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Wildlife World Zoo, Part 4

Returning to the Zoo, we next encountered a rare white tiger. According to Wikipedia, they carry a recessive gene which when matched with a like gene results in this unusual coloration. For some reason, white tigers also tend be larger — in fact, even a tiger carrying only one copy of this gene tends to be larger even though they will have the normal orange coloration. Humans seem to enjoy this variety — they are very popular in zoos and entertainment showcasing exotic animals (think Siegfried & Roy). This one seemed bored walking back and forth on the same path over and over. At the end of each pass, he would stop and stare. And what was he looking at?

He appeared to be interested in the Merry-Go-Round. But why? Well, perhaps because there was an orange tiger there. Or maybe it was the kids that had jumped on board who looked like a tasty snack. Who knows?

The next animal on display was a White Rhinoceros, which is classified as "near threatened", due to loss of habitat and poaching. Since I just finished watching this weekend's NFL playoffs, I began to wonder if the NFL might sign one of these brutes as an offensive lineman.

This animal looked somewhat familiar — deer-like, actually it is a type of antelope called a Defassa Waterbuck. They are found in scrub and savanna areas near water where they eat grass. Despite its name, the waterbuck does not spend much time in the water, but will take refuge there to escape predators. Waterbuck are diurnal. Females gather in herds of between two and six hundred individuals. Males keep territories of around three hundred acres (1.2 kmĀ²) during their prime. They usually lose their territories before the age of ten.

They are not threatened or endangered.

Over on a small island is a colony of Ring-tailed Lemur. They are a primate and are endemic to the island of Madagascar. Because of habitat destruction, they are considered "Near Threatened".

The Ring-tailed Lemur is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. It is also female dominant, a trait common among lemurs. To keep warm and reaffirm social bonds, groups will huddle together forming a lemur ball. The Ring-tailed Lemur will also sunbathe, sitting upright facing its underside, with its thinner white fur towards the sun.

Another island was home to this monkey who seemed to be fascinated watching all the human primates walk by. I could not find a sign telling me the variety so I guess I just have to be happy with "Monkey".

This little fellow is a Green Vervet Monkey. They are native to the south and east of Africa. They are not endangered or threatened.

From Wikipedia, "The Vervet monkey is diurnal and social; living in groups of up to 38. There is a clear order of dominance among individuals within the group.

The Vervet Monkey uses different sounds to warn of different types of predators. They have distinct calls to warn of the sighting of a leopard, a snake, or an eagle. These sounds are considered a proto-language by many ethologists.

The young appear to have an innate tendency to make these alarm calls, and adult monkeys seem to give positive reinforcement when the young make the right call, by repeating the alarm. Mothers have been reported to punish young giving the wrong call."

In the ponds surrounding the Lemur and Monkey islands are a number of different kinds of waterfowl. This is obviously a duck, what what kind of duck? Again, no sign to be seen.

However, whether preening or posing, these are good looking ducks!

Also hanging out in the same area were some more macaws.

Also quite good looking — and they seem to know it.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com