Himalayan Baboon

Hamadryas Baboon

Yesterday I left the snow on the ground in Prescott for the warmer temperatures of Phoenix. Although today’s temperatures were cold for Phoenix, a clear blue sky back-dropped our first visit of the year to the Phoenix Zoo. We were rewarded with active animals. Four giraffes stretched their necks to feed from a tall circular holder while a Watusi cow in the same exhibit ate from food placed behind a large stone. Most of the Arabian oryx were nibbling at their grub. I crossed a chain link barrier to take a picture of a stately ostrich. The male mandrill posed like a statue. The dominant male Hamadryas baboon nestled close to a viewing window and waved. One otter was atop a hollowed log and his mate peeked out before deciding to return to the log’s inner warmth. An Andean bear slept next to a viewing window, too. We discovered an exhibit that used to have pelicans and other critters now has several American alligators. Most of them found spots next to the bank, but one could be seen resting at the bottom of the pond. A Galapagos tortoise was munching his food. The Aldabra tortoises were sunning themselves. Sheena, an Asian elephant kept busy searching for food in containers that required truck dexterity. A pied imperial pigeon was nibbling on grain. A Western crowned pigeon strutted around the enclosure that allows us to be inside it for close encounters with several colorful birds. The orangutans had entered their exhibit shortly before we arrived. We watched baby Jiwa handily move across ropes attached to posts before settling down with his father, Michael. Across the way Kasih held a handful of food while Daniel traveled with him. They eventually climbed on top of a structure in the exhibit. Even the young komodo dragon was active. We learned that he smells by extending his long, forked tongue. Today was a great day to be in the Phoenix Zoo, and many human mothers visited today with their young in strollers.

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