A warm sunny day in October! It is probably one of the last nice days of the season and we have to go to the zoo and see the creatures and wish them well before winter sets in. It will be great to see our friends, these lovely animals!
Arctic Wolf What a beautiful creature! Sitting in the grass surrounded by leaves she was so lovely enjoying the October sunshine! The Arctic Wolf natural range is Eurasia & northern North America, their habitat is the tundra & forests. They live from 10 – 18 years.
I read in the paper that the Moncton Zoo had some new residents, a pair of Condors from the Calgary Zoo who had lost their habitat during the flooding in Alberta and had to relocate. It was a beautiful sunny warm Autumn Sunday and we decided to go to the Magnetic Hill Zoo to visit the animals and see the new Condors. Any excuse to go and see the animals is good for me!
Sika Deer The Sika Deer. Resting in a sunbeam on a mattress of fallen colored leaves this little dear used a hay bale as a pillow and contemplated, it seemed the wonder of such a beautiful day. These members of the deer family originally from Southeastern Asia have been domesticated and introduced elsewhere worldwide. They are a popular park animal and are kept well in captivity as Sika Deer are considered insensitive to weather. (unlike me)! They live from 8 – 10 years.
We just strolled along the paths of the Magnetic Hill zoo and enjoyed watching the animals. We brought our binoculars and often stopped to just watch the animals go about their business. Having the binoculars is great because we can spot far away beasts and more intimate moments.
The Barbary Sheep A group of sheep climbed on the rocky pile in their large meadow, they liked to climb their “mountain” and perch on the craggy rocks with the sun warming the rocks. Barbary sheep, also called aoudads, originated in the hills of the Sahara and have inhabited all the major mountains of North Africa. In the late 1800s, Barbary sheep were introduced into Europe, including Germany and Italy. Around 1900, the first Barbary sheep was transferred to the United States to be placed in zoos. Surplus zoo stock was sold to private parties who eventually released some to the wild in New Mexico in 1950 and in Texas in 1957. This allowed a wild population to develop in the southwestern United States. They live up to 15 years.
All the animals seemed to be enjoying the Halloween spirit, many of them had pumpkins in their habitats! The black bears were so awesome munching their pumpkins! The fall colors were superb and many of the creatures were lounging on their grassy plots enjoying a sunbath!
The African Lioness. It was feeding time and we had a great overhead view of this majestic feline as she enjoyed the marrow from a bone. Seeing her tail stretched out and her spine through her fur with alert head surveying the distance made me think Alaska our female cat who is a much smaller version of this lioness! They live from 20 to 25 years. The River Otter. There was a floating log raft in the Otter pool and the little thing kept pushing it around then climbing on for a bit then going to push it around. Seemed to want to wander to adventures like Tom Sawyer! Otters are specially designed for life in the water with features such as webbed feet, ear canals that can be closed off when diving, and vision that quickly adjusts from land to underwater. Their whiskers provide information on current and pressure changes in the water, helping them detect prey such as fish. They live up to 22 years. The Marabou Stork When we last visited the Marabou Family at the zoo they were standing upright and looked quite regal, almost like wearing formal tuxedos! Today they are sitting in the warm grass enjoying the warmth of the sun on their feathers. They remind me of the vultures we saw in Florida, at first they seem what most would say is ugly but there is a kind wisdom in their eyes that touches me. The Marabou stork, considered by some the ugliest of the stork family, is often compared to the vulture. It’s featherless head and carrion feeding are just two common characteristics. Like vultures, they soar in rising currents of warm air to conserve energy. The Marabou stork has a wing span of almost 3 meters. They live up to 3 years.
The Squirrel Monkey These tiny creatures seemed very curious when we approached. This little guy cocked his head and followed me as I walked beside his cage. When I bent down he began chattering to me and he seemed to follow me as I moved and I could almost hear him asking questions with his eyes . The Squirrel Monkey is thought to be one of the most intelligent species of primate and is known to have the largest brain to body mass ratio of all the monkey species in the world. Squirrel Monkeys have incredibly good eyesight and color vision which means that they are able to spot fruits amongst the dense vegetation with ease.. They live from 15 to 25 years. The Plains Zebra Aren’t Zebras mind-blowing?! Their stripes always trip me out! What a wonderful world that could create such an awesome patterned creature and what could be the evolutionary reasoning for creating this black and white striped horse?! Plains Zebras are social animals, living in permanent small family groups. They live up to 25 years. The Alpaca Such handsome animals with what seems to be a gentle and kind temperament. Their big eyes and lovely coats make them so adorable. They were simply tickled to have such a lovely sunny day to strut their stuff in the fields of the zoo. Alpacas are the smallest member of the domesticated camelid family that includes camels and lamas. They were first domesticated over 5,000 years ago, and became a cherished treasure of the ancient Incan civilization. Their fine cashmere like fleece was reserved solely for royalty. These amazing animals provided the food, fuel, and clothing for a civilization that thrived in an otherwise hostile environment. Alpacas produce one of the world’s finest and most luxurious fibers, known for its fineness, light weight, and insulating quality, which is eight times that of wool!. They live from 15 to 20 years. The Pygmy Goat This handsome fellow was friendly! He let DD scratch him under the chin and he had a big smile on his face the whole time we visited. I’d love to have a little goat as a pet! Pygmy Goats are very clean and particular animals, testing their food for taste and scent. They are very independent animals, however, they do not like to be alone, and enjoy the company of other animals. They live from 10 to 12 years. The Wild Turkey The sun shining off the feathers of these birds made them look like charred firewood charcoal. They have strange iridescent black bodies with a goat-like beard hanging down from their chests and reddish blue colored heads of folded skin! A group of Turkeys is called a “rafter”. They live up to 8 years. The Black Bear The Black Bears fur was shining in the sun and they enjoyed a little snooze after munching on their Halloween pumpkins. Bears are amazing; people have witnessed bears in the wild partaking in unusual behavior such as sitting still for long periods of time in one spot doing apparently nothing but staring at scenic vistas such as sunsets, lakes and mountains. There is very little explanation as to what use or purpose is in this behavior except in theorizing that the bears merely find such views to be aesthetic and “beautiful”. They live up to 30 years. The African Lion What more can you say about such a majestic beast. It is simply awe inspiring to see the King of The Beasts sitting in the sun looking into the unknown horizons. They live from 25 to 30 years.
The Magnetic Hill Zoo has a Remembrance Garden with a large stone memorial headstone with a beautiful poem inscribed in the granite. It brings tears to my eyes as we read the engraved poem and see the small tombstone memorials for the animal residents of the zoo who had passed away.
Moncton Zoo Remembrance Garden There must be a heaven for the animal friends we love. They are not human, yet they bring out our own humanity ~ sometimes in ways that other people cannot. They do not worry about fame or fortune ~ instead they bring our hearts nearer to the joy of simple things. Each day they teach us little lessons in trust and steadfast affection. Whatever heaven may be, there’s surely a place in it f or friends as good as these. — Author Unknown