Cat and I just spent two fun days in Omaha, Nebraska. I've been pestering her for a long time for us to go back to the zoo there...about 16 years since the last visit when our kids were little. The zoo had expanded a lot, so I wanted to check it out. I appreciate that she endulged me and went...we had a good time, and ate some great food.
I must say that we have mixed feelings everytime we go to a zoo...we love looking at the animals, but we feel sorry for them being penned up. That said...Cat took some great photos...here a few of my favorites.
The White Rhino was very cooperative...held those poses nicely. We loved the Tram-Ride across the zoo to get to the rhino area...it's like a ski-lift...could've ridden that all day long.
One of the new additions was the aquarium...this little "Sea Dragon" was so cool.
This big-headed "beauty" is a "Tawny Frogmouth" from Australia. Probably sings with a really deep Barry White voice.
These little guys just cracked me up...we saw them on the tram-ride over...and they were in the exact same positions when we rode back over about 30 minutes later. It's like they're trying to get into the hottest dance club, and the ostrich is the bouncer, checking IDs.
This majestic fellow was amazing to watch...the photos are really good, considering that Cat had to shoot them through very thick glass panels that were covered in smeary hand prints from gobs of snot-nosed kids. Okay...let's be fair...probably some snot-nosed adults, too.
The next series of images do not do justice to the scary "Silverback Smackdown" that was about to take place before our eyes. I'll try to describe it, but you had to be there. As in many school-yard brawls, I don't know who started it...but the drama unfolded as follows:
"Young Gorilla" was sitting up on top of some observation domes, minding his own business. "Old Gorilla", the brute on the lower right of the photo, kept stalking the other guy. "YG" would avoid the confrontation, move across the enclosure, and try to stay clear. "OG" would just keep following.
We noticed in the photos after we got home, that there was blood from a big bite mark on "YG" 's right forearm (the gorilla on the left). But we noticed at the zoo that there was a huge bite mark on the right flank of "OG" (you can't see it in the image on the right, but it looked bad). Obviously, these two had been at it before. I supposed it's possible that "YG" thought it would be funny to bite "OG" in the butt, starting the whole thing...but I doubt that.
What happened next was too fast for Cat to get photos of. Suddenly, the two giants went at each other in the center of the ring...fangs bared..."OG" had "YG" in a headlock, then wrestled him off a log, slamming the two of them to the ground. When they broke up, "OG" climbed up to a window area over our heads, and flopped onto his back (left image below). He had a big red gash on his brow, right between the eyes. As for "YG"...he sat down over by a closed door that entered the indoor pen...basically saying, "Come on, guys...let me in...this punk won't leave me alone." In addition to the already bloodied arm, he now had a bloody lip.
Eventually, "Young G" came away from the door, and just sat down, showing off all those ginormous muscles. He hardly ever took his eyes off of the area where "Old G" was laying out of sight. In the end...I don't know who won. I just know I wouldn't want either one jumping on me...I'd be a messy pulp in seconds!!
We managed to find one of the caretakers in the BEARS area of the zoo, and reported the melee...he said he'd call it in and get some of the gorilla keepers to check on the damage done. Evidently they were "introducing" a new gorilla into the group...so much for pleasant introductions.
Whew...that's enough adrenalin rush for this post! I'm getting light-headed.