MN Zoo Jan. 2014

Today for the first time since last March, I visited the MN Zoo. It was cold, so not all of the animals were out, but it was fun to watch the wild birds enjoy the seed provided for them. My favorite birds to see are the turkeys. The males who were periodically displaying their tails didn’t seem to care that the females weren’t interested. The males walked in lines, and I felt bad for the ones in back. How could they see with all those feathers blocking their vision?

I'm not sure why they feed upside down, but I think it has to do with the way they feed.

I’m not sure why they feed upside down, but I think it has to do with the way they feed.

As the males lined up they seemed to slowly be moving in sync.

As the males lined up they seemed to slowly be moving in sync.

They're oddly proportioned birds, but their color is bautiful.

They’re oddly proportioned birds, but their color is beautiful.

Next, we went through Russia’s Grizzly Coast. We didn’t see the otters, and the bears were hibernating, but we heard from one of the volunteers that the leopards were frisky. As usual, the male paced, but the females were bounding about their enclosures. Then, the male started vocalizing. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it, as it wasn’t exactly a roar, but after he was done one of the females started doing it, then the other one.  It’s a shame that there are more leopards in zoos than the wild. Leopards have always been my favorite big cat.

In between bouts of frolicking in the snow, one of the females would groom.

In between bouts of frolicking in the snow, one of the females would groom.

Then, she climed into the tree and looked like she might leap somewhere before turning and climbing back down.

Then, she climbed into the tree and looked like she might leap somewhere before turning and climbing back down.

The other female wasn't as active, but she was still wandering her enclosure.

The other female wasn’t as active, but she was still wandering her enclosure.

Once we were done visiting the leopards we continued down the northern trail. I had a dilemma ahead of me. To spend extra time with the Asian Wild Horses or to spend extra time with the Dholes? On one hand, the Dholes were active, on the other, there were foals with the horses.

After watching the horses rest for a bit, I decided to continue on to the Dholes. All of them were active, but one seemed particularly interested in us. The Dhole bounded up to us as if expecting us to play.  When we didn’t provide any enrichment, it played with a Christmas tree that its pack mates were investigating.

It's always fun to see different enrichment provided for the animals and the animals interacting with each other.

It’s always fun to see different enrichment provided for the animals and the animals interacting with each other.

After watching the Dholes for a few more minuets I visited the horses again.  The foals were waking up, and one was even playing with a stick. He tried playing with his sibling, but the other foal laid their ears back. The colt made another attempt and its sibling bucked. Luckily, the colt took the hint (finally) and found another stick. Then, as if taking a cue from the adults, the colt laid down and began to rest. It seemed a fitting end to a great trip to the zoo.

one of the adults woke up long enough to let the foal nurse.

one of the adults woke up long enough to let the foal nurse.

This picture doesn't show it well, but I've always found prehensile lips cool.

This picture doesn’t show it well, but I’ve always found prehensile lips cool.

The colt was curious about everything. Including the crazy human standing in the cold to get his photo.

The colt was curious about everything. Including the crazy human standing in the cold to get his photo.

Another thing I love about these horses is the primitive markings. I took this as he was laying down, and before I decided it was time to leave.

Another thing I love about these horses is the primitive markings. I took this as he was laying down, and before I decided it was time to leave.

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