Tag Archives: Sumatran Orangutan

Went to See the New Okapi at the Zoo, 02-21-19

I headed over to the Sacramento Zoo with the hopes of being able to see their new okapi. When I got there, I realized that the electronic membership pass I had to get into the zoo had not transferred from my old phone to the new one, so, I had to go see the membership department to get that resolved. I also got a printed pass just in case the fix for the electronic one fails again.

As I mentioned, I’d come mostly to see the new okapi – which look like a cross between a zebra and a giraffe. Only one was out in the enclosure, but, wow, what a beautiful weird-looking animal. The coat is amazing; smooth, glossy, brown here, striped there. It’s tongue is so long it can lick its own eyeball.

Thursdays are “bone day”, so all of the big cats had cow bones to gnaw on. Coconut the baby Snow Leopard was out with his mom, Misha, hoarding all the bones for himself and pouncing on his mom whenever she came near them. I could watch those leopards all day; they’re so gorgeous. While I was there, an English couple with their two small children came up. The dad was enamored with the big cats and kept taking photos and video with his phone. As if they knew he was interested, Coconut and Misha put on a show for him, running and jumping around, rolling on the ground, leaping from rock to rock.

I asked the couple if they knew coconut’s story, and they said no, so I told them all about him (how he had swimmer’s legs when he was a cub and couldn’t walk, his physical therapy, the operation he had on his eyelids, etc.) I think the dad videoed that, but I’m not sure. The mom said, “Thank you so much for that!”, when I was done. What was funny about the whole thing was that while I was talking, the parents were totally enthralled – and behind them their kids were totally bored. “Can we go see the giraffes now?” they kept saying. Hahahaha!

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

The lions had bones, too, but the big male was generous and let the female eat what she wanted to. He’s feeling amorous right now, so I was figuring that any second the kids at the zoo would get an eye-full. They didn’t get that from the lions, but they did see some of that from the River Otters. Horney little dude kept chasing the dark female all over the place, and then one or the other of them would dance-poop all over the place. At one point, the male went right up to the glass wall of their enclosure, and put his hands on the glass, glaring at us humans. The “do you people mind?! I’m trying to get busy here!” was so obvious on his face that it made me literally laugh out loud.

All of the chimpanzees were out and crowded into the sun-shiny parts of their enclosure, so it was easy to get photos of them. They’d just been given branches of leaves and piles of grass with veggies hidden in them, so everyone was munching away or digging through the grass looking for tidbits. The orangutans were also out, but one was lying in a hammock so you could only see his fuzzy shoulder, and the other one was snuggled in her blankets in a little cave. So, not as many cool photo ops there.

At the kangaroos’ exhibit, they were all in the sun, too, and while I was photographing them, two of them decided to lay down and stretch out in a warm spot and scratch their butts and bellies. Animals. They crack me up.

Around 11 o’clock, I stopped to get some lunch from the café and ended up with a plate of veggie nachos (no beef) and a Sobe water. Then I made another round past my favorite exhibits – and skipped the reptile house – before heading out.

I stopped briefly at the middle pond at William Land Park (across the street from the zoo) and took some photos of the ducks, a couple of cormorants and a Great Egret hanging around the pond. I got home around 1:00 pm

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

It Was an Awesome Photo-Day at the Zoo, 01-20-18

Wow, the dog really let me sleep in this morning! We didn’t get up until about 8:45 am. Day 2 of my 4-day Birthday Weekend: Zoo day! But the zoo doesn’t open until 10 o’clock, so I was able to have some coffee, go through my emails, and do a little journaling before I headed over to the Sacramento Zoo (I’m a zoo member, so I get in for free.)

It was an awesome photo-day at the zoo. I got my favorite parking spot, saw a female Western Bluebird perched in a tree near my car (which I took as good omen)… The air was cool, the sun was warm, and all of my favorite critters posed for photos – even the Roadrunner, who “never” stands still was standing still for me.

Saw lots of babies today, including the young boy Bongo, and the new Wolf’s Guenon (who is almost as big as his slightly older sibling now). He’s still not used to all of the people walking around the enclosure, so he’d run to mom for hugs and then scamper off to play with his siblings or eat his breakfast. I also got to see the baby flamingos again. They’re getting really tall (almost as big as the adults now) and are just starting to get their pink blush.

The chimpanzees and orangutans were out, but they didn’t like the chill in the air and were huddled together or wrapped in their blankets, not looking thrilled to be outside at all.  Two critters that were loving the cool air, though, were the Red Pandas and the Snow Leopard. I’d never seen the pandas so active before. They were moving all over the place inside their enclosure.

