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…

Lots of Babies at the Zoo, 08-20-16

I got up around 8:00 am this morning, and headed over to the Sacramento Zoo. I’m still fighting off a little bit of the vertigo and the drowsiness from the medication, but I needed to get moving and get some fresh air… and I felt that if I got super-dizzy while at the zoo, at least there would be a lot of people around who could help me… I walked slowly and used railings wherever I could and I made it through most of the zoo.  I didn’t get over to the chimpanzee house or the reptile house, but I still got to see a lot of stuff.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE WHOLE ALBUM of photos.

Over the previous several months a lot of babies had been born to the zoo, and I got to see several of them today which was fun.  The Red River hoglets are getting big and are out of their stripes and into their more adult coats now. They’re still smaller than mom and dad, and don’t have the tassels on their ears that the adults have but I still think they’re cute.

Then I saw the baby Masai giraffe.  When you see it in photos by itself, it doesn’t look all that small.  But then its dad walked by and, wow, the baby is still small.  Like all of the giraffes, it has such a gentle face, and gorgeous long eyelashes… I actually sat down on a bench next to the giraffe enclosure and watched it for almost 20 minutes…

Next to the giraffe enclosure is the on-site animal hospital. They have windows along the front of it, so you can look in at the exam rooms and see what’s going on, if anything.  Today, there were two female veterinarians in there working on one of the guinea fowl.  They had the bird sedated and on a table with IV’s, but I don’t know exactly what they were doing to it…

Then I went to see the new baby Wolf’s Guenon (born on June 5th); it’s just a little stick with fur that is always on the go.  It was sometimes hard to get pictures of him, he was moving so fast.  But he was soooo adorable.  It’s mom was right near the baby and huffed and growled at me when she felt I getting too close to their habitat. I’d never heard her make any kind of noise before, so it was kind of a surprise.

None of the big cats were out today except for the male lion – and he sat with his back to the fence, so I didn’t get any really good photos of him. I did get to see a lot more animals, though, including the aardvark who was out of his cave; this was the first time I’ve seen him out in the sunlight…

After about 2 hours, I was getting a little nauseous and tired, so I headed back home.

Vacation Day 5: The Sacramento Zoo

Red River hoglets. Copyright © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.
Red River hoglets. Copyright © 2016 Mary K. Hanson. All rights reserved.

Vacation Day Five.  I slept in a tiny bit today and didn’t get up until about 7:15.  I did my morning ablutions stuff and put a pot of coffee on to brew before settling in to a light breakfast.  Around 8:45 or so, I headed over to the Sacramento Zoo for my walk.  The weather was perfect: sunny, breezy, in the 60’s.

I mostly wanted to see the new baby Red River Hogs’ quadruplet hoglets and I wasn’t disappointed.  Just as I got to their pen, their keeper let them out into their run so she could clean their barn area. It was hard getting still shots of the babies because they move so fast, so I took some video of them, too.  At one point, one of the babies must’ve accidentally nipped mama’s tee-tee because she gave it a hard bite on the back to make it stop.  It just stood there for a little bit, like it was stunned and embarrassed.  Poor little thing.  Hah!

Hoglets Videoshttps://youtu.be/oRgp5T86s94 and https://youtu.be/rrmDlpGkOu8

The two American White Pelicans they have there are in the breeding season, so they’re super territorial.  There are picnic tables outside the zoo’s restaurant that are right near the fence where the Pelicans hang out.  There were signs all over the place telling people not to get to close to the fence because the Pelicans might come after them… so, of course, everyone went up to the fence and drove the Pelicans crazy.

I got to see all of the big cats except the Tiger today.  Their female tiger was killed by their male tiger in February when the zoo introduced them to one another.  The male tiger, Mohan, is now being kept of exhibit.  The zoo hasn’t decided what to do with him: if they’ll keep him, send him to another zoo, or have him put down…  The male Snow Leopard was out in his enclosure and sat right next to the fence eating grass and sharpening his claws on the tree stumps.  So beautiful…  The adult lions were out but their cubs weren’t.  Mama and papa just sat, basking in the early morning sun… And I got to see the Jaguar today, which is kind of rare; he hardly ever make an appearance. He recently injured his tail somehow and it had to be amputated, so he has a little bob-tail now…

All of the adult giraffes were out except for the one who just had a baby.  I asked one of the docents when the baby giraffe might go on exhibit, and she said it was really up to the baby’s mom.  She’ll lead him out when she feels well enough to handle it – and when he is confident enough to be safe around the larger adults. Maybe a week or two…

At the flamingo pen there were a lot of duck sharing their space, including several female Mallards with broods od fuzzy ducklings.  So cute!

