Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Zoo news

It appears that yesterday an animal-rights activist paid £14 to London Zoo so that he/she could go in and drop leaflets about how cruel and unjust zoos are. We saw a number of these on the ground as we walked past Amur leopards, Asian vultures and other animals that will probably become extinct without captive breeding programmes.

It seems the pottos are courting, although not yet to an extent that embarrasses visitors. Since a pair were grooming quite near the front of the enclosure, I got a good look at the way they use their toothcombs, which I hadn't seen before. By the way, a word of advice to zoo staff: Put the placard identifying the animals on the other side of the enclosure, so people see it as they're walking toward them instead of when they're walking away. The refrain I often hear now is: 'They're adorable, but what are they?'

I seem to discover a new animal every time I'm there -- this time it was the
African harrier hawk, with its petticoat of rippled blue-grey feathers.

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