Sunday, September 11, 2011

Zoo Encounters

I’ve always considered the Stanley cranes the most affable of the zoo’s outdoor birds, with their slightly chubby, cheerful-looking faces and large mild eyes.

[really, how much more benign
can you get?]

When they were moved to a different enclosure this summer and given a “Caution: Aggressive Cranes” sign, I thought it was just so they’d complement their neighbors, the much scarier wattled cranes:

It was only today that I began to revise my opinion, when all of a sudden the Stanley cranes stood erect, their wide eyes turning sharp and alert, and uttered a loud, ululating cry—possibly directed at the zoo visitors.

I really don’t know what the call was all about, but Annie and I weren’t the only ones to be surprised—and somewhat alarmed—by it: a woman with another group of visitors backed away from the fence, observing, “That’s some Jurassic Park shit!”

[not a crane, a cassowary;
but pretty Jurassic Park-y]

(My second favorite animal observation of the day came from Annie, who, when watching the prairie dogs, expressed a desire not just to pet one but to “wear one on my shoulder, like a combination parrot and hamster.” I had never thought about that before, but now it’s unlikely that I’ll ever pass the prairie dog exhibit without having a vision of that occurrence coming to pass.)

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


Anca Vlasopolos said...

Thanks for making me laugh! I wish I'd been there for the Jurassic Park moment.

TechKnow Prof said...

That visitor was right on. Birds, after all, are really dinosaurs in disguise.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Somehow you make every occupant in that zoo look lovely. Just don't turn your camera on the people!

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

Patti--no danger there! Animals are much more fun to photograph (and much less likely to sue if you take their picture). :)

mainly mongoose (Lynda) said...

I love that little pear-shaped prairie dog.
For another Jurassic Park-y thrill, check out ostrich feet.

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