Around 11 o’clock I stopped for lunch at the café inside the zoo and had a burger, fries and Bud Light.  Then I went to the reptile house and the souvenir shop before heading out.  In the reptile house, I got there just as one of the keepers was feeding the Smooth-fronted Caiman.  They try to train the critters to go where they want them to go when they feed them, and the Caiman was kind of stubborn at first.  The keeper wanted him to go into a white plastic carry-box to get his mice, and he was just not happy about that. He tried snapping the mice away from her without going into the box – she held them out on long tongs to him – but eventually decided that was too much work I guess and he complied.  I got some videos of that exchange, too.

Caiman Videos: https://youtu.be/ab1aCkbJ3Rs and https://youtu.be/McliNbycfnM

At the souvenir shop I got some t-shirts.  I was looking for a new fluffy-animal keychain (because mine is getting pretty ratty-looking) but they had sold out of them, so I’ll have to again some other time.  After that I went home and crashed with the dogs.

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Foxes and Lion Cubs and Other Critters, Oh My!

!  I made myself a light breakfast, rebooted the dishwasher, and did some laundry before heading over to the Sacramento Zoo.  My hopes were to see the new Fennec Foxes they have on display as well as the new lion cub triplets, but I wasn’t sure if any of them would be out because it was so cold (about 43º).

I had to go through the zoo a couple of times to get some of the shots I wanted (because the animals were staying out of sight, inside where it was warm.  But… I DID finally get some shots of the foxes, and got to see the lioness and her babies when they stepped out to play.  There was fencing all around the lions’ den so you couldn’t get as close to the railing as you normally could which meant it was harder to shoot through the loops in the chain link (because the camera kept trying to focus on the fence and not the animals on the other side of it.)  Still, I was happy I got a chance to see them.  The cubs are darling; they were pouncing on each other and running all over the place.  At one point, the mama picked up a big ball and brought it to them, but they weren’t interested in that.  When she went back into their den and sat in the doorway, one of the cubs ran up to her, crashed into her chest and then laid down between her front paws.  So cute!  The Fennec Foxes were much tinier than I thought they would be – and are “all ears” – They rushed out into the sandy-gravelly pit area where the aardvark usually is, and darted back and forth… then ran back inside their den to warm themselves under the infrared lights in there.  Smart little guys!

I didn’t get to see the bats because they were hidden in their cave, but I DID get to see the jaguar who’s usually “never” out.  He was pacing and chuffing; I don’t think he’d gotten his breakfast yet and wasn’t happy about that.  I also got to see an Orinoco Goose go after a kid who was standing too close to the fence when the ganders’ harem came up out of the water to feed.  It rushed the kid with its wings outstretched and tried to bite him in the knee.  His mother thought it was hysterical, but the kid wasn’t too happy about it.  Hah!

In the animal hospital on the zoo grounds, the doctors were giving a checkup to a huge turtle.  The signage said the turtle had a gall stone and the doctors were deciding what to do about it (whether the animal was fit for surgery or not).  It must be difficult to operate on a turtle; going through the shell would do so much damage – but if you had to work around it, you’d have to figure out a way to get a camera in there so you could see what you were doing…  Interesting stuff.

The chimps and orangutans weren’t out while I was there, so I didn’t get to see them, and I didn’t venture into the reptile house because there were screaming children all around it.  All in all, though,  I did get to see the foxes, the lions, the tiger, the Bateleur Eagle, the King Vulture, the Hornbills, lots of parrots and ducks, a Western Screech Owl, the White-Faced Saki, the Wolf’s Guenon, the jaguar and snow leopard, zebras, ostriches, giraffes, the White-Handed Gibbon, the giant anteater, the Red River Hogs, and the Yellow-backed Duiker (but not the baby one), the flamingoes and the White Pelicans… so it was a good day at the zoo.  AND I got my cotton candy!    On the way out to my car, I also found a rooster under a car in the parking lot – probably warming himself under the hot engine.  Hah!

Once I got home, I finished off my laundry and baked up a couple of veggie pies.  Then I crashed for the rest of the day with the dogs.

A video of a Merganser Duck: http://youtu.be/0gmNPPfovS4

A video of the lion cubs and their mama: http://youtu.be/plDshbB1nFM

A video of Orinoco Geese: http://youtu.be/VTfG1S4OCpM