Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Hogel Zoo

I was down in Salt Lake City this morning to see about getting my iPhone fixed.  Not a lot of luck there, but I decided to stop by the Hogel Zoo.  After 8+ years of living here, it was about time.  It turns out to be a nice zoo. Not D.C. or San Diego, but pretty decent.  Going in early March meant the place was nearly empty, which is nice for photos.  On the other hand, many of the outdoor animals were mostly inside for the cold months.

The grizzly bears didn't mind the cold and they were out and roughhousing.
The one in the water was playing with one up on a log. The game seemed to involve ducking under the log, popping up on the other side, and then giving the other bear a smack.  The trick was to accomplish this before the bear up top lashed out with his jaws. It seemed to go 50-50.
You sit back at the end of the day after a fine meal of venison, but you always seem to get some gristle stuck in your teeth.  What to do?  Perhaps an antler toothpick?
The giraffes were outside for only the second day this winter.  It was odd seeing them out with snow on the ground.
The Snow Leopards seemed like they were best suited for the colder weather.  Like our cat Cosette, they seemed quite happy sleeping the day away. I have to guess that Salt Lake City's hot summers are tough on them.
I forget what this little guy was, but it was as cute as could be.
Here's looking at you kid.  Folded up for sleeping, but always wary.
The zoo has three female elephants, ages 56, 26 and 4.  The 56 year old is the oldest female African elephant in the U.S.. The four year old played like an elephant puppy.
She had a piece of tubing that was clearly her favorite play toy.  She would roll it around the cage and then climb up on it.
Then she would roll up on it.  It was hilarious to watch her entertain herself.
Later she mastered the art of climbing into the tube and walking around.  People walking up thought she was stuck and wanted to find some help.  Those of us watching had seen her do it intentionally, undo it, and then redo it.
The apes were fun to watch and all too human. This one is chillin with a handful of little snacks.
And we end on my favorite of the day.  One of the zookeepers was walking by and the orangutan clearly wanted some of her attention.  When the zookeeper touched the glass, you can see what happened.  Look at the facial expression.  It was nice to see how much the animals liked their keepers.
Good news and bad news at the zoo:  there's a lot of construction going on. That means a portion of the zoo is closed off and the construction work is pretty loud.  However, in 2014 a brand new African Safari area will open and it looks very impressive!

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