Phoenix Zoo: May 2019 Saturday, May 25 2019 

Fennic Fox

Fennic Fox

We have been back from our world cruise for two weeks. I have filtered through about twelve feet of mail and now have six months of magazines to read. The Lexus started right up after being tendered. My son-in-law kept the motor home and two other cars operational. When I took the eight-year-old Prius to the dealer in response to a recall notice, I replaced the original tires and their detail work has made it like new. The 2015 smart fortwo received its 20,000-mile tune-up. The Winnebago Via underwent its annual oil change service. We drove the Via with the smart car from its winter home in Phoenix back to Prescott. After being gone for five months, a new to us dental hygienist has returned our smiles. We have started daily walks and I have lost about five of the twelve pounds I gained while consuming gourmet food three times a day. We are adapting to life on land after our wonderful adventures aboard the Viking Sun.

Sunflower

Sunflower

We visited the Phoenix Zoo this morning. The normally nocturnal Fennic fox was awake. The colorful face of a mandrill posed in front of a window. Across the way, a Himadryas baboon rested in the corner of a window while children took turns trying to pet it through the glass. One of the Siberian tigers was pacing back and forth. A Galapagos tortoise was drinking from its pond. A Grand Cayman blue iguana stretched out in the sun. I caught the eye of a greater flamingo. A blue heron, Dalmatian pelican, and ibis poised for pictures. Rabbits could be seen snatching food in several different exhibits. Several varieties of blooming flowers enhanced our experience. Work to expand space for the Asian elephants continues. It was pleasant to return to the Phoenix Zoo.

Phoenix Zoo: December 2018 Monday, Dec 17 2018 

Eastern Collared Lizard

Eastern Collared Lizard

Weren’t we just at the Phoenix Zoo? Yes, but our membership lapses at the end of December, we visited different areas today than Saturday, and it’s a good place for a Walk (and pictures). Today we watched a spiny-tailed iguana sunbathing. An active Eastern collared lizard wanted out of his glass enclosed exhibit. A black-necked stilt enjoyed the prairie dog exhibit. The burrowing owls eyed us. The golden eagles looked regal. The bobcat was awake. An emu pecked the ground shortly before being fed. Six cotton-top tamarins frolicked wildly while the adjacent golden lion tamarin looked lonely, and two Geoffrey’s marmosets explored the branches in their exhibit. A Calamian deer rested regally. The Visayan warty pigs hunted for food. A Western honey bee teased visitors to visit the “Bugs BIG Bugs!” special exhibit. The buff-checked gibbons displayed their acrobatic prowess. We enjoyed the white-faced whistling duck and straw-necked ibis who posed for us. Another great day at The Phoenix Zoo!

Bugs BIG Bugs! Saturday, Dec 15 2018 

Australian Bombardier Beetle

Australian Bombardier Beetle

In addition to the seasonal zoolights, the Phoenix Zoo has a special attraction celebrating arthropods until April 28th, 2019. According to a posted informational sign, “… all bugs eat their food by sucking it up a straw-like organ called a stylet.” Here is a list of the big bugs on display: red-tailed bumble bee, seven-spotted ladybug, black garden ants, devil’s flower mantis, blue-eyed darner, Australian bombardier beetle, emperor scorpion, meadow grasshopper, Say’s firefly, orb weaver spider, stag beetle, Madagascan sunset moth, and Mexican red-knee tarantula.

Jiwa, Young Orangutan

Jiwa, Young Orangutan

Our walk about allowed us to see many active live animals. The Masai giraffes stretched their necks for their lunch placed high off the ground. A herd of reindeer rested before posing with members of the evening crowd. Three Aldabra tortoises enjoyed their new exhibit space. The male Hamadryas baboon posed in front of a corner window. The maned wolf and giant anteater paced on opposite sides of their shared exhibit. The adult male orangutan, Michael, rested wrapped in a blanket while Jiwa, the youngster, displayed his acrobatic expertise. A Horse Hands Holiday Horse Show was in progress when we passed the equestrian area. We hope the Asian elephant habitat expansion will be completed when we visit in 2019. The new Savannah Grill now displays art work. Currently, Russ Ronat’s drawings of endangered animals are featured. This is part of Project Holocene, an effort to help protect wildlife and wild places.

