Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Zoo day aka that dog's got guts, just no brains

I went to the Salzburg Zoo today.  It was Easter Monday here and most things were closed, including the seminar offices.  So many people took advantage of it.  I've been wanting to get to the zoo for a while now and the weather was great.  I love zoos. This one is small, but interesting.  The primate areas were different than in any place I've seen.

The lions don't have a lot of room in the outside enclosure, and if they get one good rockslide, it's good-bye to the bears, but it's a decent zoo.

I liked the monkey/lemur enclosures and what they did.  There is a partition, but I think it's more for the humans than the monkeys cause it's about waist high and the pond filled with Amazonian fish(thinking piranhas) isn't huge.  A good, determined monkey could swing over it.  Anyway it's much more up close and personal with the South American monkeys, than say in the Bronx Zoo.

I did wonder how many monkeys tried the escape route over the piranha pool, but they seemed very happy with the room service, so maybe none.

Spent some time communing with the big cats.  They had everything but a leopard.  Well they had a SNOW leopard(2 in fact) which is my favorite big cat, but no African leopard.  It's odd they had a cougar and a lynx.  Well, the lynx is a Eurasian subspecies, but the cougar/puma/mountain lion is a North American big cat.  They had 2 jaguars as well.  I felt sorry for them.  Jaguars are not known for their love of noise and people.  And they were right up front on display.  I could tell one of the cats was a bit skittish and you could barely see him/her until some of the crowds moved along.  Then I got this shot of it.  Not bad, I thought.

I then wandered over to the lion house.  My first thought was: Oh my God that lion has a Mohawk!  Apparently the male lion is balding or something, because it has a tuft of mane sticking straight up.   And I also thought that the lion was blonder than normal, but that was probably because it's from the Namibia, South African region than I normally see.  The sign said southwestern...
 I watched the lions for the most time.  I was on the second level which has a great view of the whole enclosure and I wasn't there for more than a few minutes and the lion got up, and was a bit agitated.  I didn't do anything honest!  So for the next 45 minutes or so he stalked around the pen roaring at people, charging at the fence and generally asserting himself.
The lioness was calmer.  She only got up once and was staring at the lion house.  Maybe they were pissed that the pigs next door(I think they were warthogs) got fed first.  Either that or they were thinking hmmm, looking good.
Then as the lion was generally entertaining the crowds a guy and his dog came up next to me.  Dogs go to the zoo here.  2 euros, and they even have rest stops with water bowls and leash hangers.  It's very cool.  Anyway the dog got one look or sniff of the lions and went NUTS.  Barked and growled and jumped on the glass enclosure.  Wouldn't be quiet or sit down.  It was all the funnier since the dog couldn't have been more than 15 pounds.  It didn't think major killer cat.  Just CAT.

Gotta admire the dog's guts thinking he could take on this cat.

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