Monday, March 15, 2004

Things I saw at the zoo or Yeah, it's actually 5 a.m.

Saturday a friend and I had planned on driving out to Asheboro and visit the North Carolina Zoological Park, otherwise known as the zoo. Friday evening I started to feel a little poopy with a headache and scratchy throat. I woke up early Saturday and was feeling poopier. I took some medication and went back to bed for a few hours. I woke up feeling pretty good so I went ahead and went to the zoo. I love that zoo. I really appreciate how they make an effort there to make the animals comfortable. Even to the point of not giving us humans the most advantageous sightlines. They don't hide the animals from us but they do seem to try to give each enclosure a spot where the animals can go and hide from the spectators if they so wish.


Oh man, the polar bears. I love the polar bears. They are the first exhibit I visit and the one I spend the most time at. We got real lucky this time. There are two of them one was crashed out on his belly and the other was playing with one of those red lifeguard flotation devices. He would pounce on it in the water and drive it to the bottom and try to hold it down. After it popped back up he would grab it, hold it and bite on it. He would then float near the underwater viewing glass, push off the glass with his back feet like a competition swimmer and push himself back to the shallow water and do it again. We watched him play for over fifiteen minutes.

The gorillas were especially disgusting. One gorillla presented his or her butt to another and starting pissing at his feet. The subject of this offense then leaned over, stuck out his jaw and proceeded to accept the urine into his mouth. This was taking place right at the glass in front of over twenty people packed tight. The reaction was a unanimous "ewww!" Then the pee reciever closed his mouth and drank the piss. The crowd said "ewww" again even louder. One little boy, hearing the reaction rushed to his Father's side near me and asked his dad, "What's going on?" Dad said, "Did you see it." His son answered, "no." Dad said, "Nevermind." I said to him, "Yeah, you're better off." Dad chuckled. I didn't take a picture of that. I was too shocked to react.

This was the first time I had been to the zoo since they had reopened the chimpanzee enclosure. Over the last couple of years they had the chimps off display while their environment was being remodeled. The new display is fantastic. There are several windows which offer you a great view and it's very large. They even opened the back up so the lions can view the chimps from their area. It's interesting to be able to watch the chimps while you see a lion in the background doing the same thing. When we got there two juvenile chimps were play-fighting right near the viewing windows. It was fascinating to watch them wrestle and beat on each other.

If you look in the center of this picture you can see the female lion checking out the chimps.

When I got home Saturday afternoon my cold came back hard. I felt like shit for the rest of the night and missed a shindig to celebrate a friend's upcoming wedding. I guess I wasn't feeling as well as I thought when I left out that morning. I believe I will stay home from work today so as not to infect my co-workers. I am sure they will appreciate that gesture.

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