Zoo Trip: Thoughtful Primates

A little over a week ago I went to Dublin Zoo as part of my college project on animal behavior. I had to watch any animal and observe its behaviors. The idea was to compare how they act in the wild and how they act in captivity… and being so crazy about various species, just choosing an animal was a hard task. If I could, I would have studied them all. It took a lot of contemplation, just as this Orangutan seems to be contemplating the meaning of life:

Orangutan
Some deep thinking going on there.

The Orangutan pictures I took look very philosophical for some odd reason. I could probably stick a motivational quote here somewhere…

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“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop” – Confucius.

 

I went up the day before and stayed in a hotel with a classmate. The next morning we set off for the zoo. I now knew I wanted to study lemurs – they’re one of my favorite animals. The zoo gave a choice of the ring-tailed or the red ruffed lemurs. I found the ring-tailed exhibit first so I settled on studying them. (Silly me should have figured that the reds were in the next exhibit just beside them…) Thankfully, they cooperated, and were quite active throughout my time of observing them.

Lemurs are one of my favorite animals because they are actually very strange creatures. They look like monkeys mixed with cats and have a very cute overbite. Plus, ring-tailed lemurs are husky colored, making them basically monkeys mixed with cats and dogs at the same time. How cool is that?

Another thing I’ve always found particularly cool about lemurs is the fact that their body is a grooming parlor all on its own. They have a dental comb, which is a set of teeth that acts as, well, a comb. Under their tongue they have a second tongue-like muscle (the sublingua) that helps remove all that brushed fur and dirt from the comb. As well as that, on their feet, they have nails on all toes except for the second toe which has a sharper, longer claw – called the toilet claw – also used for grooming. Imagine if your body had a salon of its own.

A group of lemurs is called a conspiracy, and their name means “ghost”. Wide-eyed, often nocturnal and with eerie shrieks, they were believed to be actual spirits by the Malagasy. Creepy and folkloric, that’s my type of creature for sure.

And yet, they are simple, adorable balls of fluff.

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Please excuse the white border on some pictures. I wanted to experiment a bit and see what suits the blog more – border or no border…

Behavior-wise, the lemurs at Dublin Zoo stayed in their inside enclosure rather than going outside into the open area. I assume it’s mostly because it was so cold that morning, but the fact that they are nocturnal probably also played a role here.

Seriously, I just want to hug them forever. It’s incredibly upsetting that these guys are endangered. Someday soon, I will make another post that talks about lemurs in more detail. They are so fascinating.

I managed to photograph some of the other animals in the zoo. I am no professional photographer and my photos are not of the best quality, partly because my Canon has been long broken and I have had to use my lower quality old compact Nikon. I hope you are still able to enjoy them!

Snow Leopard
🙂
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The “penguin” exhibit. (That is a heron.)
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A lioness. This one was feisty; she kept attacking the male lion.

Unfortunately in the zoo there was a class of kids who kept yelling and annoying the animals. I had wanted to take a nice picture of the gorilla, but the poor thing ran away because those same kids were banging on his glass trying to frustrate him. At least he has a very big exhibit and was able to go into his enclosure at the back to hide from them. It was clear they had no interest in being there for the animals, being on their phones constantly and being so loud and annoying towards the animals. Even their teacher wasn’t able to control them. I think something should be implemented here – on the school side – to keep zoos more peaceful…

Giraffe
The giraffes were very interested in the few calm people.
Ostrich
Likewise with this ostrich.

I love the idea of zoos and national parks, and while not all are good, some really do try to help animals. Many have succeeded in the conservation of not only animals but also nature. Dublin Zoo tries to reintroduce and breed their endangered species and works with various organisations worldwide. A couple of years ago they sent one of their red ruffed lemurs to Madagascar to begin a breeding programme. If you can help support your local conservation park or a zoo that cares, please do. You are helping animals.

To finish, here is one last photo. Toodles!

Wolf

~ Deborah ♡

Goodbye, my girl

We met, it seems, such a short time ago
You looked at me – needing me so
Yet from your sadness
Our happiness grew
And I found out I needed you too

I remember how we used to play
I recall those rainy days
The fire’s glow
That kept us warm
And now I find – we’re both alone

Goodbye may seem forever
Farewell is like the end
But in my heart’s a memory
And there you’ll always be

Goodbye may seem forever
Farewell is like the end
But in my heart’s a memory
And there you’ll always be

17.03.2001 – 23.11.2018
17:30

♡ Loved and missed forever ♡

Mforblog

First Post

Hellou!

Welcome to my blog. You can call me Deborah. I’m a student, aspiring to eventually be a vet. I love animals – and I really love rats – and have two of the adorable little critters and two dogs. I also live with an indoor cat.

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My two girls, Ann and Nancy.

You will see here posts about animals, animal health, animal training, my pets, and my college courses. You will also see my two rats a lot – consider them the mascots of this blog. As of right now, I am on the train, going to the zoo to write a project about captivity. I will post pictures about the trip later!

So, simple post for now, but I hope you all look forward to new posts.

Toodles!

~ Deborah ♡