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The Way They Make Me Feel

Journal Entry: Wed Aug 20, 2014, 11:01 AM

Hey guys :wave:,

 

I hope everyone’s had a great summer (though it seems as if autumn is lurking right around the corner). I’ve been filling up the time with putting together some feature journals, but now it’s back to the good old days. If you're curious about the secret message of our last journal "Meet me there", check back on it and you can see the hidden meaning ;)

If you think you’ve read some of my longest journals, I’m afraid you haven’t seen nothing yet :lol: I’m going to relay my stories of the past 1.5 month so beware! Of course, I’m going to underline the places and bold the important stuff – so if you’re thinking “Too Long; Don’t Want To Read It All” just scroll past those words and you get the impression either way.

 

In early July, we went to the Sony Photo & Video Experience. Because we both have a Sony photo camera, we could subscribe for a few workshops and spend the day at the Bataviawerf in Lelystad. It’s a really cool place, with some of the old shipping techniques we could take a peek at in between.

Best of all, though? There was a bird demonstration. Some of the more popular workshops were centered around Street, Nature and Macro (unfortunately, so popular we couldn’t sign in anymore for those :() and for that purpose they’d invited a couple to demonstrated their owls and birds of prey. In an hour time, they’d show pretty much all their birds and tell some things we hadn’t heard before.

There was the gorgeous Morporke – and some chicks, brothers and sisters of the grown one – and a Spectacled Owl called Luna, still somewhat a teenager (which I got a chance to hold on my hand as well :D). It was cool to try and get the birds on camera while in flight, but there were a lot of people who sort of, well, screwed up the photos :O We had some opportunities, of which you’ve already seen a few ;)

Another fun bit was the Crested Caracara. Not normally too fond of flying, but more of a strolling type of bird, he did try to fly – and immediately went missing. Not exactly “missing” missing; by the type of flight of the gulls and such, you could see where he must have landed. Problem was, he didn’t bother coming back :P He did though, because we saw pretty much all 3 shows, and that happened in the first.

 

2013-105 Morepork by W0LLE Spectacled Owl 2 by dark-angel-11309 Crested Caracara landing by AForns

 

We visited our most local zoo, Dierenrijk a few times. You may remember that over the years, we’ve announced the birth of Red Pandas at this zoo a few times. Both times before, the cubs sadly died :( Last year, it were triplets and they suspect the mother couldn’t take care of them. This year, we were afraid the cycle would repeat itself.

But as you’ve probably seen by now, the Red Panda cubs survived! They’re twins, a boy and girl and they are simply too adorable :heart: :tighthug: It won’t be long now before they dare step foot outside :D

The Griffon Vulture chick of this year has grown incredibly quick. Instead of the regular colors, he has the same colors as his sibling from last year (who I suspect was taken to a different zoo about the time the egg was spotted, as I haven’t seen him since). I really like these chicks colors, because they’re more brown and somehow look sweeter. Doesn’t mean I let them fool me – they can be really conniving.

After a couple of years of being spoiled with Corsac Fox kits and Raccoon Dog pups, this year brought no such pleasure. The Corsacs seem pretty happy the way they are, and recently the Badgers were moved (haven’t seen them since) and their enclosure has been combined with those of the Raccoon Dogs. They now have a massive stretch all to themselves – to all 13 of them! Can’t say that’s the exact number, but it’s about the amount that I counted during our last visit. The atmosphere can get rather tense, though. I’ve seen some nasty bite wounds and I definitely hope the zookeepers are keeping an eye out in case something more serious occurs.

The latest addition to the zoo, are a few Common Marmosets. The Weirdest thing is, they have an enclosure where they’re fed, but have the run of the grounds. That means, you’d better watch your step – and your head – everywhere you go, because they can pop up jut about anywhere in the zoo. We’ve only seen one of them so far, in the netting surrounding the enclosure of the Ravens :O

The zoo is working to spice things up even more – let’s hope it’s not all child-oriented – but the in-house zoo photographer told us they’re setting things up to house a bunch of Coatis :dance:.

 

Adorable Red Panda Baby Kalden Born 7-8-12 by KathyAhrens Vulture Chick, 4 Views by cermaith Marmoset by Stinetroll

 

We paid two visits to BestZOO, before we went away for our little vacation and afterwards.

