On Sunday, we visited the Central Park Zoo in New York City.
This was our second visit in last one year and the tickets were “paid for.” Reason: Last year, during our first visit, the zoo was unexpectedly closed due to an explosion nearby. It was very unfortunate that a teenager tourist lost his foot in the blast. The visitors who’d purchased the tickets were given complimentary one-year-valid tickets since most of us couldn’t see all of the attractions. I remember we were on our way to watch a 4D movie when the accidental blast led the zoo authorities to initiate an early shutdown.
Since the complimentary tickets were to expire in July this year, the last Sunday had to be the day.
The Central Park Zoo began as a menagerie in the post mid-19th century; the place has since seen several modifications, making it the modern zoological garden, now home to an indoor rain-forest.
You enter the zoo walking with a sizable crowd, and disappear down the trellised walkway. It may look like a conflict zone if you believed the fear-mongering some, but multiculturalism thrives and works toward a peaceful co-existence. The vine-clad purity, breath of fresh green; the brick trimmed with granite.
Since we missed the 4D movie last time, we began this tour with a movie: Ice Age – No time for Nuts.
How a saber-toothed squirrel on a chase after his acorn, which a time machine dispatches into different time periods, makes for a fun viewing experience.
Ready with our 4D glasses – our son thoroughly enjoyed the film.
We avoid fast food but have to make do with it when options are scarce. The monopoly of a lone restaurant in the zoo can quietly drain your wallet: $14 for a cheeseburger. I ate half of my burger in disapproval. The street vendor right outside the zoo would charge more or less the same, charging $3 for a 700 ml water bottle, for example; in other places, the same bottle costs $1.50. Uniformity in food prices kicks competition out. But, french fries tasted better after a while.
Right outside Tisch Children’s Zoo which was to be our next stop, this brilliant musician played Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round on his saxophone.
At Children’s Zoo, waiting to feed the goats
Alpaca, which resembles Llama, is a domesticated species of South American camelid.
Feeding the Alpaca. (Look out – Alpacas can spit.)
Spider web play area
White-naped Crane – needs shallow wetlands and grassy marshes to forage, nest, and raise their chicks. 70% of these cranes breed in Mongolia which provides perfect habitats.
Ducks’ feeding time
Baby Tortoise with egg as shell
Cavies come from the same family as guinea pigs. A family of rodents native to South America.
Intelligence garden (in the Temperate zone) is an idea borrowed from a Chinese emperor who believed that the best way to develop intelligence was to observe animals in their natural state.
Walking toward the Tropic zone. Glass-roofed pergolas add to the beauty.
A grizzly bear stands 3 to 4 feet tall on all fours, but can reach 6 to 7 feet tall when standing up straight.
The bear’s private pool
California Sea Lion can dive hundreds of feet deep and stay underwater for up to 10 minutes.
Flora that lends beauty…
It was zero degree Fahrenheit…descending from the pass were the marks of the Snow Leopard; they can venture as high as 19,000 feet. Watch its eyes at your own risk.
Red panda – found in the Himalayan foothills, this flame-colored animal shares both territory and a name with the giant panda, but not genetics. Red panda is actually related to Raccoon.
The Victoria-crowned pigeon is a large, bluish-grey pigeon; has elegant blue lace-like crests, maroon breast, and red irises.
Blue-headed Macaw Parrot. Pointed tail, large bill.
Amazon Tree Boa is non-venomous, found in South America.
Banded Mongoose – females give birth within a few days of each other and everyone cares for the babies.
Texas Tortoise – thrives in exposed dry scrub and grasslands; forages on cactuses.
Slender-tail Cloud Rat – one of the largest rats in the world. Guess its weight when fully grown? Around five pounds. Its penetrating look – as if it knows what we’re thinking.
Penguins in the Polar zone. Just chill.