For such a big city, Bordeaux has a very small zoo in the middle of a housing estate, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless.
Like Beauval that we’ve visited a few times now, this zoo has a fondness for white lions and tigers. I always used to prefer the ‘proper’ varieties, but now I’m starting to like their paler relations too. This guy was huge, very solid. When he yawned, wow, his teeth were scary.
Also white were the two very old arctic wolves, whose friends and relatives Caiti might come across in Canada next year. They’re both 13 years old, which is very old for a wolf or so the zoo notice said. The male was very stiff, and quite happy to spend all day snoozing in the sun. But then, most animals are, whatever age.
The zoo is a conservation centre for red pandas.
A baby was born this year at the zoo but we didn’t spot him or her.
However, we did see the ten day old baby gibbon clinging tightly to mum’s tummy. I didn’t get a photo of him though. It was extremely chilly so I’d given up taking my gloves off to take snapshots by that stage of the visit!
The zoo is also famous for its performing parrots. Seriously. Here’s one of them, but he’s resting at the moment. The performances stopped in early November. Fair enough.
It was home from home for me with a couple of alpacas and a llama present. There was also a family of guanacos, which are the wild ancestors of llamas. This baby was born the day before my birthday, so I’m surprised he’s not bigger. My camelids grow at a crazy rate, but perhaps that’s something that’s been bred into the domesticated varieties.
There was a ‘petite ferme’ i.e. about twenty mean-looking mini-goats in a corral that you were invited to enter. The words ‘at your peril’ should probably have been added! The moment we went in they had us surrounded. The zoo sells bags of popcorn that you can feed to some of the animals, but I didn’t buy one. I feed animals every day so I rather fancied a change! Anyway, the goats took some convincing that we hadn’t actually got any noms for them. Caiti had to stop one climbing into my bag while I was trying to take a photo of her with a slightly freaky mini-mini-goat who’d taken a shine to her. Luckily for us the gate creaked open again and an unwary family with a toddler came in. You could see the goats’ eyes light up as a much more likely bunch of victims came in. They hurtled over, much to the consternation of the toddler who was at eye level with these ruthless eating machines, equipped for the most part with some fairly scary hardware in the form of curly horns. We escaped while we still could!
The one disappointment was that the giraffes were being kept indoors so we only got a glimpse of giraffe butt through the window in their house, although one briefly bent down and looked out at us. My camera chose that moment to run out of batteries but Caiti got a snap on her phone.
The giant tortoise, porcupine and prairie dogs were in hibernation, and sensibly so, so we didn’t get to see them. Other than those, the only animal we didn’t get at least a glimpse of was the maned wolf. It took three visits to their pen to finally see the otters. They have a wonderful glass-sided tank to swim in but it was obviously too cold for a dip today.
So, a chilly but very enjoyable morning.
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