Though the Serval kittens were still rather small in our humble opinions, they’re already separated from their parents. They were truly grumpy, hissing at all times when they were awake and noticed visitors looking at them. We didn’t see them during our last visit, though :hmm:

That first visit got us excited for a whole other reason, because the indoor enclosure that formerly held the Emu chicks, now held Momma Striped Skunk and 5 kits :boogie: They hardly seemed to realize we were there, until they suddenly did and started acting all prissy, hoisting up that tail and walking backwards. Very intimidating, but very cute (as it was behind glass, you see ;))

For some reason, it’s pretty much always raining when we visit this zoo. This makes the animals look bedraggled at times, but it often also clear up again and it is pretty much always worth it :)

The Emu chicks can no longer be called chicks; they’re semi-adults already. They’ve really grown and pretty much lost all their adorable stripes. In fact, they’re coming close to really resembling the grown-ups. To be honest, adults Emus always keep me on my toes with those pointy beaks and tall frames on them. And these chicks are starting to act as you’d expect them to – tapping things with those sharp beaks. IRL, I’ve even already had a close encounter when one of them decided to attack my spotted sneakers and wanted to yank my shoelaces :lol:

 

The Fruit Picker by Velvet-Paw Baby Skunk by Mikomi-Hatake Emu by fadamii

 

Because we wanted to visit all of our regular zoos, we also decided to pay a visit to ZieZOO. It didn’t have as many fun new or young animals, but some of the regulars were still around.

Such as the Tayra pups; they’ve grown so much, I almost thought the grown male was back outside. The Mom was there, but she’s a lot slimmer than the males. This makes it easier to recognize the pups, as they all seem to be males and have a broader head and body. They’re still cute, though they’re pretty raucous. Can you imagine 5 rather active, hyper animals in one small encounter? Yeah, me either. Three’s a crowd and all that. I think it won’t be long before they have to take the pups somewhere else – whether it’s their own enclosure, or a different zoo, I don’t know yet.

The zoo has acquired a piece of land behind the current zoo, and are looking to expand. They’ve been working on the new enclosure of the Clouded Leopards since they opened their doors to all of the public , and they’re really starting to make progress. I can’t see the new enclosure offers more possibilities for photographers – the fence is still there, and it’s also a pretty tall enclosure with already some bushes inside. This means these annoyingly elusive felines get a chance to keep on hiding. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed they won’t want to ;)

When we were there, we were surprised by a birth – the highlight of our visit (as it wasn’t much fun with the bad weather). We saw them last year for the first time at this same zoo, but not yet this young. A Banded Mongoose, probably not even a day old. Still sort of wet-looking, wrinkly and wriggly. I don’t think we would have spotted it, if the Mouselemur hadn’t heard it squeaking :D After some glimpses of that adorable squeezed up face, we were sure it was a baby :dance:. For some reason, we compared the baby with a reptile :hmm: Still, it was really cute! You’ll see a photo pop up soon enough and are able to judge for yourself.

They’ve had the Short-Eared Elephant Shrew for some time now, and though we’ve seen it eating, we haven’t yet seen it do what we long for them to do: walk. They look so cute when they do, but for some reason they favor sitting still. Bet they’ll jump around and perform tricks when no one’s looking :P

 

Clouded Leopard 6801P by Sooper-Deviant Baby Photo by Jack-13 Elephant shrew by Escai

 

It’s been approximately 3-4 years since we last visited the Beekse Bergen – and back then, we took our nephew and it just wasn’t the same. As you may have noticed, it was three years ago that we really started to pick up zoo photography and our love for animals and their babies. We really could not pass up the chance to visit again, and during a summer the weather was pretty mild.

We knew there were supposed to be African Lion cubs, but with our luck, they didn’t step foot outside until the week after we visited the zoo :(

The bird demonstration was without a doubt AMAZING. It wasn’t at all as I remembered from all those years ago – I was perhaps 7, when I was first enraptured by birds of prey during one of those shows. They flew with two birds at the same time, lifting off at the same time, sometimes from the same spot, sometimes crossing each other. The White-Backed Vultures and Hooded Vultures looked astonishing in flight :)

Best part was seeing Lady Maya again; as she was when I was young, she was again the star. How could a 24-year-old Bald Eagle female be anything but? Fun bit, she flew off, kind of like the Crested Caracara. Except she didn’t sit somewhere and wait for a bit; she was actually flying peacefully – rustling the feathers of the birds. She may have been off for perhaps 5 minutes, causing worry with the hosts. Never seen anyone look so relieved as when she flew over the bushes and headed back :D

Though Flamingoes aren’t normally our thing, we went into this peculiar looking enclosure and saw not only a bunch of the pink birds, but also chicks, in pretty much every size! They were small and light grey, middle-sized and dark grey, full-size and full-pink :heart: ever seen Flamingo chicks before, but they stole my heart :aww: Problem is, trying to identify which kind we saw :hmm: I had no idea there were so many kinds of Flamingoes, and I’ve never had the “pleasure” to know so much about Flamingo legs.

