Day at the Zoo

It’s the last day in Alaska and I’m so glad we are spending it at the Zoo. I love zoos. I even went to the zoo in Hawaii.

So we arrived via the Zoo shuttle right to the entrance. When it’s time to leave the shuttle will pick us up right in the parking lot. There’s even a little bench to sit on while we wait.

We bought our tickets and picked up our maps and followed a family of rambunctious little ones onto the paths. The paths cross crossed and meandered so we picked the “must see” animals and figured we’d go there first. Grizzlies were on that list but they were also on the far side of the zoo.

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There was a little deer in an exhibit that was just full of mischief.  A Maintenance worker was  repairing the enclosure and she just followed him everywhere trying to chew on his pants. When he finally shooed her away she took off to  pick on a poor , abused looking turkey that shared her enclosure.

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The tiger was sleeping and wasn’t going to move for anyone.

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The wolves were pretty riled up. They paced along the fence line. A family with very young children were watching. The wolves seemed to be fixed on the kids. Did they think they were prey? A snack? The kids started making howling sounds and the pack joined in.Alaska2013 1009 copy

Once the family moved on the pack dispersed back into the trees in their habitat.

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We saw a snowy owl, one of the birds that winters in MA and that I am still trying to get a photo of in the wild.

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There was a beautiful bald eagle. They are so majestic that it always makes me feel bad when I see them in captivity. On the other hand many of the captive eagles were injured and couldn’t be rehabilitated enough to survive in the wild. I guess being captive is better than the alternative.

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We passed the black bear,  a moose hiding in the shadows, and a pretty little red fox snoozing in the sun.

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We got a close up look at the caribou.

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We crossed a bridge over a pond and watched the swan whose very presence  owned the pond. I’m not a “birder” but I think it was a Trumpeter Swan. We have “Mute” Swans around home and it wasn’t that. The bill was black while the Mute Swans have yellow bills and a black eye ridge.

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Silly me spotted a squirrel and the picture I got of him is one of my favorites.

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There was a good exhibit of the Dall Sheep so we finally got to see this elusive animal up close.

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Finally we spotted the grizzly bear enclosure. They weren’t cooperating any more than the wild ones. One was sprawled in the brook in the shade down in a corner of the enclosure. No good angle for a picture. The other one was in a hollow taking a nap. His big foot and an ear about all that could be seen.

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By now we’d spent more than an hour so we needed to hustle back to catch the shuttle.  We passed the otters and stopped for a minute at the Polar Bears.

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We skipped the musk ox and probably a few other animals but time was now of  the essence. It was harder to find our way out of the zoo than in!

Finally the exit and timing was perfect. The shuttle was pulled up and waiting.

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