When I drive into the Zoo’s parking lot, I patiently wait for them to cross the road. Sometimes I lean out the window and say, “You guys do realize you can fly, right?” but that’s just a running joke between us. When I exit my car and head into the Zoo proper, I find myself always saying “hello” to the nearest geese. And I worry about them in the winter; not to the point where I have ever fed them myself – I stop short of that – but on the bitterly cold days I do keep an eye out to see if any are particularly struggling.
This is the very first photo I’ve ever featured in one of my calendars that was not shot at the Toronto Zoo. There will be more to come throughout this year for each of the two calendars: “Adult” and “Baby.”
The success of the Toronto Zoo’s breeding program for these adorable but endangered little birds is fantastic and speaks volumes for the incredible work the Keepers do there. As I have mentioned before – and which any of you who have known me longer than just a couple of years already knew – penguins have been my favourite creatures for most of my life and watching the interactions between all of the Keepers who work with them and the tiny denizens of the Zoo’s penguin exhibit is always heart-warming, to say the least.
It then became a matter of waiting as long as I could to get a shot with the most snow possible on Da Mao before he inevitably yawned or stretched or shifted or moved in any way that would disturb this perfect “Still Life with Panda.”
I did learn a few more interesting tidbits while researching the chamois for this post. First of all, I confirmed that pronouncing it “sham-wah” is the most correct, but saying “shammy” as in the cleaning cloth which used to be made from the hide of this animal is acceptable as well. “Sham-wow”, on the other hand, is not acceptable, as that is an “As Seen on TV” cleaning product from Germany, and “you know the Germans always make good stuff” according to Headset Vince.
…regular readers of my blog posts or visitors to my Zoo tours will know what makes these animals “monkeys” and not “apes” – and it’s not their size. In case you don’t fall into one of those categories, here’s the difference: monkeys have tails and apes do not. Easy-peasy.
The two young cats were born at the Nashville Zoo in 2013 – Mingma in February and Pavarti in April – and arrived in Toronto as a “breeding pair” in the late Winter or early Spring of 2014. They took quite a while to get used to their new digs – and, oddly, to each other even though it was thought they were already bonded when they arrived.