I'm A Legal Alien Now

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Lions and tigers and bears... oh my!

I went to the Zoo this morning, on the first overcast day this week. The Zoo became increasingly crowded and less pleasant as the day wore on. However, my objective was to see the tiger cub triplets and I did. Unfortunately my zoom is not great:

What was weirder though was that there were these middle aged people there taking their ZOO PHOTOGRAPHY VERY SERIOUSLY and had their telephoto lens and tripods and even were wearing those kakhi multi-pocketed vests you wear when you're reporting from a warzone. There was something distinctly creepy about it, actually, though I'm not sure why. I wanted to ask one of them if they realised that they're not on the Serengeti and are, in fact, only fifteen minutes from the White House.

The tiger cubs though are ridculously cute, but tigers are very handsome animals anyway. The lions were reclusive, so not much luck there. They have this thing called the O-Line which is this suspended rope bridge thing for orangutans to get between their exhibit and when some of them started to cross it, the excitement amongst zoogoers was delirious-

It was a very gloomy morning.

However, everyone's attention was distracted and only a few of us shared the moment where two big orangutans began shagging in the corner of their enclosure, then cuddled for a moment before climbing into the doorway of their den and having another go at it (albeit not as energetically).

I did like the Giant Tortoise, but didn't take a photo as the people were starting to irritate me. Americans are loud, aren't they?!

It was time for the Moneyshot. DC has a bit of a panda fetish and in my first week here back in July they celebrated the first birthday of the panda cub born in the zoo- Tai Shan. The Panda viewing areas are neck to neck but although I do love a good panda the thing is you crowd around and it's noisy and there are flashes going off and really, all they do is sit there eating. I couldn't work out whether I was looking at Tai Shan or his mother Mei Xiang, but nonetheless, you too can play Spot-The-Panda, however you don't have to listen to braying Americans or lean perilously over a guardrail to avoid swaying and bobbing heads perched on fat necks (you can sense, perhaps, my mindset about the zoo by this point).

I resisted the Pandafied gift array (quite excessive) but I did get a Tai Shan mousepad as I've been thinking it'd be quite nice to compose again, and need to use the real mouse on my laptop to do so and thus needed a mousepad anyway.

So the National Zoo is quite lovely but also a madhouse even on a gloomy Saturday and will undoubtedly get worse when the new Asia Trail opens in October. That said, if and when I receive DC visitors, I will recommend they visit. On a weekday.


Blogger anney said...

Oh, Panda!!

I don't think I've ever seen a panda, which is v sad indeed. Zoos are always mildly depressing. I think its the captivity thing. However, I am ethically oppossed to safari and the kinds of tourism it attracts so I think I will be zoo bound for the rest of my life. I really must go to Australia Zoo. Who knows - maybe I could even see Bindi.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Orangatan sex. You lucky boy. And blessed with two viewings in one day! I saw my first ever episode of project runway on foxtel. Feel this could be rather addictive... prehaps the next americans next top model?

6:32 AM  
Blogger Ian said...

My brother & dad went to Australia Zoo and said it was surprisingly awesome and well done. They'll have elephants there soon, too.

And Sarah: Project Runway is incredibly addictive, which season? Season 3's finale is being dragged out to interminable lengths here (like, over four weeks). Season 7 on ANTM just started- it is sooooooo trashy after PR.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not too sure of the season. It was a follow up episode called project jay? some guy with horrific rats tail who was working the white trash angle. He was rather gay. my favourite line was when he was whinging about being fat but said he was happy "if I was physically hot i'd be dead from aids by now." Nice. yes i'll be keeping close eye on arena...and miss world is on next sunday. Very exciting event.

6:43 PM  

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