…if you ever happen to be at the river hippo exhibit at the Toronto Zoo and Alison is there with her girls, it’s virtually impossible not to fall in love with them all. The affection they feel for each other is absolutely palpable…
I think it may just have been a stroke of luck that I was able to spend so much time watching the buffalo from my car. They were spending their mid-morning hours swimming and splashing about in the creek and, consequently, were far from the road on which I was parked.
The family I have featured this month make their home in the High Park Zoo in Toronto, and the parents were minor celebrities in this city a couple of years ago.
I can’t remember another time when they were all relaxing this much as they were on this day in April 2017. The shot I chose for June’s calendar photo was just a small part of a much bigger “nap fest”, part of which I have shown in this photo, at left. I decided to just focus on the one meerkat as I really felt it was a better shot for a full-page photo; I don’t think the group picture would really carry much weight if viewed from, say, a table halfway across the kitchen. But I’ll post several of the other shots from that day here.
The very first glimpse I got of the babies was actually a fluke. The brand-new Wildlife Health Centre was being prepared to be open to the public on the Canada Day weekend last summer, and before that happened there were preview days – first for Staff and Volunteers, then two days for Members leading into the weekend.
I used to especially love wandering around the Zoo with my camera in the wintertime, either after I had finished a shift or on an “off-day.” Often I would have a meal bar with me for lunch and I would pop into a pavilion to eat it while my camera lens defogged. I discovered quite quickly that the very best place to do this was in the free-flight aviary of the Americas Pavilion, for in those days the plush-crested jay made its home there and would always come and join me while I ate.
I’ve been blessed more than once to have my hands on the head and haunches of both Vishnu and Ashakiran, and I can tell you they feel warm and quite malleable to the touch, especially near the folds.