Wednesday, March 18, 2009

San Diego, Part 2 (San Diego Zoo)

On the second day of our week's stay in San Diego, we decided to visit the San Diego Zoo. It was my second visit (and my wife's third), but it's always a treat. I don't know a better zoo in the world.

Because we got a bit of a late start, we were only able to see about half the exhibits. In addition, we spent a lot of time looking at the birds, and the zoo has lots of them on display.

We witnessed two disturbing incidents during our visit. In one large enclosure for a troop of guenons (African monkeys of the genus Ceropithecus), a youngster was trapped between the display fencing and the concrete "rock" at the bottom of the enclosure. It was being harassed by an adult male, who repeatedly swiped at the youngster. The young guenon cowered to keep away from the taunting adult. The youngster's mother was clearly distressed, but kept her distance from the aggressive male. Finally, the zookeepers enticed the male away from the youngster with peanuts, and the mother quickly grabbed her youngster and cuddled it away from the adults.

The second incident didn't end as nicely. When we approached the peccaries' (Tayassu pecari) exclosure, a large group of people had gathered and were watching intently. Soon, we saw what had attracted their attention: one of the adult peccaries was tearing apart a newborn peccary that was still alive. The mother, trailing afterbirth, paid no attention to the carnage. After a few minutes, several other other peccaries joined the action, and the newborn was rent asunder. I have to say, they weren't very efficient. We wondered if this was a natural response to overcrowding and confinement.

We spent the end of the day at the two large aviaries where I caught these images.

I wish that I could say that I caught this Wood Duck image in the wild, but it was at the zoo.

Java Mynah

After the zoo, my brother-in-law, took us for coffee at Peet's Coffee in Hillcrest. We passed Mo's restaurant and bar on the way. My brother-in-law told us that it was a popular hangout for folks of all persuasions. It look like it was already swinging, even though it was just 6 p.m.

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