Phoenix Zoo: September 2018 Sunday, Sep 16 2018 

Pelicans

Pelicans

Yesterday’s Phoenix Zoo visit found us reversing our customary direction. The Children’s Trail kept us mostly in shade and mostly by ourselves. Although Labor Day has passed, Phoenix was unusually warm (109 degrees) in the middle of September. New construction is underway on the outskirts of this part of the zoo and it looks like it will open another entry point. We noted preparation for Zoolights already has begun. Mallard ducks were enjoying the pond and a common gallinula walked near us on shore. A male pelican preened the feathers of his resting mate. The saguaro shaped slide caught our attention because it looked like a bird was nesting in a hole at the top. A closer examination revealed a small owl ornament. The rope spider web was not being used and we had free reign touring the African animal sculptures. In terms of live animals, four Visayn warty pigs were sleeping comfortably in the shade. We also reversed our usual direction in the Forest of Ubo. One of the Andean bears was looking around while the other slept. Along the Tropics Trail, two straw-necked ibis searching for food drank water from a flowing stream and occasionally crossed their sword-like proboscis with one another. A special treat on this visit was listening (while seated in air-conditioned comfort) to a docent explain everything one might want to know about the orangutans and their exhibit space.

Phoenix Zoo: August 2018 Sunday, Aug 26 2018 

Grey Crowned Crane

Grey Crowned Crane

Yesterday we visited the Phoenix Zoo at 7:30 a.m. for a two-hour walkabout. Although it appeared initially we were not going to see any active animals, that was not the case. Of course, it’s not unusual to see hungry collared peccary. We had not previously seen the hanging buckets that the javelina could activate by pulling on a rope to drop food morsels. A grey crowned crane preened for a photograph while his gerenuk friends stretched their necks trying to reach the lowest hanging branches from trees already stripped of low-lying leaves. In the distance we could see a sulcate tortoise being fed. The male Hamadryas baboon couldn’t be seen but a member of his harem gazed at us from across their moat. Previously we have only seen sleeping African painted dogs. On this visit they splashed one another in the water directly in front of us. A cheetah with open eyes rested under a tree. All the Chilean flamingos posed in their water while mallard ducks looked on. The colorful scarlet macaw sat in its usual tree. While one of the Andean bears slept directly below a viewing window, the other one walked from one end of its relatively spacious exhibit to the other side and back. Two Galapagos tortoises were mating in their new exhibit space. They were moved to provide additional space for the elephants. A rhinoceros iguana eyed guests possibly looking for a handout. Michael, the huge male orangutan, was initially resting on his back below a viewing window. He joined Bess and baby, Jiwa, when an avocado treat was set out. The buff-cheeked gibbons were busy climbing while several pink-backed pelicans floated lazily in the water surrounding the island. Several turtle, a heron, and ibis were in the same area. The baby Komodo dragon is getting bigger all the time and may soon join his compatriot outside. It was interesting to observe the recent changes in the Phoenix Zoo. Lots of animal snapshots.

Phoenix Zoo: February 2018 Sunday, Feb 4 2018 

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

Comparatively few people visited the Phoenix Zoo today, Super Bowl Sunday. LouLou, the recently added southern white rhinoceros, serenely stood in a far corner of her exhibit. The male Hamadryas baboon posed near a window while a member of his harem picked through his hair. Three cheetahs roamed back and forth on the far side of their exhibit, and one briefly posed for my first cheetah portrait. The King vulture, usually perched high on a branch, hid low to the ground today. One Visayan warty pig kept looking for the ideal resting spot. The Komodo dragon pawed at the window looking for a way to escape. One of the three burrowing owls posed for my snapshot. I didn’t take a picture of orangutans Bess and Jiwa because parents were lined up to take pictures of their children in front of this mother and child. Both the bobcat and cougar were more active than usual, although I didn’t capture a picture of either. Several construction projects are underway to make the Phoenix Zoo and even more interesting place.

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