We spend quite some time with the Village Weavers; they were in the mood to build nests and such. I’d seen the nests and the birds before, but I’d never seen the actually working on it. We were actually shooting photos, and were eating an ice cream without messing – though possible, it definitely wasn’t easy :)

I remember from back in the day, when we visited the zoo every year, that they had a large group of Dholes. It was once released in the news, that the Dholes managed to escape, and some were recaptured though a lot of them were sadly shot :( I remember from a visit after that one, maybe two were left. These days, their enclosure is empty and ZieZOO is the only zoo in the Netherlands left, who still has Dholes.

It wouldn’t be a Safari park without going on a safari; a path leads your car through and next to some of the enclosures. In many of those enclosures – only those with herbivores, mind you – there were one to a couple of Canada Goose chicks :heart: They are so cute with their wiggly butts when walking :aww:

Never enjoyed the Giraffes quite so much either; during the safari, there was one who stood right behind a tall tree, nearly swallowed whole. He effectively played hide-and-seek, until only his head and upper neck could be seen. When we were walking through the zoo, there were a few other Giraffes who ate pieces of corn sticks (at least, they looked like that). They shared them – not always willingly – and when one Giraffes was trying to chew down the same knot, another one took it out of his mouth  and spit it out.. Delicious table manners, don’t you think? =P

 

White-Backed Vulture... by EricReynolds Lion cub by La-Vita-a-Bella Hooded Vulture by Sam2103

A Mother's Love by invisiblelife Yellow Weaver bird by James-Marsh

Jumping Dhole by PictureByPali Canada goose family by xxsimplicity Giraffe family by valkyrjan

 

During our 4-day trip to Texel, we went to visit some of the family we still have left on the island. It was pretty much a last-minute trip, and we actually achieved some personal goals :D

The Mouselemur – fool that she is – wanted to catch every sunrise and sunset on camera during our stay. She saw 3 sunsets, and 1 sunrise; I went along for 1 sunset and just 1 sunrise :) They weren’t exactly as spectacular as we’d hoped, but we saw some magnificent things that last time.

I set a goal to cycle around the island. The Mouselemur said she’d go with me, as did my Dad. But the day after we arrived, we’d gone cycling for a bit, and the Mouselemur was sore. She couldn’t go with me, so I went alone with my Dad. We cycled around the island, in 5.5 hours, and made almost 60 kilometers! It’s the best I’ve ever done, and though I had bigger plans to cycle more and build up a stamina, I’m pretty proud that I managed this :D It took me twice as much time as I’d anticipated, I got badly sunburned and a new watch.

While I was cycling, the Mouselemur went to the beach. She’s convinced she saw a baby Shark in the surf. She also spotted a wild Kestrel on a post when we were chasing the sunrise, but we must have chased it off :(

Texel even has it’s own zoo, Vogelbush Eureka. It was bigger and better than before, with gorgeous raptors, funny birds and a good host. Both the Mouselemur and I held a Long-Eared Owl on our hand, who kept in making squeaky adorable noises. But my Dad, being a tall guy, got to hold a Steppe Eagle on his hand :D

The Southern White-Faced Owl could actually “meow” – on command, but sometimes he’d do it of his own. Another one would fly on commando; just the word, no signals or anything. Doesn’t mean she’d always fly in the same direction. Another owl didn’t particularly want to return from the spot he’d landed on, and one of the larger owls kept sinking through his legs. There were 2 Harris’s Hawks, one was smart and wanted to play, the other was more stubborn and wouldn’t fly on anyone’s hand. Therefore, he had to run for his food, for nothing was tossed to him, as he hadn’t participated.

The boat to and from Texel is one of few – if not the only one –where people are allowed to feed the Gulls. The birds anticipate it, and fly to and fro alongside the boat. We always come prepared with some old slices of bread, which we feed to the Gulls. This time, we tried to take some photos while doing so. However, as the Gulls are often white, and the sky was as well, the photos didn’t exactly come out the way we’d hoped. Still, it’s always a great experience.

