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Bronx Zoo and stuff

Went yesterday.

Biggest zoo in North America, one of the biggest in the world, must be awesome, right? Actually my impression was that it doesn't have more exhibits than other large zoos, but has more space for them. So six giraffes can probably go hide from each other, and there's a big paddock for a breeding herd of Pere David deer, and the House of Birds keeps going though the second floor aviaries aren't actually that big, but there are two of them, plus a separate large aviary for sea birds, and an aquatic bird house...

Wednesday is "suggested admission" day, which probably increased the crowds; that's why I was there! Some things like gorillas and butterflies you need a full ticket for -- *that* was discounted too, down to $15, but I figured there would be enough free material to fill my 3.5 hours, since I left home late.

The Pere David were a soft spot for me. A childhood book was Gerald Durrell's A Bevy of Beasts, and I dimly recall the story of the finding of the Pere David, and of him trying to nurse a deer or something during his apprenticeship at Whipsnade. Deer usually aren't very exciting for me but it was nice to see these, and read about the zoo breeding them, and in fact there were a whole lot, lying together in a pile.

Got a glimpse of a tiger. Hyenas and elephants AWOL. Distant view of African wild dogs, which looked pretty big. Also lions are thugs, stealing from hyenas and wild dogs. A placard claimed lions would steal a dog kill in 8 minutes, which sounds implausibly precise, and that a whole pack of hyenas can't stop a male lion, which matches a video I saw, though in that the hyenas were poaching the lion cubs.

Getting to the zoo was supposed to be 1.5 hours and ended up being longer. After exploring the area for food, I found a faster way back, the 5 instead of the 2. I ended up staying until City Hall; no food there but a busy pathway which turned out to be the Brooklyn Bridge. I walked it to say I had, got to Brooklyn, saw nothing, and took a train back.

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Damien Sullivan

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January 2019


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