I visited Crystal often over the next few years and often enjoyed just standing in front of her enclosure, watching her react to the world around her. Grooming, listening, eating, playing, snoozing, whatever she did was of interest to me and, when I was alone with her, it was almost Zen-like.
I now find I have not very much to say about black tree monitors. (In fact, they’re not even currently listed among the Australasian animals on the Zoo’s new website, even though I know I saw them there the last time I visited the pavilion.) I think I will talk about the Australasian pavilion in general, and I will continue first with more about Kiki.
Chimpanzees and bonobos are the closest living relatives to human beings. The common feeling has usually been that chimps are most like us, in social behaviour (bad) more than anything else. But recent studies seem to be challenging that long-held perception.
Puppe (which means “little doll” in German) and her ilk have lots of issues in the wild, including poaching and climate change, but by far the single biggest threat to the global orangutan population is the destruction of rainforests for palm oil plantations. I will spare you here the several paragraphs I could write about the horrors associated with this industry; in lieu of that, however, I urge you to please do your own research and educate yourselves on this issue.
The photo I used of Sally this year really was a one-in-a-million capture, as the sun from the tiny skylight happened to be shining directly on her while simultaneously causing all of the background to be so dark it basically disappeared.
Panpan was not buying what Er Shun was selling. He kept wriggling and squealing while she tried to contain him and force him onto a nipple to absolutely no avail. After a couple of minutes of this, Er Shun – with Panpan in her arms, upside-down, facing away from her (in other words, the worst possible nursing position), with a huge grin on his face – looked straight into my eyes and let out a huge sigh as if to say, “Kids, amirite?” Then she dropped him on his head again.