Sunday, July 5, 2015

England Vacation - Journal - Part 4 - Paignton Zoo

June 3rd, 2015



We went to Paignton Zoo today.  The last time I was here was on a visit to see my parents when our son was seven years' old in 1986.  He loved the zoo even back then.  It was much smaller in those days and I was delighted to see the changes as it has grown enormously.  All the enclosures were very large with plenty of room for the animals to roam, and all the animals seemed happy and very comfortable.  You just left feeling so good about the place.  You can click here to get to their website.  

Here is what I read on line.

"Paignton Zoo Environment Park is a zoo in Paignton, Devon, England.  The zoo is part of South West Environmental Parks Ltd. which is owned by the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT).  It is a combined zoo and botanic garden that welcomes over half a million visitors a year.  WWCT also runs Living Coasts in Torquay and Newquay Zoo in Cornwall.  All three are registered charities.

Paignton Zoo has a collection of about 2,000 animals representing 300 species.  It also cultivates about 1,600 different specials of plants.  It currently employs over 100 permanent staff and an additional 120 seasonally.  A registered educational and scientific charity, Paignton Zoo is committed to the highest standard of animal husbandry and welfare, to scientific research, education and the breeding and conservation of rare and endangered animal and plant species."



This is Herbert.  The artist is Sue Misselbrook.  The marker next to him read, "The sculpture formed part of a trail of 30 life-size sculptures that were placed on the streets of South Devon during the summer of 2013, as part of a world class public art event.

After the event many of the sculptures were auctioned, with the proceeds going to the Cross River Gorilla Project."

I have seen similar art sculptures of various animals and marine life on my travels around the U.S.  They always brighten a place up and Herbert was certainly a very welcoming feature as you entered the zoo.

I fell in love with these little guys.  They are Pygmy Marmosets. My favorite was the one of this little guy peering from the edge of the window, as interested in this human species as I was in him.  He was probably saying, they look just like us except not as good looking with no fur!



"Pygmy Marmosets are a type of primate that is best known as the smallest monkey in the world.  It can be found in Brazil, Peru, Columbia and Ecuador.  They live in dense, tropical rainforests, lowland forests and areas that are flooded for more than three months during the year."


There were other monkeys, larger ones, like these Baboons.  Extraordinary animals.  Baboons are some of the world's largest monkeys.  There are five species of baboon - olive, yellow, chacman, Guinea and hamadryas - and are scattered across various habitats in Africa and Arabia.  The baboon, like other Old World monkeys, does not have a prehensile (gripping) tail, but it is still able to climb when necessary.


The youngsters that we saw can be described as mischievous little children.


There was a baby giraffe, not very old at all.


Handsome fellows like this one, the Kafue Flats Lechwe.   He is a magnificent looking, fleet of foot antelope native to Africa and found in Botswana, Zambia and southeastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia and eastern Angola.  It lives exclusively in marshy areas where it will wade knee-deep into water in order to feed on aquatic plants.


He was also in the same area as the ostrich and zebras, accompanied also by several wild rabbits running around.

  
This particular animal is called the Hartmann's mountain zebra and is a subspecies of the mountain zebra found in south-western Angola and western Namibia.  Harmann's mountain zebras prefer to live in small groups of seven to twelve individuals.


A couple of the ostriches had red head and necks, something I haven't noticed before.


The ostrich, or common ostrich, is either one of two species of large, flightless birds native to Africa.  They live in grasslands and arid lands.  It is the largest living bird though is too big to fly, and can run up to 44 mph.  It is the fastest creature on two legs.  And those legs?  When they kick out in defense, they can kill a human or even a lion or other predatory animal.  When a female lays an egg, it is the largest laid by any bird and is equivalent to 40 hens' eggs.


There were peacocks everywhere, and as mentioned in my previous post, they were strutting around, well, like peacocks.  

We stopped for a bite to eat mid-day at the zoo's main restaurant.  We all ordered the jacket potato choosing various toppings.  Our niece and her Uncle Gregg had the mushrooms in sauce, our nephew had chili and I had baked beans and grated cheese on mine.  It all arrived hot and very yummy, and no photos this time.

I will have more photos from the zoo in another post.  

My other posts you can click on the links below.

In case you miss vacation posts I will be adding a link to the previous ones.

Part 1 here.

Part 2 here.
Part 3 here.

(To all the hosts of the memes I love to participate in, I will posting my journal for a while but will be back joining in once these are over with.)