Zoos, Animal Parks, and Such

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QuickLinks

The Introduction The Show - A Family Commercial
San Diego Zoo's Safari Park
SDZSP Aspect View of the Park Balloon View of the Park Addra Gazelle
SDZSP African Crown Crane African Elephant Ankole Cattle
SDZSP Bald Eagle Big Horn Sheep California Condor
SDZSP Cape Buffalo Cheetah Defassa Waterbuck
SDZSP Ellipen Waterbuck Fringed Eared Oryx Gemsbok
SDZSP Giraffe Greater Flamingo Indian Grinding Rock
SDZSP African Elephant Night Heron Nile Monitor
SDZSP Ostrich Pink Backed Pelican Przewalski's Wild Horse
SDZSP Black Rhino Greater One Horned Rhino Northern White Rhino
SDZSP Southern White Rhino Roadrunner Western Rueppel's Griffon
SDZSP Sable Antelope Slender Horned Gazelle Southern African Springbok
SDZSP Sumatran Tiger Warthog Weaver Bird Nest
SDZSP Wildebeest or Eastern White-Bearded Gnu Zebra CRES (Conservation and Research for Endangered Species) Center
Reid Zoo, Tucson, Arizona Reid Zoo, Tucson, Arizona
RZTA Reid Zoo Entrance Marabou Stork Kori Bustard
RZTA Elephant Southern White Rhino Giraffe
RZTA Black-tailed Prairie Dog Bobcat Grevy's Zebra
RZTA Porcupine Visayan Warty Pig Malayan Sun Bear
RZTA Ocelot Sarus Crane Andean Bear
RZTA Blue and Gold Macaw Green Basilisk Lizard Dwarf Caiman
RZTA Anteater Yellow-knobbed Currasow Llama
RZTA Capybara Yellow-footed Tortoise Crested Screamer
RZTA Baird's Tapir Jaguar Malayan Tiger
RZTA Ocelot Sarus Crane Andean Bear
RZTA Blue and Gold Macaw Green Basilisk Lizard Dwarf Caiman
RZTA Anteater Yellow-knobbed Currasow Llama
RZTA Capybara Yellow-footed Tortoise Crested Screamer
RZTA Baird's Tapir Jaguar Malayan Tiger
RZTA Lar Gibbon African Spotted-necked Otter Trumpeter Hornbill
RZTA Chilean Flamingo Bearded Dragon Aldabra Tortoise
RZTA Zoo Signage Green Tree Python Children's Korral
RZTA Yellow-spotted River Turtle

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Introduction

Like many people Joyce, the Kids, and I love to visit zoos, animal parks and such. With the moves and living locations provided by the U.S. Navy career we as a family or as individuals have visited zoos, animal parks, and such from as far east as the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. to as far west as going on photo safaris in Kenya.

Unfortunately, these shots are all still photos. The benefit of visiting a zoo, animal park, or animal sanctuary is you see many of the animals in motion.

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There are few times in life when you make it to "THE SHOW."

Most baseball players are not picked by the majors out of high school or college. Most football players are not picked up out of college. You need a door you can walk through to enter the stage.
My Wife, Joyce, and two of my Daughters work at The San Diego Zoo's Safari Park, formerly The Wild Animal Park. That opened a door one summer. The Zoo and Safari Park are operated by the San Diego Zoo Global and they were shooting a new commercial for the Roar & Snore Safari program where you get to sleep in the Safari Park overnight and take tours behind the scenes.
My Sister, Kerrie, and her Husband, Brad, were in town for a visit and we all volunteered our time.
Click here to see our commercial.
Joyce and I are in the opening scene looking at a map on the bed in a premium tent.
Kerrie and Brad appear while sitting in a premium tent talking by the light of a lantern.
We all show up in quick clips, in the "big tent" scene, and in an animal presentation or two as well. This is one cool way to see the Safari Park. You will love it. Joyce and Cindi are guides for this program so you may meet them during your stay.
If you take a weekend truck safari through the park Joyce or Cindi just may be your driver. They get to drive on the Plains of Africa on these tours. What a pleasure to work where you get to interact with animals in this type of environment.
And you will find our pictures around the Safari Park in ads for Roar & Snore.

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San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park / Safari Park (WAP)

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027-7017
Phone (760) 747-8702
E-mail contact through http://www.sandiegozoo.org/contact/index.html
http://www.sdzsafaripark.org/
There is an admission fee, look into family memberships and annual passes for best values.
There is a parking fee.

The Wild Animal Park (old name) / Safari Park (new name), my reference WAP, opened in 1972 and our first trip there was in the 1976 / 1977 time frame. Situated on the southeastern edge of Escondido, California the WAP has about 1,800 acres occupied by over 3,500 animals representing over 400 species. There are always freeloaders such as the local California Mule Deer, coyotes, red-tailed hawks, sea gulls, and rattlesnakes. As you will see, the “sociable” animals live in the plains and interact with other species. The “non-sociable” animals have their own enclosures which take advantage of the local terrain. With this presentation common myth is dispelled – The “mean” cape buffalo are on the plains and the “playful” zebra are in their own enclosure. Our pictures run from the 1976 / 1977 time frame into present day. The following pictures are part of our over 2,000 photos of the WAP. Babies are always a focus. The balloon ride is a must simply to appreciate the size and relationships within the WAP.

Joyce and our two oldest daughters, Cindi and Jenni, have a total of over twenty-five years of employment with the WAP. Joyce and Cindi have always been with the Roar & Snore program where guests get to sleep overnight IN the WAP. This program has the guests going behind the scenes and seeing restricted areas as well as seeing the WAP after gates close and lights get turned off. Very few are disappointed with what they get to experience through this program. Jenni has been in several positions including Roar & Snore and is currently a tram driver / guide. Imagine getting paid to tour and view the WAP as it changes day by day.

All three have done special missions for the WAP. Jenni catered Brendan Fraser's table for the premier of his movie "George of the Jungle." Jenni and Cindi have both worked with the keepers in animal care. Joyce gets to drive the plains of Africa for the photo safaris.

Animals, education, children. What a powerful combination to work with.

(I am going to try and tell you what the main focus of the photo is. If I miss the species. Sorry.)

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Aspect View

To say the WAP is 1,800 acres is one thing. To see 1,800 acres is another. These are "ground based" pictures taken from various points around the WAP. In this picture if it is direct sunlight lit / brightly lit, it is WAP property.

Aspect View

There are several sections of the open areas established for the animals to graze in as they would in the wild. In this picture you have a Giraffe in the upper left, Cape Buffalo near the bottom, and most likely Wildebeest / Gnu almost dead center.

Aspect View

Across the plains. This is a large area without any fences or walls.

Aspect View

Another across the plains shot of the WAP. There are at least three species in this picture.

Aspect View

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Balloon Views

In my opinion, if not working with young children, a balloon ride is a must. To see the WAP from the air is totally impressive.

This is the CRES Center - Conservation and Research for Endangered Species Center. Limited tours are available and it is interesting to the most scientific visitors.

Balloon Views

This is Nairobi Village. Several food concessions and numerous exhibits. The water has both fish and birds. The kids love this area.

Balloon Views

You are looking at the African Elephant enclosure. Near the pond on the left one mom is leading her calf. Slightly to the right of dead center another mom is with her young calf. To the right an older calf is exploring the world not far from mom. The gestation period for an elephant is twenty-two months. Mother's Day has a whole new meaning.

Balloon Views

Welcome to the plains of South Africa. Contrary to some parks every tree, bush, and blade of grass in this picture is a growing organism which the residents may utilize in their own way. Take note of the obviously short grass and brown showing through. This is what these animals would find in their native habitat.

Balloon Views

Welcome to East Africa. With more water from the Indian Ocean the grass is greener and the trees are fuller.

Balloon Views

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Addra Gazelle

Addra Gazelle live on brush and foliage on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert moving to follow the food source. They, like all Gazelle, are fast and agile. Their body weight and structure allows them to stand braced against tree trunks to eat the higher leaves missed by others.

Addra Gazelle

A common trait for the gazelle species is the ability to run, jump, and change direction. These guys can go like a super ball in a tight space. As a primary food source for others these guys are always on watch.

Addra Gazelle

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African Crown Crane

The African Crown Crane is named for their ornate "head dress." They have spectacular dances and are believed to be able to bring rain. While living in the marsh areas of Eastern Africa such as Kenya and Uganda they are omnivores. The African Crown Crane is the only crane that will roost in a tree.

African Crown Crane

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African Elephant

The African Elephant has huge ears that are radiators to regulate body temperature while the Asian or Indian Elephant has smaller ears. They are always on the move which is why they have a built-in trunk. Their trunk is actually their nose. They will "inhale" water to a point with their nose and then blow it into their mouth. They cannot drink through their nose. In this picture you have mom and older brother drinking - see older brother blowing water into his mouth? Little brother is in the back still working on his last sip.

African Elephant

Both the male and female African Elephants get tusks to dig and route the ground with for food. With Asian or Indian Elephants only the males get tusks.
Baby is playing a 4 ton version of London Bridges.

African Elephant

MOM! STAND STILL! I have an itch.
An elephant's feet expand as its weight is put onto it to reduce the pounds per square inch being imposed on the ground. As the elephant raises its leg the foot contracts so the elephant does not get stuck very often. You can see the difference between the two front feet in this picture.

African Elephant

Mom are we playing follow the leader AGAIN?
The tusks of an elephant are fixed teeth that grow throughout the elephant's life. He / she has four molars inside the mouth that are about 12" long and wear down through use. When the front molars fall out, the rear set moves into their position and a new rear set is grown.

African Elephant

Mom, I have been thinking. Maybe we should ...
The males can reach 13 feet in height and weigh 13,000 pounds while the females may reach 9 feet in height and weigh over 7,000 pounds.

African Elephant

Mom can I have a drink?
An African Elephant has two "lips" at the end of its trunk while an Asian or Indian Elephant only has one.
In the wild elephants do not eat peanuts. The peanut was grown only in the Americas and is not native to Africa or Asia.

African Elephant

African Elephants are matriarchal groups. Grandma may run a herd of 20 or more elephants.
And who would want to annoy a 4 ton grandmother with five foot tusks?

African Elephant

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Ankole Cattle

The Ankole Cattle are on the Eastern to Southern Africa plains. Their horns are the largest of any cattle species with spreads of 6 feet not uncommon and 8 feet have been recorded. These cattle can weigh in at 1,600 pounds for the males and 1,200 pounds for the females.

Ankole Cattle

The coloring of the hide of the Ankole Cattle can vary greatly. They are not considered to be a source for meat as they are used for work and are a symbol of wealth.

Ankole Cattle

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BALD EAGLE

The BALD EAGLE isn't bald (upper case out of respect for all species). The head is covered with white feathers. The BALD EAGLE, our national symbol, is a fish eagle primarily. So if you are not near fishing water the bird you see may not be a BALD EAGLE.

Bald Eagle

While some birds actually dive into the water the BALD EAGLE uses its talons to grab fish at or very near the surface. The female is usually 25% larger than the male with the same plumage.
The size of the BALD EAGLE is regional. The better the food source and the more open space the larger the bird. Alaskan females may weight up to 17 pounds with 8 foot wingspans.
This BALD EAGLE was hurt and can no longer fly.

Bald Eagle

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Big Horn Sheep

These Big Horn Sheep are from the southwest U.S. Both the male and female have horns with the male having the larger set.

Big Horn Sheep

Big Horn Sheep are known to be climbers extraordinaire. Their feet have four toes on each foot and the soles are very soft for traction.

Big Horn Sheep

The males may weigh up to 300 pounds all from eating whatever plant material they can find.

Big Horn Sheep

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California Condor

The California Condor once roamed from Oregon south into Baja, Mexico. In the 1980s it is believed that there were only 27 California Condors remaining. Due solely to the WAP's preservation program there are now more than 200 California Condors and many of those are flying free.
Below are three feathers, the left is from a California Condor. The center feather is from a Western Harris Hawk. Look close, the right feather is from a humming bird.

California Condor

The California Condor is North America's largest flying bird. This bird has black feathers with white feathers under the wings and is actually bald. This feature helps keep the bird clean as it scavenges from a dead carcass.

California Condor

The California Condor may have wingspans up to 9 3/4 feet and weigh 26 pounds. Its life seems to relate to its wingspan as it may live up to 60 years in the wild.

California Condor

The California Condor plays a major role in Native American legend and folklore. This adds to the importance of restoring this species to full strength.

California Condor

The California Condor has straight talons with little development of the rear talon. This is an characteristic more fit to walking than gripping. This makes sense since if it is not dead the California Condor moves on.

California Condor

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Cape Buffalo

In myth and paperback novels the Cape Buffalo is one of the meanest animals on the planet. This is the power of the WAP's plains presentation. The 1,800 pound Cape Buffalo is living in common ground with numerous other species.

Cape Buffalo

While the animals may have been bred in the WAP because of the plains presentation the animals retain many of their "wild" common sense. In this picture two Cape Buffalo are taking a nap while two others stand (sit) watch.

Cape Buffalo

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Cheetah

The Cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth with the capability to run at speeds up to 70 miles per hour. However, these guys are more sprinters than long distance. The WAP has a Cheetah run where you can watch the Cheetahs chase a lure over a 330 foot (100 meter) track. Recommendation - see it twice. First to watch it. Second to film it. It happens that fast.

Cheetah

Built for speed the Cheetah is tall and slender with long legs and a long tail that it uses as a steering aid. There is a difference. Most cats retract their claws to protect them and keep them sharp. The Cheetah cannot retract its claws so they are used for running and provide fantastic traction. But they are not as sharp as other cats.

Cheetah

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Defassa Waterbuck

The Defassa Waterbuck likes the banks of streams with reeds and tall grass, both which offer protection and bedding areas. With shoulder heights of up to 54 inches males may weigh up to 660 pounds while females may weigh up to 440 pounds. Only the males have long, swept back horns.

Defassa Waterbuck

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Ellipen Waterbuck

Ellipen Waterbuck are the second sub species of waterbuck. The females roam in herds of up to 600 while males establish a territory.

Ellipen Waterbuck

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Fringed-Eared Oryx

The Fringed-Eared Oryx is also known the Kilimanjaro Oryx. With nearly straight horns males and females will usually grow to be 300 to 400 pounds. The striped face is a camouflage feature and black spots on the ears are viewed by others as eyes.

