Is everyone tired of me blogging about DC yet? I can’t help it, I took so many pictures! You guys are just lucky the cherry blossoms weren’t in bloom, there’d be like five posts dedicated just to pictures of the blossoms.
Before Claire and I flew back home last week we made one more stop in D.C. at the Smithsonian Zoological Park. We were flying out of Washington National Airport so we had to go into Washington anyways. It was a quick trip, we didn’t see a lot, but it was still a lot of fun.
We stopped at the Small Mammal house first. Fennec fox! This little guy was pretending to sleep as we moved through, but he opened his eyes a bit every now and then. The sloth was of course actually sleeping and he didn’t move even an inch.
One of the newer additions, a Screaming Hairy Armadillo, was wide awake. He’s ridiculously cute and while I can’t speak for the screaming bit, the “hairy” epithet is very accurate.
More ridiculous cuteness! This little buddy was in the the exhibit with the lemurs, he’s a greater Malayan chevrotain, or a mouse-deer. They look literally like a mouse crossed with a deer. There’s also the dwarf mongoose, it’s like a chubby, short kind of mongoose. I’m not sure how it would fare against a cobra.
We were visiting the zoo with my aunt and cousin on my mom’s side. My mom’s family is from San Diego and that’s where my cousin has lived her whole life. She kept getting super excited about all of the “tree” squirrels, which are literally just your everyday gray squirrels that are always running around, but apparently are a lot cuter than the ground squirrels they get up in the high desert. Needless to say she was very excited to see the Prevost’s squirrel.
The Great Ape House was rather quiet, with the orangutans napping inside. But the swamp monkeys were very active and the little baby that was born recently was hanging out with his mom. He was frolicking but always kept close, and he even stopped playing for a bit to nurse.
Oh I love seeing the prairie dogs! They have this awesome open enclosure down by the Great Cats. I’ll never understand why they don’t leave, there doesn’t appear to be anything stopping them. There certainly isn’t a physical barrier. They’re in a round exhibit with a wall only about knee high. I guess they just aren’t interested in venturing far from their burrows.
Over in the lion and tiger exhibit, Damai, the Sumatran tiger that actually had cubs Bandar and Sukacita which is wonderful because Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, was lounging away. The female lions were completely asleep. This half of Lion/Tiger Hill was not very exciting. But right around the corner was Luke.
Luke is the male African lion and he’s pretty awesome. He’s usually asleep because let’s face it male lions are rather lazy, but this time he was up and looking around. The only other time I’ve seen him so active was at feeding time. His roar can be heard through out the bottom half of the park and it is very impressive up close. Feeding times change a lot, in my experience it’s been around noon on a few of my visits, but you can always check the daily schedule before you go to find out for sure.
By active I really mean he just sat there and yawned a lot, but it was so cool! He looked just like a house cat. I know this is what our cats think they look like when they’re perched on their scratching fort.
The yawns of course led to some downright adorable shots. Including ones where Luke looks like he’s just told a joke only he finds funny and he can’t stop laughing.