The Snow Leopard was waiting for her breakfast, and would go to the door of her enclosure (where she could hear the zookeeper setting things up for her), sniff around, then turn around and walk through her enclosure.  She’d get up on a ledge, go back to the door, turn around and walk back through her enclosure again, then repeat that: up on a ledge, back to the door, turn around and walk back through her enclosure, up on a ledge, back to the door, turn around and walk back through her enclosure… I left before I saw if she actually got her breakfast or not.  The African Lions were out, but very sleepy, and the Tiger was out but sitting in the rear of her enclosure, dozing in the sunlight.  The Jaguar put on a show of movement I’ve seldom seen him do. He’s usually lying around, but this morning he was walking, jumping over the little “river” in his enclosure, coming right up to the fence and looking at the people…

I heard one of the docents say that the jaguar doesn’t show any interest in the small children who walk past his enclosure, but the male Lion often singles out a kid in the crowd and stares it down. “You can see his prey drive kick right in,” she said. “The little kids looks like snacks to him.”  Yikes!

In the middle of my time there, I got some lunch. The café was shut down because they’re refurbishing the floors, but they’d brought out some grilles and hot plates and were cooking outdoors in front of the building. I had a bratwurst sammich with chips, coleslaw, and some sweet tea.  Before leaving I also got a soft-serve ice cream cone and  some cotton candy. (Must haves whenever I go to the zoo.)

The funniest thing I saw at the zoo today were the River Otters playing with one another. When I usually see them, they’re dashing back and forth in the water and it’s hard to get picture of them. Today, the two of them were rollicking right in front of the glass along the front of their enclosure, rolling over one another, scratching and rubbing each other’s bellies.  One of them got under some fallen branches around their pond and started doing bench presses with them: pushing them up with his feet, letting them down, pushing them up again…

CLICK HERE for the album of photos.

One thing I’d noticed at the zoo that I’d never seen before were bat boxes posted in the trees throughout the zoo.  I asked one of the docents about them, and she said they’d been slowly going up since last year. I wonder what species of bat they’re attracting: most likely Little Brown Bats and Mexican Freetails…

The only disappointment of the day was when I tried to get some photos of the Abyssinian Ground Hornbills, my favorite birds.  They were doing their courting ritual of serving one another dead mice, and for some reason my camera decided that THAT would be the moment when it froze up and refused to function properly.  Arrrgh!! I got a few photos of the birds, but none of them were very good. Still, having only that one disappointment didn’t dampen my spirits.  I had a fun day at the zoo.

Baby Animal Bonanza at the Sacramento Zoo, 09-09-17

I went to the Sacramento Zoo today because I wanted to see all of the new babies.  Along with the six baby flamingoes who were born a few weeks ago, on Labor Day two of the other animals took “labor” seriously and had newborns: an Eastern Bongo (whose name is Penny), and the mama Wolf’s Guenon, Mimi,  (who already two other babies, Zuri and Kaci, still growing up around her).  The three Black and White Ruffed Lemurs born in May were now finally on exhibit, too.  So it was baby bonanza there, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I ended up taking over 1400 photo and video snippets!

CLICK HERE to see about 200 of them.

I think all of the animals were happy about the fact that it was a slightly cooler morning (around 68º) and were out and about, and I got to see all of the babies.

As soon as I walked into the zoo, I went over to the duck pond and got to see the American White Pelicans snoozing in the sun and the Southern Crested Screamers posing for photos.  There were also Mallards, Wood Ducks,  White-faced Whistling Ducks, some Orinoco Geese and the adult flamingoes.  In the enclosure for the Thick-Billed Parrots there was a Roadrunner rushing around.

Then it was off to see my favorite Red River Hogs; the whole family was out, scruffing around in the dust. And in the enclosure next to them was the Eastern Bongo and her baby.  OMG, that calf was soooo cute!  It hasn’t grown into its face yet, so it’s all ears and has a wrinkly muzzle.  Every now and then, mom would poke at it with her muzzle or try to herd it by using her horns to steer it around. At only about 4 days old the baby Bongo seems to be able to get around okay on its own, although it did stumble a few times chasing after its mama.  The zoo staff isn’t sure of the gender of the baby yet, and it doesn’t have a name. Same is true of the new baby Wolf’s Guenon.

The whole family of Wolf’s Guenons were out: mom, dad, all of the babies – including the newborn who was clinging to mama’s chest. From where I first saw it, it was hard for me to get any clear photos.  So, I walked around to the other side of the enclosure, and then was able to get some really sweet photos of Mimi and her newborn.  Every once in a while, she’d groom the baby too hard or pinch it in the wrong place while she tried to move it around, and it would give out a loud squealing cheep!  The other youngsters were running around and wrestling with one another, and would stop periodically to look at the newborn, but they never approached it or tried to touch it.  Mama Mimi was very protective of it.

