St. Louis Zoo, part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the first half of our visit to the zoo on Monday, and left you with a view of a resting giraffe.

Today we start with another giraffe, but this one was definitely not resting. This one was sparring -- with an ostrich.


At first I couldn't tell who the aggressor was here, as it seemed like the bird was just trying to bite the giraffe.

But after a while, I realized that the ostrich seemed to just be protecting itself.

The giraffe kept putting its head down, I guess to try and bite the bird's legs -- they seemed to have some raw patches on them. Maybe not.

When it finally relaxed and walked away, that giraffe just followed it, and not in a friendly way.

Although, maybe this was all friendly -- a bit of play-fighting to relieve the boredom. I kind of doubt it though.

The other ostrich (Female? Immature?) was keeping well away from the fracas, and gave me a good view of its beautiful feathers:

The other giraffes were not interested either:

I feel like those two with the problem would have kept it up all afternoon... I moved on to more mellow fellows:

Lots of dozing going on. (Sichuan Takin above I believe)

This zoo has a pretty impressive collection of hoofed mammals! (Gerenuk above)

They're not the most exciting of zoo animals though, but at least there were some babies:

The Somali Wild Ass has such beautiful markings and color, even when not a cute youngster:

But for real excitement, you need to move out of the hoofed animals and into Big Cat Country, where you'll find the big predators on the prowl...

Ah shoot. Everybody is sleeping over here too.

At least I got a lifted head once in a while:

Same with the lion, who heard a strange, loud noise from the nearby highway:

Tiger could not be bothered though:

I had pretty good timing over here I guess, as I got this one lioness still partially awake...

...then watched her climb down and go to sleep too. Sigh.

Not everybody was asleep out here though. (That's a Wattled Crane)

I forgot to mention that we had a little snack around this time, just before seeing the big cats. Normally I'm opposed to paying hostage prices for food and drink, but since this is a free zoo I usually like to spend at least some money here -- especially if we bypass the $15 parking fee by finding a spot on the street as we did today.

Next we headed indoors to see some monkeys.

It was way too dark in here to get great photos, but a few turned out okay.

These aren't monkeys of course, They're not lemurs either if that's what you guessed. They are Coquerel's Sifaka. It's apparently named after the alarm cry it makes when it sees an enemy (shee-fa'-ka).

The Black and White Colobus Monkeys were sitting up at the top near the daylight, so I could snap a couple photos.

Pretty much everything else in this building was sleeping or sitting in semi-darkness, so even if the camera batteries hadn't finally died I would have been hard-pressed to take decent photos.

I would have liked to take a few shots in the Herpetarium, as some of the tortoises had a beautiful and bright greenhouse garden to live in.

The butterfly house would have been nice to photograph too, with all of those tropical beauties flitting around. Actually, I just remembered that I used my phone camera as backup! Let me get those now... okay, only one butterfly shot was worth showing:

After this there was just one more area of the zoo we wanted to see: the River's Edge. This is where the Elephants, hippos, cheetahs, and rhinos live. This is one of the newest areas in the zoo, having been renovated recently (in the last few years?)

Instead of walking around enclosures, you stroll a winding path through bamboo, trees, and plants of all types. Then you come to a relatively small viewing area, where you can see the animals in their enclosures. There are usually two or more viewing areas into each enclosure, in case an animal is hiding around a corner or otherwise not visible.

Lots of bamboo here, as these poor phone camera shots show.

More importantly, this is where the big animals are.

Are you wondering why there is so much debris in these fishes' tank?

It's not their tank!

Actually, this is the end that created the debris:

It's really great being able to see these beasts underwater, as the old-school view is really not too exciting:

There's actually no place you can see them from above now, which is no real loss.

You do get a view from just above the waterline though...

That last photo is quite strange, as the animal blinked and a reflection of somebody's red shirt makes the hippo look like it has a tattoo or a skin condition. Weird and wonderful!

Yes, the batteries had rebounded for a few last shots between the monkey house and the hippos, and I had enough juice for just a couple more shots...

If we had visited earlier in the year we would have seen this baby elephant (in the background) when it was even smaller and cuter.

Still though, elephants of all sizes are so impressive even when seen in zoos, bored and restless.

That concluded our quick (three-hour) trip to the zoo this week. I guess we'll be going back in a couple of years when the new polar bear/penguin/puffin exhibit is finished.

I hope you enjoyed the photos!


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Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (October 17, 2013 at 12:45 PM)  

I loved all the photos. Makes me want to go to the Sacramento Zoo although it's nothing like the one in St Louis.

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (October 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM)  

Stunning photos
Thanks for the laugh, the ostrich and giraffe

Kris Peterson  – (October 17, 2013 at 7:43 PM)  

Great photos! It's been too long since I've paid a visit to the zoo.

danger garden  – (October 18, 2013 at 12:23 AM)  

Thank you for all of these photos. Zoos tend to depress me so I don't seek them out, still I do enjoy seeing the animals.

Alan  – (October 18, 2013 at 8:11 AM)  

danger: I know what you mean. I have to think of the other services that zoos provide though: breeding services and reintroduction of endangered species for example. I just wish there were a way to keep all of these animals from being bored or unhappy.

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