UPDATE: “CLEVELAND (AP) – A 9-year-old giraffe at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has died from an acute and untreatable urinary condition. Officials say the giraffe named Travis died at the zoo on Friday. [June 24]”
The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has added an animal encounter that has proved popular amongst visitors: the opportunity to feed the giraffes. Under supervision and from an elevated platform, visitors may feed the long-necked beasts from a near (giraffe) eye-level position. Feeding the animals looked like fun but watching visitors do it was more interesting to me.
Shadow Down Below
Beware! The Cheetah is on the prowl!
A recent visit to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo gave us some unusual photo opportunities. The day was partly cloudy and cool and, because we arrived early, the park was lightly-attended. A surprising variety of animals from warmer climates were allowed outdoors and into the cool air. Big cats, Lorikeets, and elephants were enjoying the fresh air. Cooler weather also seemed to make the Cheetah pair friskier than they would be on a warm summer day. The beautiful, long-legged African speedsters were chasing each other around their large enclosure when we arrived. They broke off the chase and one of them performed a beautiful leap into a tree where the cat stood and watched the people watching him. We have seen the Cheetahs tracking human visitors (especially children) from their lair during previous visits and the animal stationed in the tree did just that. The animals gave us plenty of poses and my resulting images generated more “pluses” on Google+ than any of mine have enjoyed before! Pluses are signs of approval from other Google+ users who have viewed an image, similar to “likes” on Facebook. As we left the zoo in the early afternoon, new visitors were streaming in; a fine day for a visit.
Watch your step – You’re being watched!
We paid a Sunday morning visit to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Among my favorite views of the occasion was a Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) snoozing in the warm summer shade. Most of the big bird’s bill was tucked beneath the edge of one of its great wings, bits of delicate pure white feather contrasted against the blackness. Another favorite sight was a lounging male lion enjoying the mid-morning sun. The great cat looked so perfectly fluffed as if it had just left a grooming session – shampoo and blow-dry!