"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Big Cats, Meerkats, & More

I recently joined the other kiddies making their way from DuPont Circle to the National Zoo.

It was one of the best zoo days I've had...and I've had a lot of them, mostly at this one.

Asian otters. Their keeper was watching them as I came along, and she talked about their playfulness. They are smaller and daintier than the river otters we sometimes see in our little lake at home.

The elephant habitat is undergoing intensive renovations. I know they'll be glad when it's finished.

I have a weakness for meerkats.

The red panda.

The Great Pandas always draw a crowd.

The female was eating a popsicle.

The male had just been fed some fresh bamboo stalks.

And then the keepers tossed some stalks out for the female, and she hurried over.

It was the best Big Cat day of my life. The lions--male, females, and about 6 young cubs, were alert and very active. (Perhaps I've visited too often on hot summer days when they're lethargic.)

I shot this video, in which everyone performs--adults, cubs. They put on quite a show for me!

The tigers were in constant motion also.

They are supposed to be carnivores, but this one felt like a herbivore today.

The other tiger assumed a regal pose.

And then decided he wanted something.

Here's a live-action video the same movements as shown in the stills.

I'm sure I was quite a sight, juggling my digi-cam, camcorder, and camera phone. This is only a small selection of what I shot today.

The zoo isn't just for gazing at animals. It's also an education centre. Today's "Meet the Small Mammal" forum featured a porcupine with a prehensile tail (I was able to touch some quills--they were off the animal, not on it, presented to me in a little plastic bag by the staff person. The focus of the information shared is largely about conservation as well as lifestyle and habitat.

My mother and grandparents used to take me to the Zoo when I was little. I've never stopped going there and I don't think I'll ever be too old to enjoy it!

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