Across from her, the Sumatran Orangutans were out in their enclosure and I got some good shots of them.  Not so with chimpanzees. There were too many gum-chewing ferrets around, and of course none of them have been taught any manners by their moronic parents. I had several of the kids literally shove me out of their way. One of them even elbowed me in the stomach to get past me… And these were “little” kids, maybe 6 to 10 years old (not teenagers)… I hate humans.

Of the big cats, all of them were out except for the Snow Leopard.  The African Lions have a new “cat tree” built in their enclosure with several layers that give them more space to climb and also gives them extra sources of shade.  The male was walking all around it, spraying pee on it and rubbing his face against it.  Hah! Cats are cats… The Sumatran Tiger was out pacing around and at one point jumped up on the ledge in front of the viewing window and scared the crap out of some little kids.  In his enclosure, the male Jaguar was taking a nap.

I then walked over to the giraffe enclosure because I knew the baby Flamingoes would be brought out on a shallow lawn near there, and all of the giraffes were out, including both the Reticulated one and the Masai ones.  The big male Masai was trying to each foliage from a nearby tree, while the others munched on the zoo-provided breakfast of greenery and twigs.

And then, around 10:30 the baby flamingoes were finally brought out and allowed to play in a trio of wading pools.  They were just darling – all these long-legged fuzz balls nattering to one another and jumping around, greeting the group of viewers with wing flaps and little dances. Because they’re so young, they’re still varying shades of white and grey. The keepers said it would take a year for them to fully fledge into their pink feathers.

Among the babies there were four boys and two girls, and all of them are named after cocktails: Tiki, Mai Tai, Bellini, Daiquiri, Blue Hawaiian and Margarita.  The keepers said that eating in the water is instinctual, so they didn’t have to train them to do that. They’re feeding the babies a special flamingo-chow made by Purina.  It has the keratin in it that will turn the birds feathers pink as they fledge out. I stood there, watching them and taking photos of them for almost 30 minutes; they were just so much fun to watch.  Little Mai Tai, a female and one of the smallest in the group, kept going over to this keeper or that keeper, and laid down between their feet.  The keepers said that’s what the babies do in the wild: snuggle down between their parent’s feet to rest. Awwwww.  The babies were also fascinated by the leaves on the ground and tried to untie some of the keepers’ shoes.  Hah! (Oh, and a fun fact: the oldest Flamingo in the zoo is 23 years old; she came as a 2-year old to the zoo in 1996!)

When I was done watching the babies, it was about 11 o’clock, so I had some lunch: a hot dog and a rootbeer float.  While I was eating I watched the giraffes and the Fennec Foxes.  One of the foxes kept moving back and forth against a door on its enclosure, not realizing that there was an open door just a few feet away from it.  It was getting more and more frustrated, but the one by the open door didn’t call to it or otherwise let it know where the entrance was to their “cavern”… The foxes are supposed to have a wide variety of vocalizations, but I’ve never heard them make a peep at the zoo… They’re such pretty little things; I love their faces.

A few of the Straw-colored Fruit Bats were hanging out… but it’s always so hard to get photos of them because you have to shoot through a chain link fence AND deal with the fact that they hide out under an overhang that shades them.

I circled around, back past the Bongo – who was lying in her barn with her baby in the back of her enclosure by that time.  I’m glad I got the photos of her earlier in the morning.  Then I stopped at the Black-and-White Ruffed lemur enclosure.  I saw two of the three babies there.  Most of the lemurs were lying down and resting, so I was able to get some good close-ups of them.  Across from them the White-Faced Sakis were out (but not the Three-Toed Sloth).  The female Saki (who doesn’t have a white face like the male) always looks like she could kick your ass, and today was no different.  She makes me laugh.

Before I left the zoo, I stopped in at the reptile house.  The snakes were unusually active today.  Usually they lie around with their heads tucked into their coils, but many of them today were stretched out and showing off.  I got photos of the Honduran Dwarf Club-tailed Iguana, Madagascar Rainbow Sand Lizard, Madagascar Tree Boa, Madagascar Flat-tailed Tortoise, the Smooth-fronted Caiman, Prehensile-tailed Skink, a Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Pacific Gopher Snake, Ball Python, a couple of European Legless Lizards, a Northern Pacific Rattlesnake and a Sidewinder, a Fiji Island Banded Iguana and a Common Chuckwalla.  I was also there when a keeper fed a tiny pinkie-mouse to a Giant Garter Snake.  In other terrariums were a Mexican Red-kneed Tarantula, several Blue Poison Dart Frogs, California Tiger Salamanders, Golden Mantella frogs, Phantasmal Dart Frogs, and Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frogs.  Phew!

The only part of the zoo that I didn’t get to – because it was getting too hot for me outside – was the Australian section where the ‘roos and wallabies are (along with the Red Panda exhibit and the Hornbills). Next time.