20.11.09

calgary zoo- various exhibits

this is the last of my tour posts about the calgary zoo. not that i've done a good job covering the whole place mind you. in fact, i'm embarrassed to say, this is the worst review i've done (and i've covered a lot of museums, aquariums, and museums here before!)...

though i have a good excuse as you'll see at the end of the post. i had a very unexpected distraction during my visit, which caused me to not visit everywhere. the most noteworthy section i missed was the canadian wilds, which is an excellent gathering of canada's diverse (but mammal dominated) wildlife.

i did make it through a lot of the eurasia section...


one of the hold overs from my hatchlinghood was the flamingo pond. these guys always crack me up... even if these ones aren't made of plastic and on a lawn! if i ever get a house i need to get some. real or otherwise...

the calgary zoo has always made a big deal of its elephant enclosure, which had been upgraded and renovated since the last time i'd been. it is now elephant crossing. i have to say for the elephants the change in home was a real plus! they have way more space to do stuff in... or it might just be that we the public can now see it all...
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in any case i was pretty impressed.

it also has a healthy dose of cute, in the form of a baby elephant. the calgary zoo has a pretty successful elephant breeding track record, as i can think of at least 2 other babies in my lifetime!

sadly it was not all happiness in elephant crossing. a new tank had been put in for these rays, only there'd been a lot more of them in it when it first opened!
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out of 48 rays put in the public petting tank, shortly after being settled in all but two of them died! total bummer!!!
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making even more sad, due to the tragedy the public was no longer allowed anywhere near the tank. i had to take this shot on extreme digital zoom (hence the fuzziness... sorry, best i could do).

outside elephant crossing you hit a lot of outdoor enclosures. many of these are open year round, as the animals contained within are pretty hardy and adapted to the cold.
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i felt dumb going in, as i had a starring contest with this owl. why i felt dumb...
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1. owls don't blink anywhere near as often as i have to!
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2. i always think of owls as really smart, and looking at one for a while makes me feel like someone more intelligent then me is looking at me scoldingly for my tiny brain...
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moving on, there is also a small herd of the incredibly rare przewalski’s horse from mongolia. these guys are on the brink of extinction, mostly due to interbreeding with domestic horses :(
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turning around from the horses i was confronted with this swarm of sparrows.
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sure sparrows, the introduced pest they are here in canada (and most other places of the world!), are not typically associated as zoo animals. to be fair these ones weren't on display, or part of the official zoo tour. yet there were just SO many of them i had to include a photo of the mega flock... so there is a record of why i didn't make it out of the zoo alive!
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there was also the largest of goats, the markhor. which like, sadly, so many other creatures at the zoo are on the brink of extinction. you humans really need to smarten up. please?...
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next came the tiger enclosure. another classic zoo area.
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as i passed through this public viewing area, i caught a funny yet familiar scent. with my t-rex nose i can pick up all sorts of things. sadly as i haven't been out in the "wild" so to speak, i've learned to properly separate conflicting smells. the zoo with so MANY different types of animals in such a small area represents quite an overload for me, and i just don't know how to pick them all apart.
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yet there was a trace scent here in this spot that lingered with me.

rather then let this smell ruin my trip i went to watch the tigers. lucky for me they were in the middle of eating!
it was neat to watch one of the modern apex mammalian predators do its thing. way different from how i eat. these guys are all forelimb based manipulation. me i'm lucky if i can scratch my eye with my arms most of the time!
suddenly there was a shift in the air, and the scent that had bothered me earlier was much stronger... whatever was the source of said smell, was obviously getting much closer!

even the tiger reacted, and looked up alertly to check what was coming.

i knew that smell!

as i turned around from behind me came a powerful bellow... followed by a gruff angry voice. "traumador the tyrannosaur," the intruder addressed me by name! "you've got a lot of nerve, showing up at my zoo unannounced!!!"

turning around i let out, what i'm sure was a very loud audible, eep. towering over the public viewing area, was now the bulk of a massive bull ceratopsian... which instinctively had me slightly panicked! as the horned dinosaurs can be a titch on the reactive side. especially when facing down their ancestral predator...

however i remained calm. in fact i was suddenly overwhelmed with joy!

no i wasn't going crazy or craving an early death... as again with any other ceratopsian i'd have been concerned at the situation, me pinned between it and a tiger proof fence...

this wasn't just any ceratopsian though... this was norman a centrosaurus, and boy did the two of us have a lot of catching up to do!

to be continued with an odd old friend...

3 comments:

Raptor Lewis said...

Wow! Talk about quite a reunion!! ALthough, his accusation makes me wonder what it is you did to him that you haven´t told us about or you probably don´t even remember! I mean, what did you do to frustrate Norman?!

Albertonykus said...

I figured you'd meet Norman again sometime, but in the zoo of all places! That's a surprise!

And don't feel bad about being not as smart as that owl - it's a neornithine maniraptorform, indisputably large brained! It might be some consolation for you to know that, among modern birds, owls aren't particularly smart.

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

I feels slightly weird to see an indoors zoo for me... but I know that's the best thing in high latitudes zoos. Here the animals wander outdoors the entire year. Of course they like being "indoors" sometimes during the winter too, especially the animals from the Amazon.

OOOOOH! I really like those furry mongolian horses!