Monday, July 7, 2014

Oregon Zoo In Spring

Spring has come & gone at the Oregon Zoo, so I suppose it's about time I blogged about it! The photos in this post were taken between March and June, 2014, and are not duplicates of ones used in my two most recent zoo posts: Oregon Zoo In Bloom or Oregon Zoo Up Close.

Okay, so first off...

I would like to get this out of the way:


Every time I visited the zoo, I was annoyed with the tigers because they never seemed to do anything; they just slept or looked lazy.

Then, one day in March, I visited the zoo with my cousins, and I noticed that they had the path leading to the tigers & leopards (near Steller Cove) blocked off. Didn't think anything of it, since the zoo has been under constant construction since about 1803, and I'm used to seeing barriers and detours. We went through Africa the other way, and passed the tiger exhibit on the way back. This time, a tiger was awake and walking about. But there was only one tiger.

The next time I went to the zoo -- same deal, only one tiger. I wondered about it, but didn't look into it.

Then, a few weeks later, I was talking to a friend who has friends who work at the zoo and I learned that the female tiger had died. I found that article online and realized, the tiger died the day I was there in March. That's why they had the path blocked off. I took photos of the poor other tiger while he was in the middle of his grieving and I did not knowwww.

That's also when I learned that the tigers were both 15, and in tiger years, that's elderly.

And so, giant stripey cat(s), I'm sorry I ever thought you were lazy or boring. You are/were just old. Take as many naps as you want, surviving tiger. 

Thatta boy.

Meanwhile, I was wrong about something else, too...

The zoo doesn't have three black bears...

It has four.

I'm not sure if I've just never been at the zoo when they've all been out, before, or if I simply can't count, but there are four and there have been four for several years.

But I've lost track of the number of elephants.

There are, however, too many for their small space. So the zoo is slowly but surely building them a bigger habitat.

Happy habitat!

Construction has finally concluded on the California Condor exhibit, and the path to the Family Farm is once again open!

Yay, pet-able goats and ducks!

The nice weather of late has enticed the sun bears to emerge...

 The lions are enjoying the sunshine too. Also, the cubs are enormous now.

I've overheard several zoo visitors saying "Oh, there's the mama lion" when they are clearly pointing to a cub. 





Male lion looking for lovin'.

Yeah, so when I was there in May I witnessed that lion getting it on with one of the female adults no less than 3 times in about 20 minutes. She'd just be lying there and he'd get up, come over, do his liony things, and then go back to square one.

The adult zoo visitors would then start giggling and the kids would go, "What's he doing, daddy?" The response: "Um, why, they're snuggling!" 

Snuggling indeed. How do you think those three cubs got here?


Meanwhile in Africa, I know I typically post a lot of giraffe pictures, but I hope you won't mind a few more, because you are about to see the progression of a giraffe standing up! I mean sitting, then standing. Check out those... knees, I guess?

Cool, huh?

Hey, can you spot the leopard? (Har har.)

I adore the leopards. Like the tiger, the two zoo leopards are pushing elderly-catness. Borris, the male, just turned 13 and Kia, the female, is 19.

I also adore the bobcats....

Sister and brother Kasa and Kajika are 14. I usually find them sleeping in their den, but I was excited to see them walking around on my recent visit.

I don't usually spend a lot of time looking at the primates, but here are a few pictures just to prove that they exist and stuff...

And lastly, I leave you with a picture of one of the zoo's delightful, show-off-y river otters. One of my favorite things to do is to sit on the cement right in front of the windows, there. The otters will swim by, just inches from my face. I just love it.

Oh what the heck, here's a video!

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