Friday, August 13, 2010

Chillin' at the zoo

Phoenix is hot. You may have read that. Today in the Arizona Republic (Aug 12, 2010), they had a story on how even African animals think it’s darn toasty.

It reminded me of the halcyon days when I could sneak into the National Zoo in DC a block from my apt and walk and talk to the animals before the zoo opened. Some days, I would see no human at all. The panda was snooty—he would sit at his tree stump set with his breakfast of bamboo and oranges with his back to me and never turn around.

A rhea bird (ostrich-like) named Bubba fell in love with me and would come to the fence and pant. Good times.

Any-WAY, in this story by Connie Midey the animals turned out to be darn smart. If offered rags or burlap, the orangutans would soak it in water and put it on their heads. They used big palm leaves as hats.

The keepers had ponds, misters, hoses, moats and evap coolers, of course, but the animals also liked cooling rocks—slabs with cold water running through them. They liked to swim in kiddie pools. They drink Crystal Light. They make mud and dive in.

The otters liked fish in ice chunks. The elephants relished five-pound juice icicles suspended from the trees. I remember in DC they liked to crack watermelons, too.

On the worst days, even the cheetahs would go in the moat. All they need is a mai tai, one keeper said, and it’s like Scottsdale.

I believe those are "cougars" in S’dale, but that’s a whole other post.

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