Friday, August 22, 2008

Burgers Zoo: Rimba

part five of the Burgers Zoo series: the Rimba and the rest of the zoo.
The Rimba groups animals from Southeast Asia, like the Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), the smallest of all bear species. Baloo from the Jungle Book is a Sun Bear, which is most obvious when you look at his claws (the artists at Disney always make a point of watching the animals they will draw)
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the bears share their enclosure with two Binturongs, am animal the size of a small dog that resembles a cross between a cat/weasle and a bear. They share a family with civets and genets.
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a Banteng (Bos javanicus), a wild cattle species that are also kept as working animals, but they are endangered. The one in the photo is a female, the males are black.
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a Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus), a Gibbon species
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a female Yellow-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus gabriellae) - the males are black
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here's a video of them singing in the morning to mark their territory. Note how the female's song is different form the male's. The calls you hear in the background are the Siamangs.


a Sumatran Tiger
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Burgers Zoo is well-known for it's chimpanzee group. The primatologist Frans de Waal has written a book about them and the zoo was the first worldwide to keep a big group of chimps together, the family now consists of around 1 individuals.
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Now we leave the Rimba, but there's still more to see.
Meerkats
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a Pygmy hippo
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a Blue Duiker (Philantomba monticola), a very small antelope species, only a foot or so high
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a wartjog
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a South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)
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a Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
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a Black-crowned Night Heron, (Nycticorax nycticorax)
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a Spoonbill
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and a large family group of Coatis
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they were enjoying some kind of food frozen into blocks of ice
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I hope you enjoyed the tour! If you have the chance, visit yourself, it will be a great experience.

Burgers Zoo: Safari

part four of the Burgers Zoo series: the Safari
Burgers Zoo coined the term safari park and originally, you could drive through it with your own car. Then small trains were used and finally, the whole park was remodelled into huge enclosures, mixing all the herbivores, with lions and cheetahs in their own enclosure. You visit the Safari by walking on wooden bridges high above the ground, which gives you an excellent view.
Here's the view we had while eating at the Safari restaurant - not something you see every day
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they are Rothschild giraffes, only a few hundred individuals are left in the wild
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further down the path were:
a Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus)
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a male Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
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we got to see a newly born gnu or wildebeest, the fur still wet and the umbilical cord still hanging from the mother's behind
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first steps (well, staggers)
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a Defassa Waterbuch (Kobus ellipsiprymnus defassa)
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the cheetahs had just had their dinner
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not as exciting, but still worth a photo: a female mallard
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and a big group of Square-lipped rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), six individuals. They are also called White Rhinoceros, but that's an translation error: the Afrikaans-speaking settlers called them Wyd rhinos, meaning wide (-lipped, in comparison to the Black Rhino, which has a pointed lip). The Wyd was mistranlated as white by English-speaking settlers and so the White Rhino got it's name, as did the Black Rhino which is no darker than the White rhino, which isn't white at all.
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a test of strength, but all very gently - for rhinos, I wouldn't have wanted to be on the receiving end of that shove
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free-for-all
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Burgers Zoo: Mangrove

Part three of the Burgers Zoo series: the Mangrove
The Mangrove is the oldest ecodisplay at Burgers Zoo, built as a kind of trial ballon for the Bush in 1982 and then turned into the current mangrove forest in 1991, then the Bush was opened.
there's a sweetwater part, with snakebirds, Little Pied Cormorans (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
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and Hydrosaurus, the largest of all agamas (Bearded Dragons are agamas, too) - they can reach an overall length of more than three feet and swim very well
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the saltwater part has Little Bitterns (Ixobrychus minutus)
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White-eared Catbird (Ailuroedus buccoides)
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a Superb Fruit-dove, Ptilinopus superbus
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some parrots that I unfortunately forgot the name of
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Hooded Pitta, Pitta sordida - I think they always look bad-tempered
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and really very tame White-rumped Shamas (Copsychus malabaricus), they didn't mind cameras less than a few inches away and always returned to the smae spot to display and sing. Here's the male:
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and he knows how to pose for the camera
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he even looks good just ot ouf the shower
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the female is no less photogenic
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even with her mouth full (note the see-through nostrils)
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Burgers Zoo: Desert

Here's the second Burgers Zoo post, this time about the Desert.
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The Desert ecodisplay is designed to represent a part of the Sonora-desert is Arizona and Mexico. It's a desert very rich in animal and plant life, but you need a bit of luck and good timing to see it.
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We visitied the Desert early in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon and the morning was clearly the best time to see animals. At noon, almost all of them are hidden to escape the heat and in the afternoon we only saw that many birds because the sprinkler system was turned on and they were taking baths.

a pair of White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica)
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scared away by a group of children
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a juvenile Northern Cardinale (Cardinalis cardinalis), moulting into adult plumage and bathing in the wet leaves
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a female or juvenile cardinale
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a male Ultramarine Grosbeak (Cyanocompsa brissonii)
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a female Ultramarine Grosbeak
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a female Yellow Grosbeak (Pheucticus chrysopeplus)
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a Turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) - unusual for birds, they find their food (carrion) through their very keen sense of smell
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a Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu)
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the Peccaries and the Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) each had their own enclosure, but most of the other animals were allowed to range freely (including the vultures)
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some nocturnal animals are displayed in a tunnel system that's located between the Desert and the Bush, for example the Kit fox (Vulpes macrotis)
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and the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia)
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the Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) also had its own enclosure, otherwise it would prey on the smaller birds and they are very adept hunters, good at sneaking up on other birds, hidden away in grass or undergrowth.
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and here are my favourite birds in the Desert, the Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata).
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they were always running around in pairs, the female following the male closely, resembling two windup-toys
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