 

Kestrel by mydigitalmind Long-eared Owl by RichardConstantinoff 2010-129 Steppe Eagle Portrait by W0LLE

White Faced Owl by Rockin-billy Harris Hawk by nigel3

 

The Mouselemur had done some research and decided this year, we’d visit Zoo Osnabrück because it was supposed to have some cute baby animals. Of course, we didn’t see them all, but we saw some great animals nonetheless.

A Reindeer calf had been born that very same day, 4 hours before we spotted it :aww: It was still so cute and wobbly, and couldn’t really find his mom’s udder because she kept walking away when the calf came close. Another calf had been born a few days earlier and was already running with the group.

It was the first zoo where we’d see some Silver Foxes – and kits! Unfortunately, they’d grown a bit more than we’d anticipated, and were already teenage-sized. The enclosure kind of hampered our chances to take good photos, because you were looking down at them from a considerable height. Still, they were every bit as gorgeous – and playful – as we’d hoped :D

There was a gorgeous white European Lynx high up in a tree – but this was perfect, as the path was raised as well, so she was a little above eyelevel. We got to take some beautiful shots of her, and she even looked our way a few times making them that more special.

We wanted to see the Bat-Eared Fox kits, and though we found the enclosure (and lost each other for a moment in the process) but we only spotted one adult. Of course, being a typical Bat-Ear, he walked off into the bushes the moment we’d aimed our cameras at him :P

The Short-Eared Elephant Shrew was said to have a baby, but we couldn’t spot a Shrew that was smaller than the others. Which is a real pity, because chances of seeing a real baby are so tiny.

The Bears at this zoo have a different story than any other. Apparently, the zoo must have thought at some point, that it would be no problem to put a Brown Bear and Polar Bear together in one enclosure. Problem was, one was a male, the other a female and they really got along. And “ta-ta-taaaa” (imagine “The Croods” Belt here) twin cubbies were born! The hybrids are kept at the zoo, and have a huge enclosure all to themselves but will never be able to have babies of their own, I’m afraid. But they have a good future ahead, which counts, too :)

The Spotted Hyenas had had cubs, but they’d grown considerably and could no longer be told apart from the grown-ups. And I really want to see a baby Hyena at one point at my life, so I guess I just have to be patient. Feeding time made for some nice pics; they were running around in circles with a piece of meat after which the former cubs got to eat first.

We’d once been to a zoo, where the Mouselemur had spotted a sign that spoke of Turacos and a relative, something called the “Go-Away Bird”. Determined to see one, because she hadn’t yet, she was super excited when she found out they were here, at this zoo :cheer: Together with the many different Turacos we’ve seen at several zoos, the Go-Away Bird was definitely one of the highlights.

After many years of not seeing even one Meerkat pup – though during our last visit to GaiaZOO, we saw twins suckling from behind reflective, dirty glass – we finally saw one at this zoo. He was sniffing and searching around the enclosure all on his own, and completely adorable :nuu:

Again, aside from GaiaZOO, this is the only zoo I’ve visited that holds a Wolverine. Even better, they had two :D We could see them surprisingly well, through the glass and fence, especially if you compare the few times I’ve seen one before. However, they were so active – which was shocking on its own – that taking a good photo was near impossible.

We’ve been big fans of the Kirk’s Dik-Dik for some years now, and the Mouselemur was a bit disappointed because she’d read that the zoo would welcome these small ungulates to their collection on August 1 – and we visited on July 31. Though we first walked past the enclosure, it was empty, when we were leaving we couldn’t resist another peek, and what do you know? One of them was out and about, exploring the enclosure :D We really enjoyed those last minute before he went back inside :aww:

 

Supercute Reindeer Calf II by attomanen baby fox face by KIARAsART Go Away Bird by AnneMarks

Dancing baby bat-eared foxes by woxys Baby Elephant Shrew Two by leopatra-lionfur The Babysitter by DeniseSoden

...Meerkat... by xoniac Wolverine by Eltasia Dikdik by vt102

 

We paid our very first visit to the Olmense Zoo which, though in Belgium, was surprisingly close to home. Though it was said to be a rainy day, we still enjoyed our visit – even though at first, we were afraid to be disappointed. Some parts of the zoo looked a bit neglected and all, but we were hoping the animals – and their babies – would make up for it.

We got a chance to see the Clouded Leopard – and unlike in ZieZOO, he was actually walking! Quite the shocker, though the enclosure didn’t lend itself for taking photos. Still, it brought a smile to our faces.

