Tag Archives: White-Handed Gibbon

Cosmo the Baby Flamingo and Other Critters, 01-22-19

I treated myself to a walk at Sacramento Zoo to celebrate my birthday. It was bright and clear outside, and on the cold side. It was about 44° when I got to the zoo and only in the 50’s when I headed back home.

Tuleyome’s post-wildfire restoration project was up on one of the wishing wells in the zoo (and it will stay up there all year).

You get a metal token when you winter the zoo, and you can toss it into one of the three wishing wells lined up along the front of the zoo. There’s a pot of money set aside for the well projects, and whoever gets the most tokens, get the most money out of the pot… So, I’m trying to get as people as I can to put tokens into Tuleyome’s well. Hah! We’re up against a wildcat rescue group and a Grevy’s Zebra project.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

Because it was chilly, some of the animals were vying for sunny spots in their enclosures. The White-Ruffed Lemurs, for example, were lined up along the fence, some of them stretched out in the sun with their arms over their heads to warm up their limbs and bellies.

On top of their enclosure, there was an Eastern Fox Squirrel who found a warm metal corner on the screen and was stretch out on top of it with his chin resting on top of it. Hah-2!

The Wolf’s Guenon monkeys weren’t out when I went by their enclosure. Their latest baby, Rori, died suddenly of a respiratory illness last week, so maybe the momma was still in mourning.

I had never heard the big Crested Screamer birds scream before, but today, the keepers had returned one of the Screamers on exhibit, and the other two Screamers yelled when they saw him. What a racket! The one that had been returned had been off-exhibit for several weeks because it had a bad case of vertigo and couldn’t walk. Tests couldn’t find any indication of infection or disease, so they just kept the bird quiet for several weeks until it recovered by itself. It was still walking a little bit like a drunk today, and the other two Screamers kept close to it to help it along.

What was extra cute about the situation was the fact that the Screamers were followed everywhere by a little brown Fulvous Whistling Duck. The keepers said, that particular duck had bonded with one of the Screamers and followed it everywhere. When the Screamers nest and lay eggs, the duck sits in the nest with them… Awwwww… I guess he doesn’t mind the screaming.

Although I didn’t get to see Coconut today, I did get to see baby Cosmo, the young flamingo chick. She was walking with her keepers and went to the flamingo pond for a bath. At first, she didn’t want to go into the water, and kept fast-walking, just out of reach of her keepers, when they tried to grab her to set her into the pond. Finally, she walked into the water by herself and gave herself a bath for about 20 minutes. While she was doing that, the adult flamingos on the opposite side of the pond were having a fit, flapping their wings and honking at each other in excitement.

Cosmo didn’t seem to recognize them and didn’t acknowledge them in any way. She was the single hatchling in 2018 and was raised by humans, so I guess she doesn’t know she’s a flamingo yet. She is starting to pink-up, but still had a lot of gray feathers and though fully fledged is still pretty small.

The Meerkats were out, and always make me laugh. They rush all over the place, sometimes chasing their own reflections in the glass around their enclosure. And today, one of them found its way to the top of the high tower in the middle of their exhibit and kept looking around like a little furry telescope. A couple of them also spotted a helicopter flying overhead and tracked it all the way across the sky. So funny.

In the Chimps’ enclosure, one of them was lying in the sun on the floor, while the others were up near the open roof… And two of them decided to pee and pooped all over everything just as I was taking photos of them. I couldn’t help but chuckle. So rude! The orangutan was a little more polite.

The lions came out just as I walked by their enclosure, and the male was feeling kind of randy. He kept following the female around, making overtures to her, trying to get close to her back end, licking her tail. At one point, he put one of his front paws against her inner back thigh and kind of tugged softly at her. She just gave him a dirty look and kept on walking. Snub. Poor dude.

They’ve had several successful pairings in the past. They had their last litter about 5 years ago, though – three cubs – so maybe dad thinks it’s time to have some more.
I noticed the lioness licking at the wooden structures inside their enclosure (which is where the male usually “sprays”). I wonder if she wanted the uretic salt or something. I tried to get some close-up of where she was licking, and it DID look like there was something there, but I couldn’t tell for sure what it was.

I also got to see the sloth today. He’s hardly every out, but it’s really hard to get photos of him because he’s inside an enclosure that has a really tight fence-weave. The camera can’t ready see through the openings.

I had lunch at the zoo — a club sandwich, side salad and tea — but couldn’t eat it all. Their portions are either too large or my stomach is getting smaller (which would be okay with me).

I walked for a little over 3 hours, so I was at the edge of my limit for the day. I wanted to try for one last go-round to see if Coconut the Snow Leopard had come out before I left, but I just couldn’t walk anymore, so I went back to the car.

“Tour and Tea” at the Zoo, 05-08-17

Day 3 of my vacation: I had a ticket to go to “Tours and Tea” at the Sacramento Zoo, so I did that. The events are just for seniors, so there are no screaming kids around. Participants get a private tour of the zoo, and then go into a provide room at the café for tea and finger sandwiches.

CLICK HERE to see the album of photo and videos.

