Fun times at the Louisville Zoo

5 Jan

The other day we went down to Louisville to visit the zoo (and my brother). I’ve been to the Cincinnati Zoo countless times so it was nice to get my Fitbit steps and animal fix in a new spot. They had a killer gorilla exhibit (more on that later) as well as some animals Cincinnati Zoo doesn’t have, like wallabies and rock hyraxes.

What’s a rock hyrax? This:

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I would have bet money it was a rodent, but according to its little informative sign, its closest living relatives are the elephant and manatee. (How?!) Especially when those teeth just scream rodent (and “Phteven”)

stephen with a ph

Sorry, Tuna the Chihuahua-Dachshund mix cracks me up.

We wandered over to the lion exhibit where Marvin Gaye was playing (not really, but it should have been). The male slowly licked the female’s face before trying to — ahem — “jump over her.” She was not having any of it though and he quickly retreated to his rock to pout. Side note: are lions supposed to be that skinny? I guess I haven’t seen many up close since at most zoos they’re sitting far away so you don’t get a good look at them.

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The Louisville Zoo is home to a rare white American alligator named King Louie. My camera didn’t feel like focusing on him.

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The zoo is also home to freedom incarnate.

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And actual Louisville cardinals! Although I don’t think this dude is part of the zoo, he was just hanging out by the parrot exhibit.

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This bird inexplicably decided to sit on this other bird.

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This bird has killer neck feathers.

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We went on the Wallaroo Walkabout which was full of animals too small to be kangaroos and too big to be wallabies, so they’re called wallaroos (I think).

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Apparently I was confusing wallabies with wombats and was disappointed we didn’t see any of those cute koala-beaver-looking things, but wallabies are still cool too.

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We also saw this little bird in the Wallaroo Walkabout. I felt bad for him because he was super pumped to see us but couldn’t come through the fence.

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He spent the whole time banging his beak against the fencing in vain until we left.

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Over at Gorilla Forest it was Helen the gorilla’s 58th birthday! Helen is the fourth oldest known gorilla in the North American population. We arrived a few hours after her celebration, but judging by the state of the decor, it was a raging party.

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Like most animals (and children) she seemed most interested in the box her present came in.

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NOM NOM box!

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I was really impressed with Gorilla Forest, both with the quality of the exhibit and the amount of gorillas they had. I also like this gorilla throwing shade:

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I think somebody is regretting eating so much of Helen’s cake. I sent this photo to my friend and captioned it “How I feel after a month of eating ‘Murican food.”

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This random lady there was showing a gorilla photos of gorillas on her phone.

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I think he found a photo he likes!

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I didn’t go into Louisville Zoo with high expectations, but I was impressed. The crowds weren’t bad and most of the animals were out. Any day where I get to see and photograph gorillas and rock hyraxes is a good day in my book.

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