My daughter Carrie and I spent a day at the zoo in Columbus, Ohio, recently. After we went through the America section, we moseyed on to the Shores area.
There we saw Caribbean flamingos. It’s not hard to see how they got to be the kings of lawn ornaments. They are funny birds to me but the color of the Caribbean flamingo is simply spectacular.
Going along at the zoo, our next stop was at the Humboldt penguin habitat.
We were very lucky to see flamingos and penguins in the wild when we lived in Chile. The flamingos we saw were in northern Chile in Laguna Chaxa in the Salar de Atacama, which is the most easily accessible flamingo breeding site in the desert. The Chilean Flamingo is very much like the Caribbean but not quite so pink. This is an old photo from our trip there.
There is a colony of Humboldt penguins that live on an island off the coastal town of Zapallar, Chile, a place where we spent New Year’s Eve day on the beach. While we could only see them off in the distance, it was neat to be that close to those cool little birds in the wild.
Also while in Chile, we also got to see Magellanic penguins on a trip we took to Patagonia. This is an old photo I took when we were there. I just wanted to pick up one of those baby birds (with the grey feathers) and hug it. Of course, I didn’t. I still consider the experiences of getting to see these wonderful birds in the wild to be some of the best of my life. What I wouldn’t have given to have had my Nikon d90 with me then!
From the Shores at the zoo, we went on to the Congo. Columbus Zoo has a lot of primate babies right now and we saw them all. This is one of two Colobus Monkey babies born at the zoo in May of this year. Their names are Dr. Leonard Hofstadter and Howard Wolowitz. Obviously, there’s a fan of Big Bang Theory around there somewhere.
We saw the baby Western Lowland Gorilla, Kamoli, but I didn’t get any good photos of him. And we saw the baby Bonobo, born in 2012. No good pics of the baby Bonobo either, but it makes me glad to know that the Columbus Zoo has been successful in Bonobo births. They have welcomed 13 baby bonobos to the zoo since 1990. According to the zoo website: The bonobo is the rarest (great ape) with only 5,000-50,000 living in the equatorial forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The primary threat to the endangered bonobo is human behavior, mainly habitat destruction caused by logging. A secondary threat is the hunting of bonobos for bushmeat for native consumption and for sale to logging companies and markets. Maybe that’s what this guy is thinking about.
But I was thrilled to get to see this baby Mandrill, Mosi, born on September 9, 2013. He had us laughing at his acrobatics and then seemed to decide that the leaves he wanted were on the other side of the fence or maybe he was just a little curious about us. What a face!
Next we were on to Australia...