There were 26 people in our group – mostly women – and at 62 I was the youngest in the group. Most were in their 70’s or 80’s. Rather than dragging the big group around the zoo, they broke us up into small groups of 5 and had 2 docents come with us, so we could always hear what the docents were saying and could travel as slowly as we wanted to. The two docents who handled the group I was in were Jean (86) and her husband Bruce (who just had his 90th birthday last week), and they were great.

We walked around for about 90 minutes, but during the last few minutes of the tour, one of the ladies in our group fainted on her feet and hit the pavement. The zoo’s staff was there within seconds, making sure she was okay, calling for a golf cart for her. She never completely lost consciousness but was complaining about “seeing stars”, so we think that when she fainted, she banged her head on something hard enough to give her a concussion. The docent, Bruce, stayed with the lady who fell, and Jean took the rest of us through the last few parts of the tour and on to where the tea service was going to be.

At the café, they had tea, lemonade and coffee for everyone along with finger sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad and chicken salad), a green salad with dressing, and homemade chocolate chip cookies. I was very nice; a nice :old lady” event that was low-impact and very interesting. One fun fact I learned: anteaters have no jaws. I didn’t realize that before.

On the way out of the zoo I got my requisite cotton candy and a soft-serve ice cream cone and headed home. It was a nice morning.

Vacation Day 12: Sacramento Zoo

DAY 12 OF MY VACATION. Up at about 6:15 this morning. I had a leisurely breakfast and checked on my email and whatnot before heading over to the Sacramento Zoo. This was supposed to be the only clear day in the week before the next rain storm arrived, so I figured if I wanted to get to the zoo, this would be the best day to do that. It was 56° when I got to the zoo, and it was about 73° when I left around noon. It was a beautiful day, and for the first hour I was at the zoo, I was one of only two people there…

I started out in the reptile house, and was happy to be able to go through it entirely alone, with no pushy screeching kids around. The zoo has a lot more different Turtles now, and their breeding programs for the endangered Western Pond Turtle is going really well… There was one tank that had hatchlings swimming in it.

I got my first viewing of their new Eastern Bongo – such a handsome animal. And the chimps and orangutans were out and moving around when I went by their enclosures. The zoo seemed to be full of students or docents-in-training who were walking around with clipboards, taking notes, and using their cell phones to take photos. Zoo personnel tried to keep them moving throughout the park, but sometimes the students would get fascinated by this animal or that one and would stall and just take pictures. When they were watching the orangutans, I heard the over-seeing zoo lady tell the students, “Well, I see now that I shouldn’t have brought you over here…” and they all started chuckling.

The Wolf’s Guenon were just waking up when I went by their cage, including the baby who walked around with a piece of grass in its mouth for quite a while. It’s mom had been snatching leaves off of the bamboo plants growing outside of the cage, but the baby couldn’t reach that far, so it ripped up some grass instead. Hah! Later, I saw it clinging to its mom and nursing a little bit. I guess the grass wasn’t very filling.

I always complain that I “never” really get to see the aardvark there or the little Fennec Foxes that share its enclosure. Today, the aardvark had walked out into its sandy enclosure, rolled onto it back, and just laid out in the warm morning sunlight with its belly and feet up. Hah! So cute. I actually laughed out loud when I saw it. A lady came over to me and asked, “What IS that thing?” Aardvark belly… and balls. Definitely a boy. Hahahaha!

The Fennec Foxes were inside their cave, and kept going to the door to look out at the aardvark, like they couldn’t believe he was that “exposed” either. I got some photos a little video of them. Across the pat from all of this, the giraffes were out having breakfast, including the baby Masai giraffe.

Among the felines in the zoo, the male and female African Lions were out, dozing in their enclosure. The male was sitting right next to the fence, separated from viewers by only a couple of feet. And the Jaguar, which I hardly ever see, was also out. He was standing in the middle of his enclosure, listening to the rustling of the zoo keepers who were inside his night-time cage cleaning it up. I’m sure he was waiting for them to get out of there so he could get his breakfast.

The Snow Leopard was out, too. At first it climbed up to the top of the enclosure and watched the zoo keepers cleaning up the space next to it (which was closed off while reconstruction is going on). Then the leopard jumped down to the bottom of its enclosure and landed so hard I worried that it had hurt itself. But it got up, rolled over onto its back, got up again and hopped around – like a kitten playing with string or something – and then climbed up onto the back of its enclosure, stretched and laid down up there in the sun. I’d never seen it so active before.

Among the birds, I got to see the Flamingos, the Azure-winged Magpie, a Comb Duck, the Emus, Fulvous Whistling Ducks and White-faced Whistling Ducks, the female Himalayan Monal, the King Vultures, the Orinoco Geese, and Southern Crested Screamers. In the duck pond there were also some wild Mallards, Canada Geese, and little Wood Ducks.

As I was walking, I took a few “Facebook Live” videos.  They posted immediately to my Facebook page so people could see what I was seeing just a few seconds after I saw them.  I’m listing them below, but I don’t know if you can see them:

By the time I’d posted the lunch video, my brother Marty posted the comment: “OK – enough videos!  ” Hahahahaha!

I spent about 3 hours at the zoo and then went home. It was a lovely morning…