Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Saturday, February 18, 2017

San Diego Zoo

As I’m writing this (Friday evening) the rain is beating down on the roof and the wind is howling.  Since we got here the forecast was for sun and warm weather till Friday when the weather was going to turn ugly.  We have been on the go every day since we arrived last Friday, knowing that a winter storm was going to hit the coast and leave us trailer bound for a couple of days.  

The weather forecast has been bang on with high winds and rain bringing high surf and flash flood warnings.  News reports are coming in of large Eucalyptus trees crashing down on houses and breaking through the roofs.  With no storm sewer system here the roads are used to drain the rain water and the heavy rainfall has turned the roads into rivers.  Many cars have been washed off the roads.   There have also been reports of downed hydro lines with one instance of a man being electrocuted when he stepped out of his car.  This has been one freaky winter. 

Looks like the wind and rain is to lessen overnight with some sun returning to the forecast by Sunday.  

Thursday we went to the San Diego Zoo.  It has been world famous for years but my first recollection is of the animals that Joan Embery would bring onto The Tonite Show.  One of my favourite late night TV memories was when Joan brought a Marmoset and it climbed up on Johnny Carson’s head and “marked” his forehead as his territory.   

First thing we did when we got to the Zoo was take a tour bus ride through the Zoo.  It was a great way to get a quick overview and plan our attack. Its a huge place with lots of exhibits and we knew there was no way we were going to see it all in one day but I think we got most of it covered.

Here are some of the animals we saw.  

This guy could sing "Take me out to the Ballgame" among other things.
The bird not the handler.  

Koala's sleep 22 out of 24 hours.  Pretty cute.
And no they are not bears. 

These two were in the same cage.  Seems to me to be a recipe for disaster however the park has a buddy system.  When a Cheetah cub or Wolf pup is brought into the Zoo they are paired with domestic dog puppy.  The wild animal adopts the milder demeanour of the dog and keeps them calm.
The Rhino's skin really does look like armour plating. 

This little fellow has the cutest face. 

Sun Bear.  Much smaller than most bears with a rather interesting face and very long claws.

The Panda exhibit was the most popular and all the people made it
hard to get to the front of the line to get a good picture. 

Curl-crested Aracari is from the Amazon in South America.
Looks like it has black curly hair but its actually feathers.

Inca Tern from Peru and Chile.
Looks like it has a white handlebar moustache.

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock from South America

Toco Toucan from South America

The Pelicans were very active 

Speke's Gazelle from Somalia.
Its only about 2 feet tall at the withers

Southern Gerenuk from Somalia.  Its long neck helps it reach leaves on tree branches.
It also can stand up and balance on its hind legs to reach higher leaves. 

King of the Beasts

"Secretary" bird from Africa

African Elephant.  They also had some Asian Elephants.
The most obvious difference was the African Elephants had much larger ears. 

These two Camels posed nicely for my picture

California Condor.  A few years ago there were only 22 left in existence.
 The Zoo took some eggs from the wild and have been breeding
and then releasing them into the wild.
They now estimate a population of about 500.  

Tasmanian Devil from the Island of Tasmania in Australia.
Looks just as ugly in person

Southern Screamer from South America.
 A rather docile bird in with the very crazy flamingos. 

The Flamingos would quietly stand around grooming themselves.
Then for no apparent reason they would start squawking and running
around and flapping their wings like some predator had invaded their pen.
Then they would all settle down and start the grooming process all over again. 

Hopefully we can get back to our tourist activities cause there is still a few more things on our "to see" list.

Till then.