about that, I guess, because some of them were “arguing” with one another.

I finally got to see the Black Crowned Cranes.  They’ve been at the zoo for a while, but I was never able to find them.  They’re handsome birds!  Look like they have a Rococo-esque halo on their head.

Black Crowned Crane from the back. Look at the lovely “halo”!

The Kookaburras were out doing their laughing calls.  One of them was able to do it even with his beak full of dead mouse!  Ventriloquist!

A Laughing Kookaburra with his lunch.

I stopped walking around 11:00 am and had a light lunch of tea and some French fries. Then I went into the reptile house and got a few photos in there before heading out.  I ended up walking for almost 4 hours!

I had a side trip on the way home from the zoo. I stopped on a whim at the SPCA and adopted a new dog: Esteban.

Species List:

  1. African Lion
  2. Amazon Milk Frog
  3. American White Pelican
  4. Black and White Ruffed Lemur
  5. Black Crowned Crane
  6. Blue Evening Phlox, Phlox paniculate
  7. Burrowing Owl
  8. Butterfly Bush, Buddleja davidii
  9. California Newt
  10. California Tiger Salamander
  11. Camellia, Camellia sp.
  12. Caribbean Flamingo
  13. Chimpanzee
  14. Common Chuckwalla
  15. Coquerel’s Sifaka
  16. Crested Coua
  17. Crested Screamer
  18. Dinosaur, Ankylosaurus
  19. Dinosaur, Parasaurolophus
  20. Dinosaur, Stegosaurus
  21. Dinosaur, Triceratops
  22. Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex 
  23. Eastern Bongo
  24. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  25. Emu
  26. Golden Mantella
  27. Green Crested Basilisk
  28. Green Mantella
  29. Green Tree Python
  30. Grevy’s Zebra
  31. Himalayan Monal
  32. Jaguar
  33. Laughing Kookaburra
  34. Madagascar Big-headed Turtle
  35. Madagascar Flat-tailed Tortoise
  36. Madagascar Tree Boa
  37. Meerkat
  38. Mongoose Lemur
  39. Northern Catalpa, Indian Bean Tree, Catalpa speciosa
  40. Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
  41. Okapi
  42. Phantasmal Dart Frog
  43. Prehensile-tailed Skink
  44. Pyracantha, Pyracantha coccinea
  45. Red Panda
  46. Red River Hog
  47. Rhinoceros Iguana
  48. Smooth-fronted Caiman
  49. Snow Leopard
  50. Spider Tortoise
  51. Standing’s Day Gecko
  52. Tawny Frogmouth
  53. Thick-billed Parrot
  54. White’s Tree Frog
  55. White-faced Saki
  56. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  57. Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog
  58. Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby