meriones: (zoo)
some cute from today :)



Tiger cubs using the moose sculpture as a fun climbing structure. Sundari is sitting on top, Nadya at the feet.



And today was the leopard cub's second full day in their new exhibit space. Tamara has discovered the joys of tree climbing. Dmitri, in turn, has discovered the joys of fence scaling. He took a flying leap at the front fencing and latched on at nearly eye level. I was paying more attention to Tamara in the tree and suddenly there was boy cub flying at my face lol.

No photo of the lynx kitten, though. I was on Minnesota Trail after he went in for the afternoon. I was impressed to see all three black bears out. Two weeks ago only Tiva bothering to roll out (first time seeing one of the up in the tree!), and sense the keepers said they started hibernating around Thanksgiving last year I wasn't expecting much for this week. Not much action but they were visible - Kuruk laying under the main viewing window, Sike in the den, and Tiva walking back and forth between the two locations. I'm guessing that's the last I'll see of them until next Spring.
meriones: (photo)


This photo of mine is a finalist in the zoo's 2012 photo contest. Voting is through Facebook and ends tomorrow, September 28th, at 11:59pm central time. Voting link: http://www.facebook.com/MNZoo/app_461867630503002 scroll down to the Tropical Animals category. Thank you so much!

some Twirly!Adam for your time =P
meriones: (zoo)
057 (2)

they gave me a free half hour at one o'clock today so naturally I went to the bird show. Ivory stole the show...literally! He was the second bird out after Coconut and decided to hang out in the trees instead. Half hour later and Dave is still trying to coax him down and I had to leave for my must cover position at the next dolphin feeding. Wish I could've stayed though to see how long it finally took to get him down. He started off in the trees behind the amphitheater next to the monorail track, and right before I had to leave the monorail came by and he flew over to the trees down by the lake.

Dave once mentioned that the crazy things always happen when I show up in the audience. uhh...sorry? lol ;P

And for the first time ever I got inked while handling the giant African millipedes. Luckily it didn't stain my skin like it can, and there was no noticeable allergic reaction! They are on my shortlist of dream pets so I had always been curious as to whether or not I'd be allergic to the toxin.
meriones: (zoo)
So many noisy critters at the zoo today! Started off the morning in Tropics and the wonderful gibbon morning concert. Tia wasn't participating though so it was only Bailey, and Tia is the real loud mouth of the pair. Shortly thereafter the lemurs started their screaming, and the colobus monkeys started hollering in return! I had read about how loud they can be but have never heard it before! The birds didn't want to be left out either, so now the hornbill and argus pheasant were calling out as well! This is why I love being in the tropics building not only that time of day, but this time of year. All these awesomely deafening animal sounds surrounding you and not a ton of screaming kids to ruin the vibe. :)

There's one warty pig that will always come over when I stop to say hi. The same one the zoo tweeted a picture of yesterday, actually. This time he actually came running over, making that cute pig grunting noise, and stretched his little snout as close as he could get to me. SO CUTE!

The goral was running and leaping about down at the bottom of their exhibit which was a nice treat. Normally they are so high up on the rocks all that can be seen is the top of their head.

Got to do a hognose snake animal encounter for the first time in over a year due to the snakes being off handling. They've only been back on the handling list for about a month. She was having a hissy fit as I was getting her out, hissing and head flattened like a cobra, but she settled down quite nicely and yay I've missed holding snakes!

End of the day I got my hour outside on the Northern Trail. The horses were neighing and nickering (and of course quit once I got the camera rolling) and the tiger out on exhibit was actually roaring! I've heard the sound coming from some unseen tiger off exhibit and inside holding, but never a tiger actually out on exhibit! I wonder if Molniy was doing that in reaction to being split up with his brother Vaska and longtime exhibit mate? Those two have been together for years and getting along great (a rarity when it comes to male tigers) and have now been split up for breeding. Vaska to a zoo in Illinois and Molniy will be paired up with a new female coming in by the name of Whirl. I've been told she has a stumpy tail so I'm kinda curious as to what she looks like.

And the remodel for the new dhole exhibit is beautiful! Check out the gazebo entrance:



close up of the door details
meriones: (photo)


AMAZING show from the band as usual. Total chaos and full on ridiculousness - just the way I like it! At one point Soul Glow was spinning around in circles on a furniture moving dolly while he sang. Later on he was strutting around on stage with a towel around his neck like a cape, then randomly brought a poinsettia plant out and just left it sitting right in the middle of the stage.

Oh, and Chapstique punched a yeti in the stomach with his guitar...

How many of you can say all that happened at your favorite band's concert? lol
meriones: (zoo)
They changed her name to Lena. How Minnesotan of them...


It's been a while since I last posted about the zoo so here's a photo from today. About two minutes later this heavy snow currently falling started up. I walked the rest of the trail and less than 20 minutes later I was completely soaked.

The prairie dog exhibit is completely empty now. That was my favorite exhibit growing up which makes me sad, but hey they are being replaced with Daurian Pika so I can't complain! There's actually plans to change the focus of Northern Trail to Asian animals, which is also why the old Mexican Wolf exhibit is being turned into a Dhole exhibit. Only two other zoos in the United States have Dholes - San Diego Zoo and one of the zoos in Ohio. That's supposed to open sometime this month but I haven't heard any official date yet.

The prairie dogs, bison, and pronghorn are all supposed to move closer to the front of the zoo. I haven't watched the animated fly through lately but that hill behind the IMAX will become a bison/pronghorn exhibit and I can't recall where the prairie dog exhibit would go. Somewhere along that East entrance I believe. It also sounds like they are rethinking plans to enclose that upper plaza area due to high costs so maybe the Wyland mural will be saved after all? I certainly hope so.

A new male wolf arrived at the zoo recently to pair up with Waziyata, hopefully in time to try for a litter next spring. He's still in quarantine but apparently he's a black wolf! I've always thought black colored wolves were beautiful and wow he'll look so nice alongside Wazi and her white coat.

ooh ooh...and our volunteer coordinater was telling me how she went to a birdshow recently and they now have a bit where they pick a couple people out of the audience, have them hold out their arms with food in either hand, and release a big ol' flock of birds at them. Sounds like fun I wanna do it! =P
meriones: (zoo)


I kept reading zoo updates about how gorgeous this guy was, so I had to go out to the farm and see for myself. Love his markings! He was also really adorable with the way he kept backing up and "charging" forward to headbutt my hand. His sweet spot seems to be behind the left ear - really got the happy tail wag going. Bam Bam's was always right between the hips.

One thing I wish I got on video? The camel born over the summer chasing one of the geese that always hang out in their exhibit. I could totally see and predict it happening but alas was not fast enough with the video button.

Oh, and my photo Pig Tails (click that link and vote for it if you haven't already. kthnx) was on the slideshow TV screen in the front entry when I stepped through the doors. So wasn't expecting that! I pretty much gave the zoo free use of my photos a couple years ago, but this is only the third time I've actually seen one in use. Very Cool!
meriones: (zoo)


Final Wednesday for the farm. Weather was cloudy and humid and the sun finally came out as I was leaving. We got a nice sudden downpour right as we were about to start cleaning the goat yard. Definitely made our decision as to whether we should hose it down easier lol.



And as I was walking in this morning they were walking Bo and Luke in harness along the paths. Bummer that they basically lost a year of training them in due to their hoof problems. Especially now that the American Cream's older age is starting to show with arthritis in their legs. They had to remove the boys from the parades at the state fair this year.

I also checked the wolf gazebo and was surprised to see the girls from North Dakota still on exhibit. I had read previously that they would be leaving by the 29th. I guess they're going on Friday now. Last time I'll probably be seeing a Mexican Wolf as they are gonna change the exhibit to hold Dholes, which is a type of Asian wild dog that looks like a red fox but is the about the size of a German Shepard. I hear they will be getting the animals in within the next month, but no idea when they will be on exhibit.

Apparently they are also getting in some Pika (!!!!) in October some time, and are considering the possibility of Springhaas. Basically name in animal that most people have never heard of and I'll be excited about it lol.

SEMO!

Aug. 20th, 2011 07:33 pm
meriones: (zoo2)


I feel like it's been forever since I posted anything zoo related to here's a photo of Semo I took today! Oh, and Taijah has definitely has learned the water spitting trick from him. A bunch of kids were at the tank window and up she went spitting at everyone. Baby dolphins are so amusing to watch! :3

And a video from Wednesday when Bo and Luke had their first time off stall rest in well over a month.
meriones: (zoo)


With the holiday I wasn't really expecting my new camera to come until later in the week. Pleasantly surprised to have it arrive yesterday, which meant I could bring it to the zoo for a test drive! I knew the ultimate test of it's zoom capabilities would be the zoo's musk ox exhibit.

I don't have an unzoomed view of this exhibit handy, but anyone that's seen it knows how impossible it is to view the musk ox. The exhibt is, I believe, close to ten acres in size, probably half of that space being a lake on the front half of the exhibit. So that animals hang out behind the lake way up on a hill super far away. Photo above is from my new camera with no cropping. Yeah, that zoom will definitely come in handy when photographing the bison and other wildlife in Custer State Park.

Definitely needs a tripod when zoomed all the way in if I want large crisp images. Obvious it looks fine resized for the internet (yay image stabilizer!), but when viewed at 100% there is a little bit of haze around the edges from camera shake.

At the three o'clock birdshow a wild turkey randomly ran/flew across the stage during the red jungle fowl segment. And they actually had to acknowledge the rats today as one stayed out on the vine and Laurel had to go and lift it up into the opening in the wall. Kinda wish Dave has been doing this show just to see how he'd play with all the little surprises.

SO GOOD!

Jul. 4th, 2011 06:45 pm
meriones: (linkin park)


I love when Soulful Chaz comes out to play! And it felt so fittiing watching this livestream today as it's my ten year Linkin Park anniversary! I knew of the band several months prior but today was the day I bought Hybrid Theory! :D

Also...lol at all the camera screens in the crowd pan at around a minute fourty. XD

Speaking of camera screens...after wanting to get a new camera for a good three years now the one I purchased last week should finally be in my possession by the end of this week! I think my head might explode when I first use it - my current camera is only 4mp and this sucker is 16mp. It also has a focal range of 24-720mm which is insane on so many levels.

Just in time for my weekish long South Dakota/Colorado trip, which I have yet to mention on here. We intend on visiting - Denver Zoo (THEY HAVE AYE-AYE!!!), Red Rocks, The Badlands, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial and of course Mount Rushmore. I also think some cave system around Custer was brought up.
meriones: (photo)


Just remembered that I never filled the motion theme on this old meme (that I still have every intention on finishing!) so here's another galloping colt photo from today. :)

Complete List of Themes )
meriones: (zoo2)


The almost 3 weeks old Przewalski colt was tearing around their exhibit this morning! Unfortunately with the overcast I wasn't able to get my shutter speed as fast as I would have liked to completely freeze the motion, but the blurry bits aren't too bad.



And volunteers got a little preview of the new penguins! And if you look closer at the one crouching down in that shot...



Okay, you can't read it all, but his current wing band has his name on it and it's Lambert. I figure I got enough Adam Lambert fans on here (or maybe even some Miranda Lambert fans? I dunno...) that would get a kick out of that. By the time the exhibit opens those bands will have been replaced with ones that just have their ID numbers on them as to not anthropomorphize them and it's by those numbers we will refer to them as when talking to the public. Here though I'm totally referring to him as Lambert because I'm a dork and the zoo having a penguin named Lambert amuses me. =P
meriones: (#teamcockatoo)
Just to get it out of the way, yes a Mexican Wolf escaped and had to be killed today. Unfortunate but a wolf is considered a "potentially dangerous species" and it was walking along the public paths when the trail hadn't been fully evacuated. I personally wish the articles would put more focus into why a tranquilizer gun couldn't have been used because what few comments I've read (many in an article that actually explains why a tranquilizer couldn't be used. Reading Comprehension Fail!) seem to be focusing on that fact. Contrary to what happens in the movies a tranquilizer doesn't spontaneously make an animal drop to the ground asleep. It can take up to 15 minutes for it to take affect and an animal running in a panic from being hit by a tranquilizer would just have posed even more of a danger to the public.

I am curious what will happen to that exhibit because as far as I know the only other Mexican Wolves are the two here temporarily from the flood threatened Dakota Zoo.

I was at the farm when this happened. For those unfamiliar with this zoo the wolf exhibit is right at the fork in the path that visitors take to the farm. The wolf could have just as easily run down our way, so there was quite the sudden rush to get everyone evacuated into the basement of the farmhouse. Glad the action didn't head our way though because those farmhouse doors are glass and it was full of little kids on a field trip. Can you imagine if all those kids actually witnessed the end result? Talk about possibly being scarred for life! I was present when the baby dolphin swam into the tank wall and was fatally injured and I still get shivers just thinking of the awful sound it made.

Here have a photo of a cute baby horse nursing to make up for the downer of an entry.

meriones: (zoo)


There's a couple temporary guests in the Mexican Gray Wolf exhibit. The Dakota Zoo in Bismarck, ND had to evacuate many of their zoo animals due to the threat of flooding. Minnesota Zoo got several of their animals but the wolves are the only ones visible to the public. They're both females and one has been here in the past (probably from that group of girls they tried to integrate into the pack a few years ago) but that's all I know about them. To the untrained eye I'm sure a wolf is a wolf, but to me these girls look so different compared to the wolves the zoo used to have, especially in the face.

Saw my first new "dolphin training show" in the morning. It really focuses on everything that goes into training dolphins. I personally liked how they showed the audience how to do the hand signals. Still nothing compared to the shows back in the days when they had 6 dolphins jumping out of the water in tandem, but once you get that idea out of your head it's a really well put together show.

Had a break timed up perfectly to check out the Odessa puppet show. Really only to get a look at the new indoor birdshow theatre but the show was really cute as well. The puppets are really nice, sorta reminiscent of the puppets from The Lion King stage show but instead of African Savannah animals it was sharks and sea turtles and African gray parrots (and a rhinoceros hornbill randomly thrown in with the tropical African animals which confused me but whatevs).

And the new theatre is so pretty! Can't wait to see my first show in there. It'll be interesting to discover my new "spot" because I'm very Sheldon Cooper when it comes to where I sit at the indoor shows lol!

Ooh, and before and after the show they showed short "at the zoo" video segments on the big screens on the back of the stage. They had a fun one of Dave lure flying the peregrine falcon in some field/parking lot area. I was all "Yay Dave!" and had to keep my inner fangirl in check due to the sudden onslaught of awesome.
meriones: (zoo)
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I was volunteering at the zoo today, so I was conveniently where I would want to spend my last day on Earth. Plus I got to high-five The Cat in The Hat, so really life is now complete.

Oh, and a sampling of what happens when Dr. Seuss is on the loose...
meriones: (zoo)


First weekend of summer hours at the zoo today. Not too busy in spite of the awesome weather and special Mother's Day events. Spent most of my day scheduled in D-Bay (and working a coral reef show for the first time in two years) but luckily that was broken up mid afternoon with a hour outside. Well, I ended up making it one and a half hours by taking the second half of my lunch break to check out the one o'clock bird show. Usually they don't start until Memorial Day so yay early bird shows!


Plus the volunteer for Floyd was right across the aisle and a couple rows down from me. :)

Taijah the baby dolphin has started mimicking her parent's behaviors. Between training sessions she attempted Semo's sideways fast swim along the front windows and actually managed to make a little wave go over the side! I was very impressed.

Fun Fact - the farm now has a new rabbit named Cooper. He is housed right next to the rabbit named Alice. That's a "Pink" Floyd level of joke right thurr! XD

Oh and a got a sneak peak of the new indoor theater. Everything is so shiny and modern looking now! And I love the new flat screen panels embed into the hallways throughout the zoo that include not only the daily events but the current weather conditions. Nifty!
meriones: (photo)


Exterior of the tropics building at Minnesota Zoo. Always wanted a shot like this but there has always been picnic tables/vending machines/people blocking the shot. One dude managed to sneak into the corner but I am pleased! Only improvement would be some pretty clouds to break up the solid colored sky. :)

Complete List of Themes )
meriones: (zoo)


Crazy hectic day at the zoo. Not only was it the bear special event but Girl Scout day as well. These special events generally require extra areas for the volunteers to cover, and if it weren't for the 8 volunteers from other days that came in after an emailed plea to the entire corp we would have never made it.

There's certain bolded spots on our schedule that are considered must covers. This means someone has to be there the entire time and you can't leave until the next volunteers shows up. Usually there are three must covers - Discovery Bay touch pools, dolphin stadium when the upstairs area is open, and the hall area to control traffic during the bird encounters. Today there were eight must covers - an extra three for the Girl Scouts, one at the bear exhibit and one to sell raffle tickets for a Beastly Ball related new car giveaway. With nearly 5000 guests at the zoo today it was pretty easy to take five minutes longer to get somewhere than it normally does and end up late. My entire schedule today consisted of must covers. Good times.

I was at the bears for the birthday cake and presents enrichment. Funny how the two volunteers on Saturday that always have a camera with them were put in that area. ;P I set up in the lava tube viewing area and the other volunteer took the cabin area. Just my luck the bears veered off to the area seen from the cabin! I could see Haines eating his cake but that fallen log blocked most the view. At least I got a few photos of Kenai opening and eating his cantaloupe present.

I felt guilty for ignoring Jasper walking to and from the bear exhibit. Sad sea otter face trumps sad puppy dog eyes every time.

I did get to do an animal demo with Irwin the bearded dragon. Of course the Girl Scout activity tables took over our normal locale so it was more of a walk out with an animal on your arm for ten minutes and barely get any facts out deal but hey, it's been months since I last handled the bearded dragons so I'm all good. :)

And as I mentioned on Twitter there were two service dogs in Discovery Bay at the same time. One was the commonly seen yellow lab. The other a big ol' Newfoundland! Never seen a Newfie service dog before.
meriones: (photo)


See? I didn't totally forget about this meme! I was finally getting around to putting the new hood on my fishtank, and realized one of the lightbulbs would be the perfect subject for this prompt. :)

Complete List of Themes )

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