Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The London Zoo

We got a beautiful day for this outing, as we did for Kew Gardens and the boat ride. As usual, we did not have enough time to see everything, but what we did see was interesting, with most of the exhibits animal-friendly, but set up for good viewing. One exhibit impossible to photograph (but, of course, I did try!) was the Aye-aye, a fairly bizarre nocturnal creature with an elongated “finger” for picking insects out of logs. They had a blacked-out walk-through mimicking nighttime, and after about 5 minutes your eyes could adjust enough to see. I may have been able to get something using flash, but somehow that just seemed cruel, if not forbidden. We did see an Aye-aye moving about, and a few other nocturnal creatures in another enclosure. In other areas we saw a cerval with two kits, a very lazy male lion and two females, sleeping tigers, and some very entertaining meerkats, who used their dirt mound to post sentries, changing up every 10 minutes or so. They had 5 kits. The marine exhibits were also interesting, especially the seahorse tank and the coral tanks. Also seen: giraffes, black-capped monkeys in an open enclosure, Golden Lion Tamarins and a Komodo Dragon. I think two days would be the minimum to do the place justice. Maybe on another trip…

Eel and crabs UP

The marine tanks were fascinating and beautiful. This one has an eel, which would slide right back into the sandy bottom if nervous, and also some red hermit crabs.

seahorses UP

The seahorse tank was about 15 feet long, and they kept me entranced for quite a while.

This was my favorite coral, the bubble coral. I never saw any like it snorkeling in Maui. It also shows well the Banggai Cardinal fish from Indonesia.

Poppies UP

These poppies were sprinkled througout the zoo grounds.

giraffe eye UP

We were very close to this gentle giant. Such a kind eye!

Cerval mom UP

This is the cerval mom, taking a break from her 2 kits. We got along famously!

Lazy male UP

Hmmmmm, look who's sleeping. What a surpise, the male!

meerkats UP

The meerkats during a changing of the guard.

butterfly UP

This is one of my very favorite photos. Thanks to Katherine and Kat for their patience while I paused everywhere to take shots.

Black capped monkeys UP

These black-capped monkeys must not be aggressive as they could drop right down on you if they wished in this large enclosure.

red monkey UP

This is the beautiful Golden Lion Tamarin, from Brazil, and extremely endangered (96% of their habitat has been destroyed by logging).

Komodo UP

The infamous Komodo Dragon. One bite and you're history! Not poisonous, but the bacteria in its mouth is deadly.

Tired tiger UP

Typical cat, taking a nap. These tigers were gorgeous, even asleep.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour of the London Zoo. I would like to go back and see everything some day!


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