This Saturday, the Ivy League Connection Brown Cohort was venturing to the Rodger Williams Park Zoo. To make sure we got their early I woke up with Esmeralda and got ready. Accidentally forgot so many things and had to keep coming up three flights of stairs to grab something. Finally we were on our way to the ratty to grab something to eat before heading out. I was really excited about going to the zoo since at home I love to visit the San Francisco Zoo and Oakland Zoo for fun. Learning about wildlife has always been a passion of mine ever since I was little. In fact, my favorite television channel growing up was Animal Planet
Midway into our meal we had to call Bianche and Zunarah because they were still sleeping. Thankfully though they were still able to wake up early enough to not be late. We packed them some fruit to-go and began to walk to Kendra's hotel to meet up with her.
Later we got onto the trolley and headed to the zoo. I looked at all of the cool buildings out the window. Some reminded me of home and some looked like something out of a movie. The trolley was actually a bus, but it was disguised at a trolley and made me think of the San Francisco ones.
Before arriving at the Zoo, I was reading the pamphlet about it. I learned that the zoo was founded in 1872. I also learned that the Zoo covers about 40 acres of land. At the zoo I was really excited. I grabbed a map and went into the first enclosure. This happened to be one with wildebeest, and some type of ox or cow. The wildebeest were energetic and were running around their enclosure.
The enclosure right next to the that was a cheetah exhibit where all of the cheetahs were at one corner looking at the wildebeest run around. I observed the behaviors of these big cats and noticed that they shared similar behaviors to my cats! Such as shaking their tail impatiently or grooming each other. Did you know that the cheetah is also the only big cat that purrs just like a hour cat. The cheetah is also the fastest land animal on earth, reaching up to speeds of 70 mph!
After admiring the cheetahs we headed over to my favorite enclosure! The red river hog enclosure. I thought that these wild hogs were extremely cute and playful. They were a rusty red/orange color and had a white strip going down their back. These hogs also originate from central sub-Saharan Africa to northern South Asia. Their diet mainly consists of fruit, tubers, roots, small mammals, small reptiles, eggs, birds, and insects. These hogs also use their long and shovel like snout to dig in the ground for roots and tubers. I loved their long ears and cute face.
To the right of that exhibit was the elephant enclosure, the graceful giants. Since we were there early most of the animals were active and getting breakfast. The elephant was eating hay hanging from a bag being held up by a rope. Elephants are such beautiful and amazing creatures, they are also extremely smart and have amazing memories. Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror which only a few other species can do. They are also one of the few that are known to use tools. Elephants use tree branches to swat flies away or scratch themselves. Aside from being intelligent creatures, elephants are also capable of feeling remorse when a family member dies or if they see an animal carcass.
Later we went to an exhibit where we saw a bald eagle who had an injured wing. We later learned that this eagle was rescued by the zoo and kept here due to the severity of the injury. A very interesting fact about bald eagles are that they stay with one mate for the rest of their life. Another interesting fact about eagles is that they actually return to the nest where they were born to breed.
Next we saw one of natures most adorable creatures, the red panda! It was dozing away on its tree house and watching the world go by. Usually the mammal is awake during the day but is a very lethargic creature. Despite being called the red panda and looking like a raccoon it actually doesn't belong to either family, instead it it categorized into its own specific category. The red panda is native to southwestern Asia.
I was able to see one of my favorite animals. The snow leopard! The snow leopard originates from central and South Asia. This creature is actually very vulnerable to becoming extinct which makes me very sad since they are such magnificent creatures. They have such an intense gaze and look so mysterious. The snow leopard is actually a solitary creature, except for when mating and when females raise cubs. While watching it I couldn't help but admire its beauty for several minutes before moving on.
Before leaving the zoo we stopped by Zunarah's favorite part, the petting zoo. Apparently Zunarah's favorite animals are actually goats, so this was very fun for her. I tried to buy food to feed the goats but the machine just ate my 50 cents and spit out one mere pellet. All around the petting zoo they were head butting and trying to eat my back pack! I realized at that moment that I wouldn't be able to take care of a goat since they are so troublesome!
Visiting the zoo today was extremely fun, and I learned so much about animals that I didn't know. I am so glad that I was able to see them today and appreciate them. I also learned how important it is that we take care of our environment since it has a direct impact of these amazing creatures.