Hoping to See the Baby Giraffe, 02-09-23

I got to the Sacramento Zoo around 10:30 am. It was clear and sunny outside, a lovely 63º. I was able to be in my shirt sleeves all the while I was outside. This time of day there are no handicapped spots available, so I had to drive down to the overflow parking lot and park in there. I could hear a lot of little birds in the trees along the sidewalk, but I couldn’t see any of them. I did see Black Phoebes and Scrub Jays, but not a lot more than that.

At the zoo, I saw a LOT of mechanical dragons all over the place. I might have been more impressed with them if they moved more, but the majority of them just stood still and dropped their lower jaw to roar. One little kid walked up to one, and his mom was trying to get him to be excited about the thing. He looked at her and said, “It’s fake, mom,” and she laughed. There was a blue dragon that was a storyteller with a female voice, and every once in a while you could hear it laugh with a bad-actress, trilling, “Ha. Ha. Ha,” kind of laugh. Creepy!

Because of reconstruction in some of the habitats and the complete draining of the large bird pond, there were a lot of species I wasn’t able to see. And I mostly wanted to see the new baby giraffe, and she came out for a trot once while I was there, but the zoo had two different kinds of fencing between visitors and the giraffe enclosure, so I couldn’t get any photos of the baby. It was funny, though, to see the other giraffes straining to look over the fences to see the baby while her mom, Shani, and while they were doing that, the big male, Chifu, was sniffing up all the females to see if any of them were heat. Had to laugh.

You can see more information on and some video of the baby giraffe HERE. She’s soooooo cuuuuute.

It was cool to see Padme, the Aardvark, sitting in close to the window on her den – which she seldom does — across from the giraffe enclosure.  She stood up for a moment, and I was hoping she’d walk outside where it was sunnier, but she just rearranged her butt and laid back down to sleep again. I feel you, honey.

A lot of the monkeys were either indoors or off exhibit, but I did get some pix of the chimps, orangutans, and White-Ruffed Lemurs.

I got to see all of the big cats, but everyone was very sleepy. The female lion was lying in the sun on the top of her giant cat tree, and the male jumped up there and tried lying next her, but she bit him in the butt so he had to move over a little bit. Hah! The male jaguar, Tikal, was out by himself lounging in the sunshine. You can tell him from the female, even without seeing his junk, because his tail is foreshortened. A metal door had closed on his tail, and as a result part of it had to be amputated. There was some confusion at the Snow Leopard enclosure. A male docent who was talking about the big cat sitting on the rocks in its enclosure at once referred to it as Misha (the name of the female Snow Leopard) and later referred to it as a male. The male Snow Leopard there is Blizzard, and based on the cat’s facials pots, I think we were looking at Misha. [Each cat has its own unique spot pattern.]

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Partway through my walk at the zoo, I stopped for lunch at their Kampala Café. The café has changed their menu, removing the majority of the junk food, and replacing it with higher-end food choices like shrimp and specialty hamburgers. I ordered a shrimp bowl. I was a little worried that it would come to me dark, greasy, and overcooked, and was happily surprised to find it was a large melamine bowl filled with about a dozen plump beer-batter-covered shrimp on a nest of thin fries. Very yummy. I had them with a hard blackberry cider –and cotton candy for dessert.

I was already tired by then, but still wanted to see the reptile house, so I headed over there. About ¾ of the way through the reptile house, though, my stamina completely gave out and I had to “rush” (as much as I could) outside to find somewhere to sit down.

Right outside the house there was a bench, so I sat there and breathed through my feeling of extreme fatigue and dizziness. When I tried to get back up, of course, I found I couldn’t get my legs to lift me, and no matter how I rearranged myself on the bench I couldn’t stand up. [They need to make old lady benches that are taller and easier to get off of.] So, I waited until someone else came out of the reptile house to ask for help. Two women and their kids came out and I asked, “Can I impose on you?”

One of the women growled, “What?” like she was expecting me to beg for money or something.

I said, “I got down on this bench, but now my chemo legs won’t let me get up…”’

The woman’s whole demeanor changed. “Oh, darling”, she said, “Let me help you!”

She helped me up, gave me a hug, and got my cane for me. So sweet. I thanked her effusively, and then headed out of the zoo to my car. It felt like such a l-o-n-g walk, but I got there…and sat in the front seat, drinking some water and resting before heading back home

Even though I didn’t see all of the animals I wanted to, and didn’t catch sight of the Summer Tanager that’s supposed to be hanging around there, I had I nice afternoon out in the fresh air

I was out for about 3 hours. This was walk #4 of my #52HikeChallenge for the year.

Species List:

  1. Aardvark, Orycteropus afer
  2. African Lion, Panthera leo
  3. Axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum
  4. Ball Python, Python regius
  5. Black and White Ruffed Lemur, Varecia variegata variegata
  6. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  7. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  8. Catalina Island Rattlesnake, Crotalus catalinensis
  9. Chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes
  10. Common Bird-of-Paradise Flower, Strelitzia reginae
  11. Common Chuckwalla, Sauromalus obesus
  12. Crested Coua, Coua cristata
  13. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger [rusty belly]
  14. Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis [white belly]
  15. Frog, Amazon Milk Frog, Trachycephalus resinifictrix
  16. Frog, Golden Mantella, Mantella aurantiaca
  17. Frog, Phantasmal Dart Frog, Epipedobates tricolor
  18. Frog, Smoky Jungle Frog, Leptodactylus pentadactylus
  19. Frog, Yellow-Banded Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates leucomelas
  20. Grevy’s Zebra, Equus grevyi
  21. Jaguar, Panthera onca
  22. Madagascar Giant Day Gecko, Phelsuma grandis
  23. Laughing Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae
  24. Madagascar Tree Boa, Sanzinia madagascariensis
  25. Masai Giraffe, Giraffa tippelskirchi
  26. Meerkat, Slender-Tailed Meerkat, Suricata suricatta
  27. Mongoose Lemur, Eulemur mongo
  28. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  29. Red Kangaroo, Macropus rufus
  30. Red-Billed Hornbill, Tockus erythrorhynchus
  31. Reticulated Giraffe, Giraffa reticulata
  32. Rhinoceros Iguana, Cyclura cornuta
  33. Smooth-Fronted Caiman, Paleosuchus trigonatus
  34. Snow Leopard, Panthera uncia
  35. Spider Tortoise, Pyxis arachnoides
  36. Spiny-Tailed Gecko, Strophurus sp.
  37. Spur-Winged Lapwing, Vanellus spinosus
  38. Sumatran Orangutan, Pongo abelii
  39. Thick-Billed Parrot, Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha

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