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Rainy Day at the Zoo

The damp day didn’t bother the zoo inhabitants. They were all out in fine form, enjoying the coolth of what is normally a brutally hot August day.

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The lioness sprawled atop her favorite rock in her abode. That sneer is for the other lioness, who isn’t cozily sprawled on a rock.

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The eagles were perched where they could peer over their enclosure into the black bears. (Sorry for the blur – it looked fine in the small camera screen.) The eagles were Very Interested in bear antics. They watched for a long time.

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The black bears were just wandering around, sniffing at weeds.

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They were shedding, but didn’t seem to care as much today as last week, when they spent a lot of time rubbing on trunks. It makes for interesting patterns, though, doesn’t it?

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The grizzlies, though, were restless.

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“Hey, George, wanna play? ”

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“Come on, George, you know you wanna play!”

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“See?  Just follow me, George!”

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“Heh heh heh – I got George to follow me so I can circle back and get the good spot right where the Keepers will bring the food!”

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One of my favorite koi came up to show off.

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The komo dragon wants freedom.

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Gertie’s flock mate, Brune, accompanied me to the exit, but not beyond. She knows the zoo is a grand place to be.

And as a bonus, for those who want to collect all the Mold-a-matics, here’s a list of their locations:

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Catching Up

I didn’t get a chance to visit the zoo last weekend (chores – they just get in the way), but I haven’t yet shared the critter gossip from the week before that.

The flamingos hatched their eggs and the babies are wherever the zoo stashes babies until they are allowed back out again. The flock is busy with post-egg bonding .

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Some have decided the new hedges to prevent people from getting too close are just delicious! Mostly, it’s the girls who eat the hedges. Here we have three young lady flamingos gossiping over a good nibble. The hedges prevented me from seeing which three ladies were entertaining themselves at the hedge.

Down the trail, the meercats were sunning themselves, getting a bit toasty on the tummy.

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The wallabys preferred to shelter from the sun in some nice shade. Clever, eh?

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The black bears enjoy the heat with a soak in their above ground pool.

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The otters don’t care how hot it is – they have the nicest play pool, they think.

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The seahorses argue that their water paradise is better, with chains and lovely anchor rocks and more. The otters find it lacking as it has no slide or above water napping nests.

To each their own pleasures.

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This lizard isn’t interested in water, just moisture, and thinks seahorses and otters could learn the joys of sunning from him. This is a message he clearly wants spread.

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I hope to make it out to the zoo this weekend, with camera and book.

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Seahorses

Under the sea are these amazing creatures called seahorses and sea dragons.  The Oklahoma City Zoo doesn’t have any sea dragons, but they have some gorgeous seahorses.

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I could stand there and watch them all day, and I would, too, if there were fans blowing the air around inside the Aquaticus. It’s so stuffy and still and warm in there I can never stay as long as I’d like. And these pretties lure me back no matter how stifling the building is.

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They drift along, meeting up and wrapping their tails around one another, or anchoring themselves to the same link in the chains.

I imagine they gather on stoops to pass along the juiciest bits of gossip.

“Did you hear that Cooper over there has a pouch full of babies?”

“No, really?  Awww, someone’s gonna be a dad!”

“Well, I think we have quite enough seahorses in here!”

“Myrtle, you never want more seahorses.”

“And why should I?  Do you know how baby seahorses are made? Do you?”

Henry and Abby chuckle, their eyes meeting and parting shyly. Henry also has a pouch of seahorse babies, but they weren’t ready to share the news just yet. It was their first time, after all.

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Gertie

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Gertie is the peahen that follows me all over the zoo when I visit. She’s there to greet me when I visit the adorable flamingos, and sits beside me when I rest in Grandmother’s Porch. She leads the way past the lakeside exhibits and attempts to lure me into the vacated Bear Exhibit.

The OKC Zoo didn’t get rid of the bears, they gave them a much nicer place, with trees and ponds and toys, up along the Oklahoma Trails Exhibit.

Speaking of which, Gertie follows me along that path, too, but she gets impatient, and waits for me down in the snack pavilion. We are both disappointed that the River Bend Snack bar no longer serves giant soft pretzels or corndogs. She doesn’t go into the Canopy Cafe, so no more sharing bits of giant soft pretzel with her there. The Lakeside cafe still has corndogs, and I think she was more excited about that than I was!  She loves the cornbread bits so much she flies up to the trash cans and steals corndog sticks out of it. Because I don’t think the sticks are good for her, I trade her bits of real corndog for the stick and make sure the trash is secured so she can’t get into it for more sticks.

I know.  She probably hates me for that.

But she still follows me around anyway, so maybe she doesn’t hate me that much.

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My Flamingos

OK, they aren’t really my flamingos, but I make sure to visit them every time I go to the zoo. Not only are they bright and colorful (and close to the entrance), but the longer I’ve watched them, the more admirable I find them.

None of this is probably true for wild flamingos, but the flock at the OKC Zoo is special.

There used to be a lovely older flamingo I named Philomena. She had arthritis and walked stiffly, but the flamingos always made sure to include her, to make sure she wasn’t left behind, and she often acted as a sentinel for them, alerting them to treats and interesting activities.

In watching her, I noticed just how much the flamingos cared for one another. One way they showed their care was in their game of “Marco Polo”.  When one flamingo got distracted and wandered away from the flock, and realized it was alone, it would stop, and cry “I’m here!” The other flamingos would respond “There you are!” They would start walking towards one another, the lone one crying “Marco!” and the flock responding “Polo!” until they were united.

Marco  “Marco!”

Polo  “Polo!”

“Hey, Herbie, we missed you!”

“Say, Herbie, you get any good eats?”

“Jane! so glad to see you!”

“Fred!”

“Betty!”

“George!”

“Hey, there’s food in our tray!”

And they’d all turn to the tray behind the pond and head over to eat.

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Gertie, the peahen, would bob her head and follow, hoping for snackies.

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I love how the flamingos care for one another.

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Babies!

The flamingo eggs hatched!  IMG_6027

I missed it, of course, but the nesting flamingos are no longer nesting.

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I’m not sure at this point how many eggs successfully hatched, but there were at least 4 eggs.

Also, the Sumatran Tiger had 3 cubs on July 13. Everyone was so excited about the tiger cubs that the flamingo hatching went unnoticed by patrons.

The peahens spread the news, though,

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Gertie and her girls are just such gossips.  There’s not a thing that happens at the zoo that they don’t know and talk about!

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Welcome to Zoobervations!

Being an unofficial erratic publication that provides the cutest the Oklahoma City Zoo has to offer.

Our mission:  to help you get to know the residents of the Oklahoma City Zoo up close and sometimes personally.

Editor, Layout, Design, Photographer, and primary Contributor:  Noddy Brothers (this could change…)