Animal Kingdom (Half) Day

It was just what I needed. I got there early and walked in just as Winged Encounters was starting. I can’t tell you how many times we walked past/missed this show. It’s not in full form now, it’s an abbreviated show with a quick fly over by fewer birds instead of an extended photo op, but it’s still a unique experience.

I was there on a mission: I wanted to see all the new babies born since June.

I did get a glimpse of the baby hippo, unfortunately no photo because it was literally in mama’s shade in the water and just looked like an adorable submerged piggy bank.

I got a fairly crappy shot of the new Lowland Gorilla baby:

This mediocre photo took forever, everybody was just obsessed with watching mama and baby so there were always heads in the way. Poor mama Azizi was trying to have some quiet time with the baby when two of the older kids started running around, play-fighting and generally acting like idiot older siblings/half siblings. I didn’t get video of her getting up in disgust TWICE and hauling the baby away from the hooligans. She was SO much the put-upon mom of a newborn with older kids who were acting up. Apparently some of the other adult females were backstage, I didn’t see them, so she was stuck with the baby and the younger family members. I hope she bitched out her sister-wives later. Daddy Gino was nowhere to be found. He’s sick of all these damn kids.

But I did get an excellent shot of the new Masai Giraffe, Humphrey. He knows how to strike a pose:

He’s curious about the trucks full of peoples, but already used to them.

I tried again to get a shot of Ranger the White Rhino, but he was napping with his mom:

The object on the left of the frame is Ranger’s sleeping ass. His head was under the bushes, so I was foiled again. Not that he’s a cute little baby anymore, rhinos grow fast and at 9 months he’s just a slightly smaller version of mom.

It was hot AF today, though there was cloud cover so it wasn’t as miserable as it could have been. Most of the animals were snoozing in the shade, which is the case when you visit in AUGUST.

I ate a healthy lunch of grilled chicken and rice and salad at Harambe Market, walked another couple of miles, decided there was no way in hell I was going to do the 120 minute wait for Flight of Passage in Pandora, and headed for the exit in early afternoon. It was a just right day. I saw the new babies, ate a tasty lunch, got a lot of fresh air and exercise, and as a bonus:

The anteater posed for me:

Seriously, I’ve tried for years to take its picture, it is usually toward the rear of its lushly landscaped enclosure, just glimpsed in the shadows. These are the weirdest damn creatures, but fascinating! It’s hard to tell size here, but think Golden Retriever with a really long snout and abnormally short legs (and obvs. not golden). For most of my life I thought anteaters were little cute things, like armadillos or possums. This thing would scare the hell out of you if you happened upon it.

So it was a good visit, just right in every way.

Ellie update: I didn’t come home to any barf, though I did see runny poop in the litterbox. She’s off her food, though she will still beg for treats. I will give her another night to right herself. Given her habit of chewing paper, there’s still a fair possibility she encountered an ink or glue that disagreed with her or is trying to pass a chunk of Amazon box. (Not really, she doesn’t seem to be in real distress.) I’ll give it another night and see how she is in the morning.

Tomorrow we are doing Meet the Teacher, and then I drop The Dancer for a dance solo session at the studio. Next year’s solo performance planning has begun.

Although the county wussed out on standing up to DeShithead and requiring masks for students, they ARE requiring all staff to mask up. This is a good thing, it will normalize mask wearing and encourage the students to wear them too. It’s not ideal, but I think they can make it work.

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