Friday, November 19, 2010

It's All Happening at the Zoo

As I mentioned in my last post, Barry and I managed to catch his granddaughter's cold in Omaha, and as a result, we spent the next three days racing for home so we could recuperate in peace.  Before we left, though, we spent most of Sunday with Barry's daughter, son-in-law, and grandkids at the wonderful Henry Doorley Zoo.

Because Omaha has fairly severe climate swings, many of the animal habitats are a mixture of indoors and outdoors, and the centerpiece of the zoo is a huge geodesic Desert Dome containing exhibits from African, Australian, and American deserts.  Since we were visiting on the day after a snowfall, we spent most of our time visiting the inside exhibits - specifically, the aquarium and the baby animals.  The aquarium features puffins, penguins, and an amazing variety of fluorescent anemones and exotic seahorses.  This year the zoo also has a baby tiger, a baby gorilla, and quite a few less rare animal infants.

One of the things that makes the Doorley Zoo so great is that it is committed to animal and plant conservation.  They have a number of innovative preservation and reproductive programs to help rare species maintain their toehold on survival.  Barry isn't so sure that life in a zoo is really living, but that baby gorilla looked perfectly content as he wrestled a small plastic crate in his artificial jungle, forever free from the threat of poachers.

"Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild." ~Jack Hanna

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