We were surprised to see the Siberian Tiger had somewhat older twin cubbies. They were very playful, playing tag and attacking each other. Sometimes they’d try to drag their mother into the game, but she’d dodge their attempts with a mighty leap or run. They weren’t even bothered by the rain, and were a true pleasure to watch for a long time (especially as it started and was raining when we were there, and it was one spot where we could stand, take photos and stay dry).

However, we didn’t see the Tiger cubs we’d longed to see. We read on Facebook that the Golden Tabby Tiger cubs were supposed to be 2 months old, and a different zoo’s Tiger cubs had just stepped foot outside, I believe. We really hoped we’d be able to see the babies, but we didn’t :sad: We did see the male Golden Tabby, and what I believe to be a female Bengal White.

The Cougars – three of them – were very active and playful, and really seemed to notice the visitors and paid attention to them, in a good way. And later, we were surprised to find a Cougar cub in the nursery, called Pacco, still blue-eyed and totally swoonworthy :melt: :heart: We got pretty wet trying to get him camera, as we had to lean over the fence and bushes to push the camera against the glass, hands surrounding it to block out the reflection.

I knew the zoo had a young Jungle Cat as just a few days before, they’d posted a photo of Facebook of the kitten, stating he was getting more and more at ease being outside. Let me tell you: he was definitely not at ease :P But totally cute in that angsty way when he noticed us, and completely adorable when he didn’t :aww:

We were aware there were supposed to be Caracal kittens, and though we found a round enclosure which stated this was where they let the kittens and Arctic Fox kits play together, the kittens were nowhere to be found. We found some cute kits, though, one a mix of white-and-grey, the others more silver. They were really cute, finding shelter together against the rain :hug:

The birds of prey gallery was long and varied; we saw many different species, though the enclosures didn’t entirely lend itself perfectly for taking photos. (Also, many of them were just fed, and they hadn’t yet touched it, so it looked and smelled kind of gross.) For the 3rd time in exactly a month’s time, we saw a Morpork – where before, we’d never seen even one! :D

As we’d been visiting so many zoos, we weren’t always sure about the exact identity of the Giraffes in each zoo. The Mouselemur had, for the purpose of being able to tell them apart, looked up their bodily differences. She found out there is one species of Giraffe – which she wasn’t sure was the one we’d see in this zoo – who had five bumps on his head, instead of the common three. However, it turned out, it wasn’t this species of Giraffe – but later, we did see one!

Brown Bears aren’t always common in zoos, but they always look very fluffy, cuddly and easy-going (though it’s all appearances of course). We thought these Bears would be the same, calm and fun-loving, but we were actually witness to our first Bear fight! One of the brown Bears attacked (sort of playfully) the huge, darker one (really, he was a lot broader and bigger than the other two) and the raucously fought, with teeth and claws. The brown one seemed to have lost, having a bloody knee and sitting on his butt kind of sadly. Though it’s part of their nature, I don’t really enjoy watching it. Still, it did make for an incredible sight. Later, we heard them going at it again, and I just hoped the brown one was smart enough to seek refuge.

There were two Bat-Eared Foxes – my Dad said they were the “lesser” kind, because they seemed smaller – who were for once, not at all shy. Normally, they barely come out of hiding, and cower in their holes. These two were first asleep, though we know how to draw attention (yes, we get really annoying for a few minutes) and we managed for them to turn their heads around. Later however, they were walking about, and interested in us :D It was amazing how well we could see them and capture them on camera. Great experience ;)

There was a number of Lions; two were in a separate enclosure from the other Africans, who were in one bigger enclosure with the five of them. Two white Lions weren’t far away, though also in a different enclosure. (In truth, the zoo had a lot of different felines.) But the largest group, held two young males – and at one point in the afternoon, they decided it was playtime. They even got their mother involved in playing along, and it was great to watch though sometimes a bit weird ;P

One of the best part was the huge, indoors Tropicana with many different, exotic birds and a little Bat-cave (with a baby!). We had a lot of fun watching all the different birds, really enjoyed seeing all those species of Turacos – not only the green crest, purple, white-cheeked and white-rimmed, we also saw one with a red crest! :boogie: The lighting wasn’t perfect; some spots were overexposed, others were set in so much shade, it was hard to get a good look at the birds.