Fringed Eared Oryx

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Gemsbok

Gemsbok or South African Oryx are approximately 48 inches at the shoulders with weights up to 450 pounds at maturity. These animals usually travel in herds of 30 or 40 across the dry plains looking for food and water.

Gemsbok

The Gemsbok or South African Oryx will eat grasses as a general diet. When water is scarce the Gemsbok will eat more bulbs, fruits, and succulents to attain their moisture.

Gemsbok

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Giraffe

For some reason everyone seems to love Giraffes. There are two species at the WAP and you can tell them apart by the patterns of their hides. I cannot.

Giraffe

With heights up to 18 feet the Giraffe has two to four bumps, (ossicones) on the top of the head and another on its forehead just above the eyes. These are soft at birth and harden with age.

Giraffe

Giraffes are social animals with weights up to 3,000 pounds. Giraffes give birth to their babies standing up. So a calf is introduced to the world with about a 6 foot drop. The calf gets up and walks almost immediately. Predators are waiting and the calf is mobile and protected upon birth.

Giraffe

Giraffes have excellent eyesight can start running long before the danger is upon them. And they can maintain the slower run for a longer time than most cats can maintain their faster sprint.

Giraffe

There are rumors that giraffes cannot sit down and once down, cannot get up. Oh well. If it is on the Internet it must be ...

Giraffe

The Giraffe has only one living relative - the Okapi. The WAP has several Okapi on display.

Giraffe

With luck somehow we got a slightly blurry picture of a Giraffe's teeth. Like a horse, a Giraffe has more teeth in the rear of its mouth.

Giraffe

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Greater Flamingo

As you can see in other shots, there is a fair amount of surface water in the WAP. Here the WAP is hosting the Greater Flamingo in their flock. These birds may reach 5 feet in height and weigh up to 9 pounds. A fully grown male was caught for the Adelaide Zoo in Australia in 1933. That flamingo was still on display 80 years later, in 2013.

Greater Flamingo

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Indian Grinding Rock

The Zoological Society of San Diego operates several entities which include the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park (WAP in my language - Wild Animal Park, old name.). Its concerns are not only animals. This is a Kumeyaay grinding rock where grains were ground into meal. Its location is marked and protected.

Indian Grinding Rock

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African Lion

If you see a Lion sleeping it is probably in good health. Lions sleep 16 to 20 hours A DAY! To answer another question, the Lion is often a night hunter so seeing them asleep during the day can be expected. The male has a large mane, the female does not.

Lion

The Lion is the only cat that lives in a group, called the pride. The pride may have three males and all of the females will be related.

Lion

It may not look it but the Lioness (female), not the Lion (male) is the primary hunter. Notice that the claws are retracted into the paw to keep them sharp for the hunt.

Lion

Males will generally weigh up to 420 pounds with females weighing slightly less.

Lion

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Night Heron

The Pontiac by General Motors had a fantastic hood ornament in the past as did the Mercury. It was nothing compared to the WAP's roof ornaments The Night Heron, a park freeloader, hunts at the shoreline eating small fish, frogs, lizards, etc. It is known for standing still and letting its prey walk to it.

Night Heron

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Nile Monitor

The Nile Monitor lives and hunts in the sandy and tree lined banks of rivers and lakes. It is not uncommon to find this species reaching 5 feet in length. The Nile Monitor eats small fish, frogs, eggs, snakes, and birds appropriate to their size.

Nile Monitor

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Ostrich

The Ostrich is on the African continent and is relative, the Emu, is on the Australian continent. The Ostrich is the fastest land-bound bird and can run at 40 mph or more. Males may weigh up to 320 pounds and may stand 9 feet tall. The female may weigh up to 250 pounds and stand 7 feet. They are not real friendly and can kill with their kicks.

Ostrich

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Pink-Backed Pelican

The Pink-Backed Pelican is found throughout the Eastern Africa. The gular pouch in the lower section of its beak expands to capture the fish and water. When the water is strained out the fish is swallowed whole.

Pelican

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Przewalski's Wild Horse

The Przewalski's Wild Horse is pronounced "prez-val-skee" as one option. The Przewalski's Wild Horse has always been wild contrary to wild horses in the Americas or in Australia which are feral from domestic breeds.

Przewalski's Wild Horse

Unlike the domestic horse the Przewalski's Wild Horse has a bristle type mane and has no hair on its forehead. This horse is from Mongolia and is a true wild horse as it has never been successfully tamed.

Przewalski's Wild Horse

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Black Rhino or Hook-Lipped Rhino

In my notes I have this animal identified as a Black Rhino. The Black Rhino is from Central and Eastern Africa and has two "horns." While standing only 6 feet at the shoulders this mobile tank may weigh in at 3,000 pounds. Rhinos, by trait, have excellent hearing and sense of smell while they have poor eye sight. They all understand the law of gross tonnage. If they cannot see it due to limited eye sight, but can hear it and smell it and they think its a threat they may charge at an impressive speed.

Black Rhino

The Black Rhino is one of the many breeding successes of the WAP. Here mom and baby are out for a walk. The Rhino can turn its ears almost 180 degrees and with an excellent sense of hearing it is hard to sneak up on such a large animal. These guys are quiet when walking.

Southern White Rhino

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Greater One-Horned Rhino

The Greater One-Horned Rhino checks in with the species traits of excellent sense of smell and hearing accompanied by poor eye sight. The Greater One-horned Rhino is from Northern India.

Greater One Horned Rhino

These animals weigh in up to 4,600 pounds for the males with shoulder heights of about 6 1/2 feet. An interesting identifying feature is the "garage" for the tail and the plate appearance for body armor.

Greater One Horned Rhino

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Northern White Rhino or Square-lipped Rhino

The Northern White Rhino, like other rhinos, does not match its color to its name. It is usually grey. Its natural territory was Eastern and Central Africa. It is generally believed that this animal is now extinct in the wild due to poaching.

Northern White Rhino

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Southern White Rhino

The Southern White Rhino roams Southern Africa as a wild animal. This is the most numerous species of rhino in Africa.

Southern White Rhino

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Roadrunner

We were walking out of the WAP and this guy fluttered by gliding to the sign. A Roadrunner is classified as a park freeloader. Not on the roster but eating the food. Roadrunners are common throughout the southern U.S. and love things like lizards and snakes. While they cannot fly, they can run and glide long distances and to a decent height.

Roadrunner

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Western Rueppell's Griffon Vulture

This vulture has the bald head for sanitary reasons noted to the species. Its range in the wild is the southern area of the Sahara Desert at altitudes up to 14,000 feet. The Western Rueppell's Griffon Vulture has a wing span up to 8 1/2 feet and weights can reach 20 pounds.

Ruppell's Griffon Vulture

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Sable Antelope

The Sable Antelope is from the grasslands of Eastern and Southern Africa. The males can weigh up to 550 pounds. When fighting they like to fight on their knees enabling them to use their horns to gore their opponent.

Sable Antelope

The males are black while the females are reddish brown. The first photo is the male, the second photo is a herd of females.

Sable Antelope

The WAP has tons of freeloaders. I happen to get this shot by chance. The Sable Antelope are under their sun shelter. There are 3 (three) sea gulls in this photo.

Sable Antelope

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Slender-Horned Gazelle

The Slender-Horned Gazelle is found in isolated pockets of the Sahara Desert. Typical of the gazelle species this small animal's number one and two defenses are dash speed and the ability to change direction with every step.

Slender-Horned Gazelle

The species has an "enhanced hoof" which aids in traveling on sand. It is believed there are less than 2,500 Slender-Horned Gazelle left in the wild.

Slender Horn Gazelle

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South African Springbok

The South African Springbok may well be the zig-zag champion of the antelope species. With weights up to 90 pounds with long legs this is also the smallest of the springbok species.

Spring Bok

The South African Springbok is gentle enough to be in the Petting Kraal with other young animals.

Spring Bok

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Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran Tiger is from pockets in Asia ranging from rain forests to swamps to snow covered mountains. With 1 inch claws and 3 inch teeth accompanied by a paralyzing stare this cat instills fear in many.

Sumatran Tiger

The WAP has been very successful in breeding the Sumatran Tiger. Here is mom following her two cubs. You would expect an orange animal to stand out in the forest however they blend in very well.

Sumatran Tiger

With less than 400 remaining this photo has more than 1% of the world's population of Sumatran Tigers in it. Males can weigh 300 pounds with females weighing 240 pounds.

Sumatran Tiger

There are numerous things nature does for a reason. On the back of the ears you can see the white spots. Other animals may think these are eyes and they are being watched. Mom can also give the babies instructions with ear signals.

Sumatran Tiger

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Warthog

Warthogs. Only a face a mother could love. These diggers live in the sub-Sahara regions of grasslands and woodlands. The "warts" are actually fat storage for the lean food times and they can be used in a fight if needed.

Warthog

You can see where these Warthogs have dug into the ground of their pen. With shoulder heights of 3 feet and weights up to 330 pounds accompanied by those tusks this is not an animal you want to corner.

Warthog

We were on a tour that Cindi, with the bucket, was leading and we got to feed the Warthogs one of their favorites - carrots. I am in the maroon hat to the right.

Warthog

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Weaver Bird Nest

The Weaver Bird builds a nest a journeyman cabinetmaker would be appreciative of. They do not pile the material, they select long grass reeds and weave them into a solid structure. Joyce is not mad, it was a cold and windy day and I wanted the photo.

Weaver Bird Nest

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Wildebeest or Eastern White-Bearded Gnu

The Wildebeest is the largest antelope with males weighing over 400 pounds. They are normally seen in Eastern Africa in large herds.

Wildebeest / Gnu

Their roaming following the grass of the Serengeti Plain may be thousands of miles through Tanzania and Kenya.

Wildebeest / Gnu

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Zebra

Is the Zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes? The male Zebra has a shoulder height of 50 inches and weights up to 770 pounds with the female slightly less. The studies indicate that the Zebra is most likely a black animal with black and white hair.

Zebra

The Zebra is not a social animal in a confined space so they are in their own kraal at the WAP. Here mom and her young are strolling in the sun.

Zebra

From a point about 3 years after the first two photos the herd on on the run. The lead Zebra may be the younger.

Zebra

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CRES (Conservation and Research for Endangered Species) Center

The CRES (Conservation and Research for Endangered Species) Center is a rather secluded part of the WAP. There are a limited number of tours available and we managed to get one led by our daughter Cindi. Obviously a location of a lot of research and data compilation.

CRES -

Cindi is explaining something or other as we enter the CRES Center.

CRES - Conservation and Research for Endangered Species

All the windows are etched with this leave so that birds do not fly into them. (It was interesting to me.)

CRES - Conservation and Research for Endangered Species

If you like Kermit, you may like his relatives. The CRES Center is working on preserving the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog species. I did not know what one looks like and this is the best shot I have. I did not see any yellow legs.

CRES - Conservation and Research for Endangered Species

The CRES Center keeps a frozen zoo so that someday there may actually be a Jurassic Park type event.
The natural wealth stored here is beyond measurement and limited only by imagination. (Jurassic Park is probably copyrighted by someone so, acknowledged.)

CRES - Conservation and Research for Endangered Species

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Reid Park Zoo

3400 Zoo Court
Tucson, AZ 85716
Phone 520) 791-3204
http://reidparkzoo.org/
There is a reasonable admission fee.
Ample free parking is immediately outside the entrance.

Our trip to the Reid Zoo was during the summer of 2012. The Zoo is a very nicely laid out structure with a busy but extremely friendly staff. We had paused several times looking at the map and zoo staff stopped and asked if they could help. We had the opportunity to feed the giraffe. The attending staff was extremely interactive with the young children and older adults with appropriate conversation for both parties.

The Zoo has excellent signage throughout so it is excellent and informational. We left no area with questions about what we were seeing or without learning something about the presentation we had seen.

One of the quickly noticed without registering is shade. While the heat of the summer in Tucson is enjoyable to me. Baking in the sun is not. Throughout the Zoo the placement of trees and shade generators is excellent. They seldom interfering with view or visit while always offering that bit of relief.

Joyce, Cindi, and Jenni all work at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park so animal habitats are common to us and we intend to visit the Reid Zoo on our next trip to or through Tucson, a nice break.

If planning a visit with interested children, I would plan on 4 or more hours. For adults I would plan about 3 hours. There is a dining facility in the Zoo so long visits are not limited. Ample free parking is just outside the entrance.

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Outside the Zoo is this welcome sign. You can view what the Zoo looks like helping you plan your visit before you enter the Zoo itself. Much of my picture narrative is based on the Zoo's signage.

Reid Zoo Outside Welcome

That the ticket window we were greeted by Gloria. She gave us a good briefing on what was happening that day in the Zoo. Joyce was interested on an elephant transferred from the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park. Gloria had the information.
As we left the Zoo Gloria called to ask if we had seen everything and about how the visit went. Her greeting and departure concern made us feel wanted and welcome.

Reid Zoo, Joyce and Gloria

Photo ops are applicable to all ages. I love having Joyce in my photos to provide scaling. Signage such as this provides location and scaling. For a seven-year old this would be a fantastic triple use sign. For me it was a great triple use photo - Who, where, and size relationship.

Reid Zoo Greeting Elephant and Joyce

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Marabou Stork

The Marabou Stork is one of the many scavengers of life. A bald head, like the California Condor and the vultures, helps him keep clean and healthy while working with dead carcasses. His bill, which continues to grow his entire life, may exceed 12" in length. He has been known to use it as a weapon against other scavengers such as hyenas and jackals attempting to wedge themselves into his current meal. That long beak always him to get inside a skeleton without blocking his vision.

The Marabou Stork is also a loyal, social animal. They usually mate for life and in this exhibit were housed with non-competitors such as the White Rhino and Speke's Gazelle.

Reid Zoo Marabou Stork

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Kori Bustard

Kori Bustards, make sure you pronounce it correctly! BUSTARD. A generally quiet bird which may "bark" if surprised. The Kori Bustards eat a variety of foods with the main course being insects running through the grass. Notice the shorter beak. This allows him to work the grass without losing sight of his meal.

In mating season the ritual trying to impress a mate includes inflating his throat, lifting his neck feathers, and fanning his tail, all which make him look big and desiring.

As part of the conservation effort his molted feathers are recovered and sold to fisherman who make lures out of them.

Reid Zoo Kori Bustard

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Elephant

No ifs, ands, or buts, this is one of the major reasons we headed to Tucson. The San Diego Zoo program had recently transferred a male and female elephant to Tucson. These types of transfers and exchanges between conservation programs keep the breeding lines long and and strong.

Whether you call them Asian (correct) or Indian Elephants, you can tell the differences quickly with Reid Zoo's African Elephants. African Elephants are larger ears which act a radiators to control their body temperatures in direct sunlight they will often find on the plains. The Asian Elephant will have smaller ears since they are frequently in forested areas. These large ears also allow them to locate the source of sound very accurately. "Flaring" their ears also makes them look bigger and may indicate they are not in a good mood or tolerant of nearby activity.

Both the male and female African has tusks, extended, fixed teeth for digging, fighting and defense. Only the Asian male has tusks. Africans also generally get bigger than Asians.

Contrary to folklore, Elephants do not drink through their trunks, an extended nose used for breathing and smelling. They suck up the water and eject it into their mouths. They also use the trunk to help control body temperature by throwing and spraying dust and brush on their backs as a sun screen.

Other folklore is that they eat peanuts in their natural habitat. While it appears they definitely love peanuts, peanuts are not native to Africa or Asia, being a crop primarily of the southeastern United States. However, it demonstrates the dexterity of their trunk. Africans have two "fingers" at the end of their trunks while Asians only have one. Both have over 100,000 muscles just in their trunks.

Elephants, as the massive, majestic creatures they are, actually create the environment for many smaller animals. In digging for water they create water holes for other animals that cannot dig as effectively. In uprooting a tree they create space and sunlight for smaller plants eaten by smaller animals. Their dung is great fertilizers for these new plants. Game trails are important in many aspects. When a herd of elephants move through the area they create a path for others to use.

Elephants are very social animals within the herd and within their environment. These to juveniles are playing. The larger knows his limits a bit more than the younger one. So this is a learning process just like what would happen between an older and younger brother in a family backyard.

Reid Zoo African Elephants

Reid Zoo African Elephants

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Southern White Rhinoceros

Due to hunting, poaching, and territorial encroachment all rhino species are either endangered or being watched. The naming of "white" may be from a mistranslation of the Dutch word "wijd" for wide, describing the Southern's lips.

The Southern White Rhino, a walking tank, has a wide flat set of lips which allows them to graze on grass with the maximum effectiveness. The goal of eating is to eat the green blades and leave the roots for regrowth.

For sun protection the rhinos will roll in the mud to make a mud pack. This also protects them from insects.

The horns of Rhinos are solid keratin, different from cattle which has hollow or "shells" of keratin for their horn structure. It is very similar to the substance that your finger and toe nails are made of.

Keys between the numerous Rhino species include the shape of the mouth and lips, as well as the horn placement and shape.

Mother Nature is a compensating goddess. The Rhino has poor eye sight. Mother Nature has compensated with an excellent sense of smell and hearing. The Rhino's hears rotate to localize and identify sounds. Notice the smaller gazelle behind the Southern White. A social animal which owns its territory, he can be a friendly neighbor.

Reid Zoo Southern White Rhino

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Giraffe

The tallest land animal on the face of the earth, the Giraffe. Native to the African continent, there are believed to be up to nine species of Giraffes. The primary distinctive feature is the patterning of their hide.

The Giraffe, or Nature's Watchtower, has a black / purple tongue that is 18-20 inches long in an adult. Designed to wrap and strip foliage from the branches. Its neck, like the human neck, has seven bones. One of the rituals of the Giraffes is "neck wrapping" where two males will battle for social supremacy. Frequently shown on nature channels, it is an awesome display of agility of these animals when mixed with the footwork involved.

While many animals see in black and white the Giraffe sees in color. This sense is aided by an excellent sense of hearing and smell. Some believe that the "ossicones" or horn structure, which contain blood veins, may assist in maintaining a blood temperature.

Giraffe folklore claims that if a Giraffe sits down or lays down it cannot get up. This is false and we have numerous pictures of both young and mature Giraffes sitting or laying down. While we have pictures of young Giraffes "laying flat" we have never seen an adult in good health do anything but sit down with its neck and head upright maintaining a watch.

Other folklore associated with the Giraffe is that it has four hearts. The Giraffe has one very large and powerful heart. It may reach a size of 24 inches weighing in at up to 25 pounds. It pumps blood at twice the pressure of the human heart at a rate of up to 150 beats per minute.

Birthing of a Giraffe is done standing. To the introduction to the world is accomplished by a fall of 4-6 FEET onto the ground or grass below.

The only living relative of the Giraffe is the Okapi.

Reid Zoo Giraffe

Reid Zoo Giraffe

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Black-Tailed Prairie Dog

The Black-Tailed Prairie Dog is actually a rodent in the squirrel family. These guys live in colonies built underground with an elaborate set of plans provided by Mother Nature. Their diet is primarily grasses making them a minor competitor of grazing domestic animals in the eyes of many ranchers and farmers. However, as part of the ecostructure, it appears that Prairie Dogs may actually foster greater ground cover than if not in the area.

Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs are very social animals. You will often see them hugging, kissing, playing and touching or grooming each other. They do not hibernate but will stay below ground in their colonies during bad weather.

They communicate with a number of means including chattering their teeth. The territorial scream or whistle of the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog will usually have only a few notes to it but is identified to the individual just like a human voice.

Prairie Dog Town is divided into social groups of one adult male, several females, and their young. This group lives in a "coteries." As the young males age they move out and enlarge their Prairie Dog town. The females usually remain in their coteries. A Texas, where everything is larger, recorded a Prairie Dog Town 250 miles long and 100 miles wide with an estimated 400 million Prairie Dogs.

In Prairie Dog Town the entrances to the tunnels are often at different heights and shapes. It is possible that these create a natural flow of fresh air throughout the tunnels.

Reid Zoo Black Tailed Prairie Dog

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Bobcat

The Bobcat is one of the animals we see occasional in the area of our Southern California home. It appears to be one of those animals you want to stop, pick up, and bring home. However, if you slow or indicate interest he is off like a bullet. The ones we see are seldom ever larger than a very small German Shepard, about 18-20 inches at the shoulders. Distinctive features include the bobbed tail and the specific shape of their ears.

One of the differences we see with Bobcats is they will generally eat where they kill. With our abundance of rabbits and other small game, that is the usual diet. If domestic animals such as lambs and kid goats are killed, they will usually be left where they are killed after dinner. Our mountain lions will carry their kills to a protected area and hide their kills.

Bobcats will live within the confines of a people populated area as long as they can find food, usually small game. And this includes domestic pets such as dogs and cats. As noted within their species, we usually see these hunters in the dusk lights of sunrise and sunset. They generally try to avoid both the bright light of day and the darkness of the true night hours.

To watch them "launch" off their powerful and longer rear legs is awesome. If you are looking at tracks, look for nail imprint. I think the cheetah is the only cat that cannot retract its claws and no dog can to my knowledge. This allows the cats to keep those nails pinpoint sharp. If your track has nail imprint, you are most likely looking at the tracks of a dog.

Reid Zoo Bobcat

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Grevy's Zebra

Of the several members of the Zebra family the Grevy's Zebra is noted for its narrow stripes and larger ears. Grevy's Zebra, living in Kenya and Ethiopia, is an endangered species. Conservation efforts have stabilized the population but it must be retained to a self-sustaining number.

The Grevy's Zebra is a plains resident where it lives on grasses and other ground plants. It is the largest of the wild horse species. Distinctive from domestic horses, the Zebra has an erect mane matching its stripes pattern which helps it blend into the background, especially in shaded areas.

Interestingly, Grevy's Zebras, named in honor of a French president of the late 1800s, can go up to five days without drinking water, absorbing limited moisture from the plants it is feeding on. However, they will dig and defend waterholes if necessary.

The stripes of each Zebra are as unique as your eyes and eyebrows are. Zebra are not commonly domesticated and tamed to the point of being "saddle broke."

Reid Zoo Grevy's Zebra

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Porcupine

The Porcupine is a rodent which lives on leaves, twigs, green plants, and herbs during warm months. During cold months he may eat bark. His environment, like many rodents, is wide living throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Southern Asia.

Contrary to folklore, the Porcupine cannot shoot its quills. The quills are barbs, similar to fishhooks, so once embedded in a hand or a dog's nose, it is not going to come out very easily. However, Mother Nature has not deeply embedded the quills in the Porcupine so the offender will be left with quills, pain, and no porcupine.

The Porcupine is rather slow but can climb very effectively. He is considered to be one of the larger rodents with body lengths up to 36 inches and weights up to 35 pounds. In our area when you see them moving it is best described as "waddling."

Porcupine

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Visayan Warty Pig

The Visayan Warty Pig comes from the Visayan Islands in the central Philippines. These guys are critically endangered at this time as they lose habitat and food. They are also hunted for meat.

Not a friend of the farmer, also contributing to the degree of endangerment, the Visayan Warty Pig's diet tends to be roots, tubers, and fruits, often found in cultivated fields. Living in groups of 4-6 animals a raid on a crop field can be devastating.

It is believed that the three pairs of "warts" may be part of a defense mechanism against the tusks of other Visayan Warty Pigs.

Reid Zoo Visayan Warty Pig

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Malayan Sun Bear

Malayan Sun Bear has a beautiful "crest" on its neck and upper chest. Unfortunately this guy did not know we wanted a picture. I have been to Malaysia but I do not speak the language very well.

Sun Bears are a small species of bears. We found Sun Bears in the Ueno Zoo of Tokyo, Japan as well. Like another bear we grew up with, these guys love honey and their long claws allow them to climb trees to get it. They will also eat insects and larva found in tree trunks with their long tongues.

The Malayan Sun Bear exists between At Risk and Endangered, most likely due to the loss of habitat and therefore food. Its population has declined significantly in the last thirty years or so.

Reid Zoo Malayan Sun Bear

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Ocelot

The Ocelot, also known as the Dwarf Leopard, is a resident of South and Central America, as well as some of the tropical islands of the Caribbean. It is occasionally found in the border states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

With a length up to 40 inches, not adding its tail length, and weighing up to 40 pounds the Ocelot can take on most small animals with its speed and large front paws which contain needle sharp claws like most cats.

The Ocelot is nocturnal, sleeping during the day and working on the rodent, rabbit, and opossum populations of its habitat. Other items in its diet include birds, fish, lizards, and frogs. The Ocelot has very good vision in light or darkness and studies indicate an exceptional sense of smell.

Being nocturnal, the Ocelot as happy on the ledge during our late morning visit.

The Ocelot has been hunted for his beautiful and soft coat.

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Sarus Crane

The Sarus Crane, the tallest flying bird in the world, is an omnivores. Pretty much, if it is edible, he eats it. He can reach heights approaching 6 feet and will build nests in march and wetlands up to 6 feet wide.

The bill is designed to work below the surface of the water and to pierce the marshlands for insects, crustaceans, small vertebrate, roots, and tubers. The grey body, white banded neck, a red head, and the grey "cap" on the head are distinctive markings for the Sarus Crane. Believed to be a bird that mates for life, the bond is so strong the surviving mate is believed to have mourned to a point of starving to death.

Some long-necked birds will fold or bow their neck in flight. The Sarus Crane is known for keeping a straight neck in flight dragging its long legs behind it making is a magnificent view in flight. A view occasionally seen on the wildlife channels of television.

Reid Zoo Sarus Crane

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Andean Bear

The Andean Bear, a "short faced bear," is the only bear in South America. It is believed they are a nonhibernating, this may be because its food sources are readily available year round on the lush slopes of the Andes. The facial markings are distinctive often highlighting its short, broad nose, as seen in this picture.

While a meat eater, it is estimated that only 5%-10% of this guy's diet is meat. The Andean Bear also consumes cactus, members of the pineapple family, mosses, palm nuts, and bamboo along with fallen fruit. This mid-sized bear checks in at about 6 1/2 feet in length and weighing up to 440 pounds for the males with females maturing at about 5 feet and weighing in at 180 pounds. These measurements exclude their short tails.

Also called the Spectacled Bear, these guys are usually found on the western slopes of the Andes

Reid Zoo Andean Bear

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Blue and Gold Macaw

The Blue and Gold Macaw is the right one on the perch. Equipped with an all-in-one tool, the Macaw's use their bills to break nuts, peal fruits, as a climbing tool, and as weapon.

Macaws, and especially Blue and Golds due to their colors, are popular pets. They are long-lived, require a large area, attention, and frequent interaction. As a matter of nature, the Macaw will chew, claw, and scratch anything to satisfy natural urges. They can mimic sounds learned through repetition giving them the ability to "talk." With this training they will still maintain their flock calls and native language.

With lengths up to 36 inches and weights up to 3 1/2 pounds, as a pet a Macaw needs a area to fly. The recommendations vary up to 50 feet by 50 feet with heights up to 20 feet. If you chose a Macaw for a pet, make sure it was breed in captivity and not captured wild. Expect a life of 30 or more years and as social birds, transferring adults may be emotionally traumatic to the Macaw.

Reid Zoo Blue and Gold Macaw

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Green Basilisk Lizard

The Green Basilisk Lizard is found in Central and South America. With the ability to run on water for short distances this guy has a nick name of the "Jesus Christ Lizard." This allows him to evade many of his predators. Augmented by excellent swimming skills and the ability to stay underwater for up to 30 minutes he is a tough entry on a dinner menu.

Part of his water running ability are folds on the feet of the Green Basilisk Lizard that open to provide surface area while in motion. When he stops running this short distance, he goes under. Most of his water running is done on his rear feet as if standing up.

His meals include just about any insect, small fish, small birds, other lizards, eggs, and snakes. And he is a meal for other lizards, birds, and some mammals.

Green Basilisk Lizard

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Dwarf Caiman

The Dwarf Caiman is the smallest of the crocodilian family. He lives in central and northern South America in the riverine forests, near lakes, and streams.

Hatched from eggs that take about three months to hatch, the sex of the hatchling may be determined by the temperature of the nest. The higher the temperature, the higher the probability of the hatchlings being male. A norm for the croc and gator family, the female stays near the nest to protect it and to assist the hatchlings escape the mud and reed packed nest.

Fairly common as pets they will normally grow to fit their confines while males in the wild grow to approximately 5 feet and weight up to 16 pounds. Females may grow to 4 feet and weigh in at 12 pounds.

Dwarf Caiman

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Anteater

The Anteater has two powerful weapons for use in pursuit of his meal. His tongue is longer than his head, is narrow and strong. His claws are long, curved and able to rip open nests and decaying logs alike. The coat coloring of the Anteater is always interesting and concealing. This picture actually shows both of his right side feet. His "racing stripe starts on his right front leg. His right rear leg is almost completely hidden by is long hair.

With poor eye sight the Anteater has an excellent sense of smell. These solitary animals will avoid the territory of another Anteater of the same sex. With their claws they have good tree climbing abilities.

While called Anteaters, termites and spiders are also part of the diet. The Anteater's body temperature varies from 91-97 degrees Fahrenheit. It is thought that the body temperature changes by needs of the moment, warmer while foraging, cooler while resting. This ability affects energy consumption.

Reid Zoo Anteater

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Yellow-knobbed Currasow

The Yellow-knobbed Currasow is primarily a ground bird which flies into low trees for protection and nesting. The normal diet is seeds, leaves, fruits, small animals and insects. When nesting both the male and female work on the construction. The clutch just 2 eggs.

The adult Yellow-knobbed Currasow may be 36 inches in length and weigh up to 6 1/2 pounds. The female lacks the yellow-knob feature. It is a common in nature for the male to be the most colorful of the two sexes. The belief is that this will attract predators away from the female and the young.

Yellow-knobbed Currasow

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Llama

The Llama, no longer found in the wild, is a pack animal of the Andean cultures. Its wool is woven into cloth and is lanoline free. Its droppings are used as fuel. They are known for spitting as a sign of superiority and as a penalty for failure to abide by flock rules.

We have several local groups raising Llamas in the area and working with the 4-H and FFA programs. They have the youth groups learn about the Llama and run them through presentation competitions. The animals are very social and will attach to an individual in a matter of minutes and then follow that person around until "returned" to its owner.

According to the adults and presentations one of the significant advantages of the Llama as a pack animal is that it nibbles as it walks rather than grazing during stops. This precludes bare spots along common trails and reduces the need for heavy foliaged areas.

A full grown Llama may be 6 feet high standing up and weigh up to 450 pounds. Llamas may live to 30 years or more depending on many factors of nature.

Reid Zoo Llama

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Capybara

The Capybara, a guinea pig relative, is the largest rodent in the world. The Capybara lives near water sources in the dense forests and grasslands of South America. While a relative of the handleable guinea pig, this guy checks in at lengths up to 4 1/2 feet, standing over 2 foot at the shoulders, and weighing in up to 150 pounds. All from a diet of grasses and aquatic plants. The Capybara uses water for many things including protection and shelter. With a high mounted nose and eyes he can remain almost completely hidden while watching for his creditors which include jaguars, pumas, ocelots, eagles, caiman, and anacondas.

The front, gnawing, teeth of the Capybara grow throughout he life. This compensates for the wearing down through use. He has four webbed toes on his front feet and three webbed toes on his rear feet. This makes him a very good swimmer. The Capybara can remain underwater for up to five minutes and it is not uncommon to find him sleeping with only his nose, eyes, and ears above the water.

In the wild the Capybara's life span may reach five years. In captivity his life may reach ten years. Many Capybaras in captivity has pets have escaped or been released improperly into the local environments. They are common sights in many parts of the world because of this.

Reid Zoo Capybara

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Yellow Footed Tortoise

The Yellow Footed Tortoise is a resident of the Amazon River area of South America. This large member of the Tortoise family has a typically slow growth rate and may reach 16 inches in length. The front legs have five claws while the rear legs only have four. All of his legs have overlaying scales for protection.

The Yellow Footed Tortoise is often found as a pet. Easily fed grasses, worms, oranges, apples, melons, collard greens and dandelions these tanks of nature are often allowed to roam within enclosures. However, with his long life span and a tendency to become inactive during cold periods interest in the animal frequently wanes after a while.

Reid Zoo Yellow Footed Tortoise

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Crested Screamer

The Crested Screamer is a loud mouth of the Zoo. His call can be heard at distances approaching 2 miles. He is a monogamous character over his estimated life of fifteen years. He and his mate build a large platform of reeds, straw, aquatic plants and other similar materials in confined and restricted space near water.

The Crested Screamer may reach lengths of 36 inches and weights of 11 pounds. A flock resident he feeds in the grasslands and cultivated fields which indicates that he is either a seed eater or an insect eater, possibly both. He has bony spurs on his wings which he uses for protection.

There is very little on this Central South American species on the Internet.

Reid Zoo Crested Screamer

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Baird's Tapir

The Baird's Tapir is the largest land mammal in Central America. He can grow to be 6 1/2 feet in length and almost 4 feet in height with the adults weighing as much as 800 pounds. The Baird's Tapir loves water and spends much of his time time. His water activities are aided by his snoot or nose. It is extended over his mouth and allows him to cruise with his nose, eyes, and ears above the water remaining only partly exposed.

His flexible and muscular nose also allows him strip leaves off branches that his mouth cannot reach. While primarily a nocturnal animal, the Tapir is active in all hours depending on many factors such as food availability and weather. A solitary animal, the Tapir will forage for food in groups and communicate with whistles and squeaks.

Due to hunting and loss of habitat the Baird's Tapir is endangered.

Reid Zoo Baird's Tapir

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Jaguar

Most Jaguars are yellow with black spots, the Reid Zoo's Jaguars are black as a predominate color. They say if you look closely you will see the spots in the black. The Jaguar, like several other cats, is a hunt in the dusk hours of dawn and sunset. Solitary animals, they usually only get together to mate. After that Mom tends to the (usually) two cubs. Mom and the cubs may stay together for up to two years before the cubs move off to establish their own territory.

As a big cat, Jaguars may measure up to 6 feet in body length, standing at 30 inches at the shoulders, and weighing in at approximately 350 pounds for the larger males. The females tend to be slightly smaller.

To dispel folklore, the Jaguar, like many other cats, is a good swimmer and will often feed on fish and other water borne animals. At the top of the food chain, the Jaguar will cover many miles in search of food with tapirs, cattle, and deer among the preferred meals.

Reid Zoo Jaguar

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Malayan Tiger

A resident of the Malayan Peninsula in Southeast Asia the Malayan Tiger is a large cat. Males have average body lengths of 8 1/2 feet, shoulder heights of 3 1/2 feet, with weights approaching 300 pounds this cat is at the top of the food chain. Females are a bit smaller.

The Malayan Tiger is endangered, approaching extinction, due to loss of habitat and hunting. When taken for damaging crops the cost to the farmer actually increases. Studies have shown where Tigers have decreased in numbers wild pigs, who have a habit and reputation of raiding cultivated fields, start increasing substantially. The Tiger is not an animal after the crops, he is after an animal IN the crops. However, the footprints identify the largest guilty party.

The primary prey of the Malayan Tiger includes deer, wild boar, wild pigs, and the serow. The serow looks like a mix of a goat and a wild boar. Occasionally Mayalan Tigers do kill livestock, the frequency appears to be overstated.

Malayan Tiger

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Lar Gibbon

The Lar Gibbon is designed as a branch swinger. He has long, curved fingers, long and powerful arms, and relatively short legs. A resident of Malaysia, he is a common zoo exhibit for several reasons. One of them is he is relatively active during the day and fun to watch swinging through the branches.

Threatened, like many animals, due to the loss of habitat and therefore food, the Lar Gibbon survives in captivity very well if given adequate space and exercise. In the wild he becomes active around dawn and spends a fair amount of his time in search of fruits and leaves with an occasional insect or flower. He seldom comes down to ground level and returns to his sleeping tree before dusk where he will spend the night.

A still shot of the Lar Gibbon is an injustice. He is an agile animal in the canopy of the jungle. As a member of the ape family, he does not have a tail, common to the monkey family. Traditionally, early in the morning his screams define his territory and call his family together.

Reid Zoo Lar Gibbon

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African Spotted Necked Otter

The African Spotted Necked Otter, like all Otters, seems to be the entertainer of the water / land world. Like most Otters, he can close his ears and his nostrils when going underwater where his webbed feet propel him like a rocket. His flexible body allows him to out maneuver many of his natural predators.

He may grow to be 30 inches long weighing in at 15 pounds, the females are slightly smaller. With their heavy fur coat, groomed by rolling and brushing against objects, the African Spotted Necked Otter does not have a lot of fat on his body for warmth. His habitat is fresh water where he lives in streams and rivers throughout Central Africa.

Like most Otters, the African Spotted Necked Otter uses rocks to crack and open shells indicating a high degree of intelligence. This also demonstrates the control they have over their fingers and toes. We have videos of Otters along the northern coast of California swimming on their backs with a rock on their chest, smashing a shell against it, then picking out the meat. Then they throw the shell away, grab the rock, roll over and dive again. Resurfacing with a shell in one hand and their rock in the other.

Reid Zoo African Spotted Necked Otter

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Trumpeter Hornbill

The Trumpeter Hornbill is one of those interesting birds. He may grow to be 26 inches long with weights just over 2 pounds. The female will be slightly smaller. He is a social creature in many aspects. While nesting and raising hatchlings, the female stays in the nest and the male feeds her. He lives in flocks of small groups, usually five or less, however, larger flocks have been seen. When kept as a pet he is friendly, tames easily, and can learn many tricks. However, as a pet he needs large space and freedom to fly and exercise.

The Trumpeter Hornbill, a resident of South Central Africa has a sensitive diet based on fruits and insects. Foods high in iron must be avoided to preclude adverse health issues.

Reid Zoo Trumpeter Hornbill

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Chilean Flamingo

The Chilean Flamingo is a resident of the western and southern portions of South America. He has a very pink feathered body with grey legs. His single chick is born in a mud tower nest with full grey coloring. These nests, attended to by both the male and female, are found in crowded areas as the Chilean Flamingo seems to breed best in a compressed social environments with flocks numbering in the hundreds.

He eats with his head upside-down, as you can see with the one just right of center in the photo. The Chilean Flamingo uses its feet to stir up the water and then it uses a bristly tongue to filter out algae and plankton. He often stands on one leg to conserve body heat. What looks like a knee is really his ankle.

At heights up to 52 inches, the Chilean Flamingo is the largest member of the Flamingo family. I have no real understanding of this, whenever I find a flock of Flamingos its seems appropriate to simply stop, watch, and enjoy them. They are always social amongst themselves, always busy, and always pleasant to watch.

Reid Zoo Chilean Flamingo

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Bearded Dragon

The Bearded Dragon is a climber with relatively powerful claws on all four legs. The males may grow to be 24 inches long and females will be slightly smaller. As a baby and juvenile the diet is mainly insects. As an adult the diet shifts to leafy greens, vegetables, and non citrus fruits. The adult augments this diet with some insects. This diet shift is based on the needs for fats, which diminish with age.

When challenged the beard under his mouth turns black. The Bearded Dragon is cold blooded and works to control its body temperature. When cool, it lays on dark objects absorbing the sun's rays. When too warm, it lays on lighter colored objects which reflect the sun's rays or he moves into the shadows.

An interesting social animal, male Bearded Dragons are generally kept in solitary while females of the same size and be housed together. Even with this social nature, the Bearded Dragon makes an excellent pet as they are friendly and calm with a life in captivity of up to 12 years with good care and an appropriate diet.

Reid Zoo Bearded Dragon

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Aldabra Tortoise

The Aldabra Tortoise, one of the largest members of the Tortoise family, is a resident of the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean. Their existence is threatened due to exploitation of the past and the limited land mass they are native to.

With a length of up 42 inches, weighing in at up to 260 pounds with a life of up to 100 years, the Aldabra Tortoise lives on the Aldabra Atoll. The grasses, leaves, and woody stems of the Atoll are the primary diet of these giants. Most of the moisture required for life is absorbed through the planets the Aldabra Tortoise eats. The actual structure of the shell is influenced by the food source's location. If ground level, the shell protrudes over the neck. If the food source is high, the shell has a notch for the neck to raise up into.

They are social eaters, as seen in the picture. The Aldabra Tortoise is most active in the warmth of the early morning and later afternoon avoiding the heat of mid day or coolness of night.

Reid Zoo Aldabra Tortoise

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Reid Zoo Signage

My comment on the signage of the Reid Zoo, earlier, is supported here. There are numerous signs like this throughout the Zoo. Well maintained, and fairly quick reading with few scientific words to stumble over.

Reid Zoo Migration Corridors

Reid Zoo Enter South America Here

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Green Tree Python

This Green Tree Python is just hanging around. Note the shed skin hanging across the branches. To goes almost around the tree trunk. He is a resident of Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Cape York Peninsula of Australia. He has a distinct head and neck shape. The triangular head of the Green Tree Python is similar in shape to the head of rattlesnakes. His triangular shape continues into his body with a defined spine. This guy is not venomous, he is a constrictor, wrapping around his prey, usually small animals and occasionally reptiles. He tends to remain attached to his branch by his tail while "hugging" his prey.

While male Green Tree Pythons may approach 70 inches in length, females may reach 78 inches or longer with weights up to 3 1/2 pounds to the males 3 pounds.

Reid Zoo Green Tree Python

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Children's Korral

The Children's Korral was a hit with the children and their parents. It was cool and well shaded. Throughout the Reid Zoo the signs were at an appropriate level and angle for young viewers and readers. The Reid Zoo is conducive to young and old visitors. I do not remember a single exhibit that required the adults to lift a child to see it.

<Reid Zoo Children's Korral

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Yellow-spotted River Turtle

The Yellow-spotted River Turtle is a resident of fresh water rivers of South America. His existence is threatened. This guy's names include "The Side-necked Turtles" as they do not pull their heads fully back into their shells, but turn their necks sideways and put their head and neck under the rim of their shells.

As an adult this guy may weigh 18 pounds and be 18 inches long. They feed on fruits, weeds, fish, and some insects. Always found near water, the female Yellow-spotted River Turtle will lay a clutch of 4-35 eggs twice a year.

You may recognize the Yellow-spotted River Turtle as a very popular pet in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. Now U.S. law has restricted the importation of caught in the wild Turtles so availability today is restricted to bred in captivity animals.

While captive life and in the wild life vary, life spans of 30-70 years have been recorded. During our visit, these two were simply playing tag and enjoying the game.

Reid Zoo Yellow-spotted River Turtle

Secretary Bird Movie