Saturday, June 2, 2018

A Visit To The New Zoo

Early in the morning I watch WLUK television.  It is a local early morning show out of Green Bay Wisconsin.  They feature many local events and places of interest.  Every Wednesday they visit the New Zoo in Suamico Wisconsin.  It is a smaller, well taken care of zoo with a lot of different animals.

For some reason, our second youngest grandson was finished with school on Wednesday.  His sister and brother had to go through Friday and his cousins won't be finished until next week Thursday.  He is probably old enough to stay alone, but it gets to be a long day.  He wanted to come to our house, stay overnight and spend Friday with us.  We were trying to think of something fun to do.  We had a discussion earlier about albino animals, and I mentioned that the New Zoo had an albino alligator.  He wasn't sure that I was telling the truth but wanted to go see.  On the spur of the moment, we headed out.  This zoo is in Suamico Wisconsin which is north of Green Bay.  It was less than two hours from our house.

We were not aware that the ramp off of the Interstate Highway was under construction so we were forced to take a detour.  I was wondering where in the heck we were but then a big parking lot appeared.  We parked and entered through the gift shop.   That's where you purchase tickets and of course souvenirs.  A map to the grounds is posted at different locations around the park.

The first thing we saw was a zoo worker walking a tortoise.  This tortoise was 39 years old and smaller than the ones we saw later.

This tortoise was huge but he never poked his head out.

Next there were the penguins.  I saw on TV that the zoo had raised two baby penguins this spring.  The penguins weren't swimming but they were standing on the rocks.

Signs like this were next to each animal with all the information you need about them.

There were free range peacocks all over the park.  They are really loud and can go wherever they want.  I asked a worker about them and she said they never leave.  They have learned that they always have food and have no reason to go anywhere else.

As we walked around, I was surprised how clean and relaxed it felt.  Most schools were not out yet, and the park wasn't busy.  The sun was shining but the temperatures were much cooler than the previous week.  It was very pleasant.

They had a badger display next to a prairie dog display.  They had a tunnel that kids or small adults could crawl into.

Jack crawled into a tunnel and came up here.

Jack was so happy running from one exhibit to the next.  Fortunately he is old enough to read information and help us find our way around.

Japanese Snow Monkey 

Otters playing in the water.

There are a pair of giraffes.  At certain times people can feed these animals with the help of a zoo worker.  Jack didn't want to be touched by a giraffe's tongue, but it looked pretty cool.

Across from the giraffes, you could see the pair of lions.  It's a large area which can be viewed from another side.

There are lots and lots of animals to see.  I can't even mention all of them.  There was a bobcat, lynx, red pandas, bear, moose, bison, tamarin, wolf, fox and  plans for many others coming in the future.

There is an aviary section which has an eagle, ducks and big pelicans.  There was also a pair of Trumpeter Swans who were nesting.

There is a separate children's section with playground equipment, goats, sheep, rabbits, llamas and chickens.

There is a pet memorial garden with a dog and cat section.  People can purchase engraved stones to honor their pets.

There is a rehab area for animals needing some vet care.  I only saw two animals at this time.  A deer and a sandhill crane.  They are taken care of here until they get well.

It was a great day.  Jack loved it.  He even let me take a couple pictures of him, which he usually doesn't.  He was a little sad reading about a lion named Kitty who died at the park.

Lastly and the reason we came...the Albino Alligator.  His name is Lucky and weighs 200 pounds.  There are only 23 of these in the world.

I think we will go back someday.  They have more big plans for the park.  It will be interesting to see what unusual animals they will get in the future.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Diversion From The Heat

What is wrong with this picture?  It is May 27, 2018.  It is Memorial Day weekend.  Throughout the area tons of events were planned including a 100 mile bike race.  Usually the temperatures are perfect this time of year, but not today.  It might as well be the middle of winter with extreme blizzard conditions because going outside, (at least for me), is almost impossible.  I don't like feeling hot and sweaty.  It's 95 degrees, and that is not acceptable to me.  As a result, I sit inside just like I do in the middle of winter.  The only difference is that it looks beautiful outside which only makes it worse.  I tried to sit out for a short time, but in addition to the heat the mosquitoes were terrible.  I even found a tick on me.  Welcome to the dog days of summer only three months too early.

As I was sitting feeling sorry for myself, I saw something out the window.  I did a double take, and it was our resident raccoon carrying a baby raccoon across the yard.

I quickly went outside but missed where she was taking it.  This raccoon has been giving me grief for a long time.  Every morning and night she comes to steal the grape jelly I have out for the Baltimore Orioles.  I chase her away when I see her, and I bring the jelly inside for the night.  I had to move my other bird feeders and jelly feeders to a safe place or she would be eating from them too.  When I yell at her to leave, she usually just looks at me and saunters away.

I thought she must be too hot where she was or she wouldn't be moving the babies.  Maybe they were just getting too big for wherever they were living.  I sat and watched for a few more minutes and sure enough, there she was again.  I got a couple of photos but she was quick.  I went outside again.  This time I could hear a crying sound.  At first it sounded like a bird because apparently I don't hear so well.  I am one of the few who heard "Yanny" instead of "Laurel".  Those of you who participated in that recent internet activity will know what I mean.  I listened again and followed the sound.  It was coming from a nearby hollow tree.

I didn't see anything at first and then I saw a little raccoon face peeking out at me.  It was adorable.  It wasn't long before I saw two more.  Those two were out on a branch but then scurried back to the hole in the tree.

I brought a lawn chair over to see what would happen next.  I forgot about the heat and bugs for a while.  Mama came back.  She sat and watched me for a while and then they all disappeared into the tree.

I checked again about a half hour later.  It was probably stifling inside that hollow tree.  All I could see was mama guarding her young ones or what was left in the tree.  I had some things to do, and I didn't see if she brought any more babies to the undisclosed location.

Now, a few hours later,  I am watching to see if mama raccoon makes her evening trip to the grape jelly or if she has her hands full settling into her new home.  UPDATE:  Mama returned to check the jelly at 8:30pm.  I let her eat it.  There was less than a tablespoon left in the dish.  Then I went outside to see where she went, and she climbed back into the hole in the tree.  Now I'm really confused.  I hope the babies I watched her move were alive.  I'll check for any activity in the tree tomorrow.

I do know that it's approaching evening, and it is still hot outside.  Tomorrow isn't supposed to be any cooler.  I have outdoor chores to do so I hope this heat wave doesn't last all summer.  On the other hand, with this heat all my plants will burn up, and I won't have to worry about it.

This thermometer is inside the screened porch, in the shade
at 5:00pm