Somewhat at the front of the zoo, there was a barnlike house, with a few enclosures for small animal such as the Degu – who had a lot of babies, though we weren’t sure at first, because so many wild Mice could climb in there was well :giggle:

Another fun bit: There was a single Cheetah next to Cougars, sort of anxiously walking around the enclosure. I found out the day after via Facebook, that the day we visited the zoo, a Cheetah had arrived after years of absence. So she wasn’t anxious without reason: she was exploring her very new enclosure :D

 

The Grreeat Clouded Leopard by moggies Baby Tiger II by Sagittor Taj3 by robin-lila

Spotted Cub by DeeOtter jungle cat by morho Beware, I am dangerous!!! by woxys

Baby arctic fox: murder? by woxys Boobook by thrumyeye Brown Bear Brawl by NaturePunk

Bat-Eared Fox IV by amrodel Egyptian fruit bat wz baby by Vollmilch2001 Degu baby cuteness by KIARAsART

turaco by michaelrumiz turaco by xthumbtakx Violet Turaco by Tinap Red-crested Turaco by lokinst

 

After a few years of having heard of this small zoo in the northern part of the country – and reading about Leopard Cats being born in 2012 – we really wanted to visit Taman Indonesia one day. We’d promised we’d visit our older sister in her new home during the vacation, and as it is a shorter train and bus ride from her than from home, it served as a perfect opportunity.

We were real curious, as three Leopard Cat kittens were born, and a little while before we visited, the zoo had uploaded a photo of the young ones. They still looked really small, but when we visited, we could hardly tell them apart from the grown-ups. The one thing that gave them away were the two separate enclosures; one held 2, the other held 3. Though the 3 definitely looked a bit smaller, they simply are small cats. It was kind of disappointing as they hardly moved from their lying position. We didn’t get any special photos worth showing you :(

Though that was a definite disappointment, there were a lot of fun areas filled with many different kinds of birds. You could buy food, existing out of really creepy, still living crawlies and small fruits and seeds. It did attract some birds, and we got to see some of them from a better angle. We watched a large number of Zebra Finches work on their nest and saw a Green Peacock :D

The one animal that made the trip worthwhile (my sister nearly fell ill in the small van that drove us to and back from the zoo) was the Asian Palm Civet. You may have heard of them: the most expensive brand of coffee is made from coffee beans that were defecated after the Asian Palm Civet ate coffee berries :D

They didn’t look quite the way we’d expected; they were kind of small, but very active. Maybe that was because the male (a bit sturdier and bigger than the female) suffered from cataract. He was constantly shifting from side to side, sniffing the air because he couldn’t see all that well. He’s a bit older than the female, who was a lot more agile, which she proved as they were being fed.

The zookeeper had not only strewn some pieces of apple inside the enclosure, but also on top. To get to them, the Civets would have to work. The female easily clambered up, and upside-down found her first bite of apple which she took back to her lair. The male... wasn’t that good at it. We really had to laugh when he got his feet in the fence atop the enclosure, and clambered in the exact opposite of where the apples could be find. Meanwhile, the female had already eaten her piece, and came back for more. When the male finally got his piece, and was eating it back on the ground, she stole it right out from under his nose. But he had the last laugh – the female clambered back up, and accidentally dropped 3 pieces on the ground, right in front of the male, who eagerly snarfed them up ;)

Another fun bit: I spotted a running wild Deer from the train, towards the zoo, and the Mouselemur spotted a wild Fox in a glimpse on the way back :D

 

Leopard Cat Sun Bath by GIJoe666 Zebra finches II. by Evey-Eyes Luwak by MerlynSaphire

A wild deer by Slinky-2012 Rainbow Fox by thrumyeye

 

Now that we were at my sister’s anyway, it was easy as pie to bring a visit to the zoo 20 minutes from her home: Natura Artis Magistra. It’s one of our favorite pastimes when we’re all together in Amsterdam, visiting my sister. Best thing? She’s a subscriber, and we got in for free.

Maybe we should have chosen a different day, as it was really busy and crowded. Then again, research has shown that a day trip to the zoo has been very popular this year. Fighting for a good spot wasn’t always easy though.

One of the first places we go to, is the Small Mammal House, because there we can find the Mouse Lemurs :D Seeing those cuties, makes us more determined not to change our username. Sure, Mouselemur isn’t all that professional, but you didn’t see their acrobatic actions that day. They discovered a living bug in their enclosure, up against the glass. Several of the little Lemurs tried to get to him, and were even willing to turn and twist their bodies. Two of them even showed us their white fluffy bellies when they let go with their front paws to touch the glass with their cute fingers :tighthug:

When they got their lunch, we were treated to another adorable sight. You see, they have several little nest box, and one of them was looking out of it. Then, another Mouse Lemur had appeared next to it. As a zookeeper was cleaning the water tray, suddenly, a third head squeezed in! The Mouselemur was shooting a sequence with her camera, and caught the pop-ups on camera :D We’re thinking of making a GIF for our avatar. My Dad has promised he’d help us make it, now we just have to remind him of it again ;)

But aside from the expected cuteness that is the Mouse Lemurs, we were surprised by one appearance that just warmed our hearts: a Linnaeus’ Two-Toed Sloth baby! We’d seen a smaller baby here before (never found out whether it made it into adulthood) and a few bigger ones, but we’d never seen one this well. The mother actually started climbing around and showed the baby from every which angle. At one point, she even held still right in front of us, and I believe she really noticed me – or my black gloves :aww:. (It was really annoying when people started to recognize the baby for what it was, as there’s this Dutch commercial from an insurance company, which has a spokesman in the shape of a Bradypus sloth, and everyone was making associations with the commercial of hoyhoy.nl – when, if you know a bit about Sloths, doesn’t make a lot of sense as the Three-Toed is very different in his looks from the Two-Toed. Just a little, personal grievance I had to get off of my chest ;))

There was a moment however that had us holding our breath in worry and fear – the mother had dropped herself to the ground to eat. The baby was on her chest, and no one was sure whether it was still moving. When she started moving, and then climb up the fence, we could see the baby, but it wasn’t holding on to his mom. He was just hanging there, his front paws dangling, and later, half of his body dangling upside down. He was moving on his own, just a bit, when the father decided he wanted to follow the mother up into the fence. It looked as if one of his claws hit the baby, because it started flailing a bit less. The adults moved to the food tray, and the baby just hung there.

When we later came back, the baby was curled against his mother’s chest, breathing and moving :phew: You have no idea how relieved we were. Still, can’t be sure the little one will or has survived :hmm:

Bad news on the Reptile front: we could not find our favorite Geckos. The Leopards were still there, but we had trouble spotted the Tokay, and sadly a sign was put at Gunther’s and Wonder’s enclosures. They are being prepared for new residents, which means our lovelies are gone :nuu: We don’t know what’s coming in their stead, whether they’re really gone or just moved or even to a different zoo. All I can say is, the new ones will have a hard time making up for the loss of the Gunther’s Leaf-Tailed Gecko and the Wonder Gecko. Doesn’t mean we don’t have hopes of what’s coming. For example, I’ve always wanted to see a Satanic Gecko. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this out: www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2011…

The African Lions were surprisingly active when we arrived; a lot of people (and maybe the Lions, too) thought they’d be fed. Bad luck for those, because Artis is one of those zoos who doesn’t feed the big predators every day lest they get fat (and as the enclosure is somewhat smallish for the 4-5 Lions, you don’t want to give them any other excuses). The zookeeper we’ve seen near the Lions nearly ever visit these past couple of years, explained why there would be no feeding. He identified the different Lions; Kianga, the cub born in 2011 and Kacela, the cub born in 2012 (I couldn’t remember their names, so we’ve called them Mighty Mouse and Spots – who by way, still has spots). They are both the children of Caesar and Ti-Cuna (there used to be another female, but she wasn’t there). Caesar is one of the most masculine – read, dark-maned – Lions I’ve ever seen at a zoo. However, both he and Ti-Cuna are 16-17 years old. In the wild, Lions maybe turn 10 to 14 years of age; in captivity, they may pass 20. This means both of them are getting of age. Still, the zoo doesn’t want to get rid of the big male until he’s gone, before they give the two young girls a chance to mate with a new male.

From one point of view, I’m happy they want to keep Caesar around as long as possible, from the other, Ti-Cuna is probably too old to have another cub. This means we will have to wait a long, long time (or visit different zoos) to see another Lion cub. Yet, I can be patient when I have to ;)

Artis posts a supervisory board (don’t know if that’s the correct word; it’s a photo of an animal you have to guess the identity of) every Friday, and posts the correct identity on Saturday. One of the last times, they posted a photo of a young, dinosaur-like chick. The photo that accompanied the identity on Saturday, was taken at Artis which meant there was a Southern Cassowary chick! And we saw it :D It wasn’t easy, and we didn’t know where to find it, but with some good luck, we just walked past it and immediately saw the baby. It’s really funny looking; you know the Cassowary has this recognizable crest? The baby already had it, too.

