Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lions, Tigers, and Bears: Part 2

Another of our family favorites is the elephants. They all have distinct personalities, and we love watching them interact with one another. It is amazing to watch them eat, picking up bunches of straw with their trunk, dusting it off, and bringing it to their mouth. The elephant has many, many times more muscles in his trunk then humans have in their entire body! 

The bottom of an elephant's foot has a pattern as individual and distinct as a human fingerprint. Unlike fingerprints, they alter over time with growth and wear, but always remain unique to each elephant. 

This elephant looked so wise and thoughtful. 

When my parents and I were at the zoo together last year, the baby elephant had just recently been born. Now, he is growing up, but he's still young, playful, and completely adorable. I love the quirky way elephants stand with one leg resting on the other. 

An elephant goes through 6 sets of molars for grinding food in their lifetime. Their teeth emerge in the back of their jaw and move forward like a conveyor belt, breaking off with age and wear.

Dave loves how tall and majestic the giraffes are. 

This duck family was happy to make the zoo their home. The goldfish living in this water were intensely vibrant in color. 

Leaping lemurs! 

A male gorilla is called a silverback and is such a surreal sight in person. 

Mom gorilla. We speculate she was missing her little one. 

Last but not least, baby gorilla, who was just born a few months ago. 

It was hard to believe how similar this little one was to a human baby. It was so cute, cuddly, and loving. We were so lucky to be able to capture this sequence on film. 

Mr. Black Bear was cooling off with a dip in the pool. 

We loved being in the aquarium. There were so many neat creatures of so many sizes, shapes, and colors.

This little girl was in awe of the stingray. 

It seemed fitting to leave off with this photo. It was intensely unsettling it was to look this powerful predator in the eye, only a few inches away, until I realized that this is how he may feel, too. We couldn't help but occasionally feeling sad for some of these majestic animals living in captivity, but overall, the zoo is wonderful for the awareness it raises, the resources it garners for conservation, and for the home it provides to many injured or orphaned creatures.


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