Saturday, November 2, 2013

A visit to the zoo

  Autumn is a season of warm colors, crisp air and magical landscapes; it is a lovely time of the year to visit the zoo. But before we start this stroll, let me mention something.
  I enjoyed reading Richard Hughes's  blog post Getting older: getting younger. As time goes by, we can allow our minds  to expand, to open in different directions. We are constantly learning. (Richard, I love your blog but I can't comment on it because I don't have Google plus). When we do the things we love doing, we feel happy. I agree with you, Richard.
                  Let's keep walking; let the soft cool air caress our skin.
  Elephants are fascinating creatures...

          But don't get too close to them.


Recent research showed that elephants are able to communicate over many miles by using infrasound. Here's a wonderful video about the secret language of elephants

Human populations are taking over more and more elephant habitat. Poaching for ivory is another threat to elephants.
  Elephants are extremely intelligent and have long-term memory. They form deep family bonds and live in tight matriarchal family groups called herds. These herds are led by the oldest female elephant. Males leave the family unit between the ages of 12-15. They live alone or with other males temporarily.

 Did you know that hundreds of South African lions are being slaughtered to make bogus sex potions for men?

 Lions are farmed under appalling conditions in South Africa for "canned hunting" where rich tourists pay thousands to shoot them through fences.
  Let's show president Zuma that this brutal trade is hurting South Africa's image as a tourist destination. He can ban this cruel trade. Yes, he can.
Here's a petition you can sign:

"Tiger bone wine" and other tiger-part medicines were banned after massive international outrage.

 There are only 3,200 tigers left in the wild today.
Unlike other cats, tigers love water and are very good swimmers...

  Flamingos mingle well with the autumn colors.
 Did you know that flamingos dance to attract their mates?
 Are you familiar with the Spanish dance called "Flamenco"?
You can watch them here.

During this interesting visit we meet the bonobos for the first time. Bonobos share 98 % of our DNA. They are our close relatives. You can read about them here.

  Bonobos live in the Republic of Congo and the population is believed to have declined sharply over the last thirty years.

As we contemplate  the foliage around us,
we come across these creatures who display their colorful costumes with pride.


But they are not interested in us. Not like   this giraffe at least.
I always wonder what she is thinking about whenever she stares at me...

The rhinos are also in danger of extinction. Here is a petition you can sign to help  save them:
Why can't we, human beings, live in harmony with other creatures? Something to think about...

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry


  1. Thank you for your comments, Julia. I didn't realize being on Google+ prevented others from commenting on my blog. I'll have to see if I can change that somehow.

    I have a great deal of sympathy for the plight of wild animals, and the plight of all life on earth. Wish I could change the world.

  2. If Richard is listening, I'm not on Google+ either, so I guess I have to give the comment a miss :(

    It's just amazing how badly some people treat elephants. It's sad to see them being abused for their tusks, and to do hard work. And to think they have such long term memories is even worse. I wish some of those governments would make more of an effort to preserve all the animals that roam around freely and stop them from being slaughtered.

    If I ever get chased by a tiger I'll make sure I don't go swimming, ha ha ha. I would be their ideal play thing in water.

    I can't remember the last time I went to a zoo, so maybe it's something I should put on my list.

    Well done for taking the time to put up petition details on your blog post.

    1. Yes, it was a lovely visit. I wrote a short post. Most animals are threatened by humans in some way.
      And the lions farmed in Africa to be shot by tourists and used to make sex potions for men makes me angry too. It is cruel and disgusting.
      I signed these petitions. I wonder why humans believe they are superior to other beings on earth to have the right to do these things.

  3. Zoos are such fun! Thank you for the interesting and informative post and great photos!

    1. Thank you, Connie.
      It was an interesting visit.
      I learned a lot.

  4. Thank you so much for nice pics and information on animals. I know that us human beings abuse animals and since I was a kid my father and me used to add to our wish lists a wish for zoo keepers and animal lovers. Or daughter constantly supports the humane society and up until recently my husband and I did our best to help out the SPCA but now it is those darn medical bills that keep us doing the good we want to do.

    1. Oh, I'm sorry about those medical bills.
      It's nice to meet people who care about animals.
      Thank you for commenting.
      I look forward to reading your blog.

  5. You've got lots of terrific pictures here, and good info to go with them. I especially like the picture of the giraffe. As for not standing too close to the elephants? You've got that right. One sneezed on our son years ago. Hilarious, but it what a mess!

    I liked Richard's post, too, but like you, couldn't leave a comment. Darned Google+...

    1. Ha! It's good to know I am not the only one who refuses Google plus.
      Yes, I'm always impressed by the way the giraffes stare at me. Your comment about the elephant made me laugh...

  6. Hi Julia .. G+ is a pain! I just don't do it.

    Re South Africa ... not so sure - southern africa perhaps ... but Zuma is not the best President ... and there's a lot of mismatch in Africa now. The culling of elephants has recently been highlighted as they live in groups ... but the numbers of people and animals always seem to overlap.

    The demand for potions is what drives the trade ... muti - African 'medicine' is still around sadly, though when I lived there .. the practise was being discouraged ... but now we can benefit from the herbal leaves. Asia, China in particular, are responsible for much of the demand ... and China has moved in on Africa in a big way ... they take on a contract and bring in the workers ... and so it goes ---

    Last night there was a horror documentary on the Amazon rainforest where animals were captured for sale to the rich/celebrities as trophies ... they were badly mutilated, especially when being captured, and then on transported/smuggled out ...

    Hippos are the worst for spraying .. but a sneeze from an elephant I've never experienced ...

    Cheers - well not really ... humans need all creatures - Hilary

    1. I think international pressure to stop this cruelty is important. It has been effective before.

  7. Hi Julia. Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking on me. When I got so busy the past two months with work and family business, I never thought so much time would elapse before I blogged again. Given the preference, I’d rather have been blogging! I’ll be putting up a new post up soon.

    Autumn is a lovely time for a stroll at the zoo. Elephants are fascinating and highly intelligent animals, you are so right. The fact that they are so intelligent and form tight family bonds makes it even more tragic when poachers destroy their family units, hunting them for the ivory in their tusks. Poaching just makes me sick!

    I knew about the elephants but wasn’t aware of the “canned hunting” or the slaughter of South African lions for bogus sex potions (of all things!). Horrible and so wrong, these are beautiful, majestic animals. Signing that petition, and signing the petition for the rhinos too. Thank you for posting those petitions.

    Loved watching the colorful flamingos doing their mating dance, what fun! Yes, it is sad that humans cannot live in harmony with other creatures. Wendell Berry’s poem was lovely and so fitting.

    1. Jersey, thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
      I appreciate your time. I'm glad you signed these petitions.
      Stay well my friend.

  8. So lovely. Aren't zoos inspiring places? Well, as long as they are kind to the animals they host, that is :-)

    1. I wrote this comment before but I can't see it so I will write it again.
      I agree with you Angelika. Zoos are inspiring as long as animals are well treated.
      Great comment, thanks.


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