Sunday, April 19, 2009

314:365 At the zoo - Updated

Philippe - I've got a wack of shots from the zoo, but these are my two favourite shots.

This guy is just cool.

I like his eyes :)

Anna: Visit here for the photo set.

Takin - dad

It was a lovely day today, and we took full advantage of the mild weather, visiting the Valley Zoo. I have such mixed feelings about this place. On the one hand, the facilities for many of the animals are woefully inadequate. The sea lion's pool was less than half the size of the pool in the apartment building we just moved out of - and in far worse condition. Many of the enclosures were quite small for the types of animals in them. It's really quite sad.

On the other hand, the staff there are clearly passionate about the animals they care for, and they gladly share their knowledge. Take this takin in the photo above. We happened to come up while they were being fed. The guy that was feeding them started telling us all sorts of fascinating things about them. These endangered animals are from the same region as the red panda, and have the same protected classification. Anyone caught poaching these animals will be executed by the Chinese government. There are very few of them in North America, and even fewer breeding pairs. This handsome fellow is part of the breeding program. Nearby were the mom with her 4 month old baby, and a yearling (visit the link at the top to see photos of them, too).

Along with these breeding programs, this zoo also rescues raptors. If possible, these are returned to the wild once healed. Those that can't survive in the wild anymore are cared for for the rest of their lives.

I think what this place needs is a significant cash infusion and a larger annual budget to meet it's potential.

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