A lot of people were enraptured by the 2 Meerkats outside the Small Mammal House (though really, how much fun can 2 Meerkats be?) but my sister took us to a little pathway alongside the outside of the indoor enclosure of the Chimpansees – are you still wit me so far? Because there is another enclosure for Meerkats, though behind glass. Here, they’ve had some babies. But that day, we played with them. I don’t know how it came about, but one of them was perched against the glass, and my new watch sparkled in the reflection – catching the fancy of the Meerkats. It was real fun to see them trying to get to it, seeing those cute masked face almost furrow in confusion :D

At several spots in the zoos, we came across a camera crew; it looked as if they were looking for good spots to show both the person and animal off. When we were leaving, I saw a man holding a small painting, and got the impression maybe someone was inspired by the zoo animals for his paintings. Anyway, we intend to keep an eye out for more information. Who knows, we might be in the background at one point :lol:

Outside the Primate and Birds house, we did not only spot eating North American Porcupines, but also a couple of fat, and one small and cute Alpine Marmot. We saw him, and he saw us, and looked adorable with his dark fur and beady eyes :aww: I didn’t know it was even there, and never saw it this well – they normally scurry off unless there’s food around. After having seen a number of species of Squirrels this past summer, I never before realized how much marmots look like them :)

We were reminiscing about former visits to the zoo, and of seeing some baby Patagonian Maras, when out of the blue, two sprang out of the hole burrowed inside the enclosure :D They were still rather small, skittish and totally adorable :heart: We’ve seen a couple of Chacoan Maras this past year, and now know how they suckle, but it still looks like utter cuteness.

After years of claiming to work on the new Jaguar enclosure, we finally saw them actually working on it – and it’s in good process and nicely shaping up. It looks as if it’s going to be huge – and fittingly, near the South American pampas. Still, as the old Jaguar female died, we’re wondering if they’ll get a new Jaguar (maybe a couple :eager:) or perhaps will be sheltering something else entirely?

 

mouse lemur by lemur2003 Baby Sloth by HorseLoverII Playfull Lions by SSJGarfield

double-wattled cassowary chick by Feridwyn Meerkat Want to Play by OrangeRoom Hungry by Death-Soldier101

Baby marmot of 2011 by MorganeS-Photographe Patagonian Mara - mum and baby by yunaayame

 

I hope you’re all caught up and enjoyed reading or perhaps just scanning over it. I’d totally understand if you did, I just like to record all the fun bits and pieces – and share some photos of other people, of the animals we’ve seen.

So far with the update; we’ll shortly start school again (I’ll be presenting my research on the 26th and won’t be fully graduated until then – if I don’t, I won’t be able to start my master’s degree, but let’s hope I do and can work and study at the same time. Just need to find a suitable job once I know what’s expected from the master’s education ;))

IF you have any questions, let me know :) Hope everyone’s enjoyed their summer, whether they’ve gone on vacation or not. You’ve read my adventures here, and will see more of my photos of these trips pop up over the days :D

Have a good day and enjoy it fully as long as you can!

 

As always, with lots of love,

Mouselemur & Me :blowkiss:

 

 



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Mouselemur
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Interests

Summer plans? 

27%
6 deviants said I'm staying home these couple of months... :(
23%
5 deviants said Just day-trips
18%
4 deviants said I'm going abroad to enjoy a much-deserved vacation :la:
14%
3 deviants said I'm not leaving my country, but I am going on a vacation :D
9%
2 deviants said No vacation for me - I have to work ;)
5%
1 deviant said All of the above :dance:
5%
1 deviant said None of the above - comment?

Comments


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:iconzaratra:
Zaratra Featured By Owner 4 hours ago
Thank you very much for the favorite !
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner 2 hours ago  Hobbyist Photographer
My pleasure :aww:
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:icon123licensetopaint:
123LicenseToPaint Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Thank you for the Llama Badge. Here is one in return.:)
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome, and thanks - also for the fave :D
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:icon1pen:
1pen Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Professional Photographer
Thank you for the favourite on:
The Land Down Under by 1pen

:heart:
Pen
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome :hug:
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:iconcarlitadiecarlavanes:
carlitadiecarlavanes Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Thankyou for the lama
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome!
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:iconthewhiningrhino:
Thewhiningrhino Featured By Owner 1 day ago
Thnx for the llama! :D (Big Grin) 
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:iconmouselemur:
Mouselemur Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the fave :D
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