today at the toledo zoo
so many beautiful animals
the birds – stunning
the very curious and friendly woodpecker
hanging on the screen following us around
staring and blinking
so cute and cheery
reaching over to touch it
quickly reminded me
how it got its name
when it pecked my finger
with the memorable touch of
a sewing machine needle/jack hammer
decided right there and then
to just admire each other from afar in the future.
“all bad jazz sounds like woody woodpecker.”
-leo kottke – musician
image credit: Woody Woodpecker – Walter Lantz Studio, Universal Studios
We humans may be tiring of video calls, Zoom birthdays and streamed performances, but the chimps at two Czech zoos are just starting to enjoy their new live online linkup. To make up for the lack of interaction with visitors since the attractions closed in December under Covid-19 restrictions, the chimpanzees at Safari Park Dvur Kralove and the troop at a zoo in Brno, 93 miles away, can now watch one another’s daily lives on giant screens.
There are no mute-button disasters as the sound is off, but there has already been plenty of interest in what the distant cousins are up to since the project got underway last week.
“At the beginning they approached the screen with defensive or threatening gestures, there was interaction,” said Gabriela Linhartova, ape keeper at Dvur Kralove, 84 miles east of Prague. “It has since moved into the mode of ‘I am in the movies’ or ‘I am watching TV.’ When they see some tense situations, it gets them up off the couch, like us when we watch a live sport event.” The chimpanzees have also adopted other human behaviors such as grabbing goodies like nuts to chew on while watching the action.
The video conferences, also aired on the safari park’s website, will run daily from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. until the end of March, when keepers will evaluate whether they should continue.
“it is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.”
-H. L. Mencken
credits: David w. Cerney – Reuters
a group of penguins in the water is called a raft- on land, they become a waddle.
“all penguins are the same below the surface,
which I think is as perfect an analogy as we’re likely to get for the futility of racism.”
art credit: Wood print by Kaamran Hafeez, One Penguin in a Large. Group of Penguins
just because taking 4 minutes to watch this might make you smile all day. (sound up!)
National Park Service Notice –
READ: Please don’t run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself.
As a follow-up to a previous post, if you come upon a stationary bear, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Like dogs, they will chase ﬂeeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees. Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).
Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Don’t we all? Identify yourself by making noise so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Help the bear recognize you as a human. We recommend using your voice. (Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear) The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.
P.S. We apologize to any “friends” who were brought on a hike as the “bait” or were sacrificed to save the group. You will be missed.
“i’d rather write about polar bears than people”
image credit: Bear resting on a log thinking bear things at Katmai National Park & Preserve, NPS/ J. Ehrlenbach
a tiny toad crossed paths with grandie f
i wonder which one was more excited to meet the other.
“the smaller the creature, the bolder its spirit.”
-suzy kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun
bunny stops by the yard for a quick breakfast
kitty sees bunny and considers breakfast
bunny sees kitty and keeps eating
kitty sees bunny seeing kitty
one inside, one outside
only a screen between them
each is safe
but what goes on in their heads?
“it is easy to be brave from a safe distance. “
with the absence of so many humans
the animals have reclaimed their territory
and even branched out to try things that might be new
when i saw this goose standing full of pride and bravado on top of the bridge
all i could think of was that scene from ‘titanic’ when jack said to rose:
“i’m the king of the world!”
and he believed that for a little while.
“the higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly”
– friedrich nietzsche