Obscure Animals

The animals pictured with today’s post are not that well know.  Some like the camel and the prairie dog, I suppose are, but for the most part I think that they are obscure.  Before you mouse over them (if you haven’t already) and read their names in the tool tip, try to guess their names.  Let me know how you do too.  Also, the animals pictured with today’s post are all mammals.  They are also all herbivores. 

Years ago in the early 1980s, not too long after we had moved here, Saint Louis was hit by a tremendous blizzard.  Nineteen inches of snow comes to mind.  At the time we were renting and were living less than half a mile from the Park.  (Now we own and live a mile and a half from the Park.)  The city was shutdown.  Back then SUVs weren’t as ubiquitous as they are now and on KMOX radio they were announcing police requests for citizens to volunteer vehicles with four wheel drive.  Saint Louis was basically shut down.

I remember that the snow started as we were walking home from the Esquire movie theater.  It was late Sunday afternoon.  Snow was already falling quite heavily.  There was thunder to be heard, so called thunder snow.  We were scheduled to drive to some friends house that evening, but decided that the weather was too bad and stayed home.

The snow was still falling Monday morning, all of the highways were closed, and it was obviously a snow day.  Anne and I launch on our cross country skis for the Park.  We traipsed around for hours and eventually found ourselves at the main entrance to the zoo.  By this time we were getting cold.  The main entrance was closed, but a service entrance was open.  Well it was sort of open, if you discounted the giant snow drift blocking the way.  We saw a zoo keeper climbing over it and asked if the zoo was open.  He thought for a while and said that most of the buildings would be closed, but that he thought that the zoo was open.  Normally the zoo only closes on Christmas and Easter. 

We skied around was a little while.  The only animals that I remember seeing were the sea lions and the bears.  They were having as much fun in the snow as we were.  There was one building that was open; it was the old snack bar that used to stand near the sea lion’s pool.  We got some hot chocolate and maybe some food there too.  I think that we were the only visitors there that were not zoo personnel.  The rest of the cliental were zoo keepers, even the guy “running” the snack bar.  I remember to this day one of the keepers coming in from the cold and exclaiming to his brethren, “I’m the only one in my department that has made it in.  So, I have a couple of hundred herbivores to feed today.”  Obscure animals, you have got to love them, well at least somebody does.

OBTW, I biked Tuesday night for the first time in over a week and got fifteen miles.

1 thought on “Obscure Animals

  1. I did OK – but certainly did not have the full description on those that took 3 or 4 words to fully describe. I did think the Addax was an Ibex. Probably not even close, but that is what came to mind. If/When we get back we will have to visit your zoo. Carl spends a fair amount of time in our zoo with his various charges. It has changed immensly since we first moved here. The elephants went from a really small enclosure to a wide ranging exhibit. I really like our orangutan exhibit right now. Now that I am talking about it, I think maybe we should plan a trip – to the zoo.

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