Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Los Angeles Zoo

On Saturday, our plan was to go to the Planetarium.  Actually, we were going to hike to the Hollywood Sign and then go to the Planetarium.  But as I was reading, I found that the shortest hike to the Hollywood Sign is closed on weekends.  (Or rather, I should say the parking is closed).   And it was hot so we didn't want to do the longer hike.  So we headed to the Planetarium.  But apparently, everyone else headed to the planetarium also...there was no parking anywhere near the Planetarium.  So, since we were already at Griffith Park (where the Planetarium is located) and the LA Zoo is there, we decided to go there instead.

It's a big zoo with a lot of animals that we don't have here in Salt Lake.  Right after we arrived, they were feeding the chimpanzees so we hurried there to see them.  They had fruits and vegetables and there were a lot of chimps, including several babies.  I love chimps.  They are so fascinating and intelligent.  (Although soon Alfredo began to tease me because I kept saying, "Oh, I love __________....fill in the name of whatever animal we were looking at.")

I can't remember the name of these animals...they are from Africa and are similar to gazelles...but they looked so graceful and lovely to me.  I stood there just watching them for awhile. 

Gorillas are a great ape.  They eat leaves, shoots, roots, vines and fruit.  They live in groups of 6-12 with the oldest male leading a group of females, their young and young males.  The leader is the most aggressive because it is his responsibility to protect all of them.  Their gestation period is close to ours, about 8 1/2 months.  Mother gorillas nurse for 3 years.

In the mid afternoon, we bought lunch.  My cost saving strategy?  Buy 4 meals for the 5 of us and I eat everyone's leftovers.  It was plenty and worked well.

Not a very good picture, but this is a Tasmanian devil.  It had just been fed meat and was tearing into the meat with ferocity.  They are ugly creatures and fierce.

 Animals are so cool and so fascinating...and so, so disgusting!  We saw a giraffe drink another giraffe's pee.  We saw another animal lick its pal's backside and then drink its pee.  Yuck!  It was hot and we were thirsty...but that's taking it a bit far. ;)

 One of the animals we saw was a white-cheeked turaco.  It's a bird from Africa.  Gabby said, "They're annoying.  I like them!"  We all laughed.
 We also saw an echidna.  I didn't get a good photo of it, but there was an echidna expert standing right by the enclosure that told us about it (she had studied echidnas in Australia).  It's a mammal but like the platypus it lays eggs.  It doesn't have nipples...its milk seeps out of its skin.  The echidna gains 100 times its birth weight in the first week.  Another fascinating fact is that its front legs face forward but its back legs face backward.

I liked that this zoo had a lot of animals that we haven't seen before.  It was interesting to read about them.  I loved seeing the koalas, another favorite.  And lions and elephants and so many other animals.

We stayed busy and so on car trips, the girls often dozed off.  Not Michelle and she was usually a good sport about having her sister lean against her.