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Making Friends at the Zoo in SIouxland, Great Plains Zoo Sioux Falls, SD

5 Dec

A couple of Zodiak bears stand at the entrance of their den at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I have mentioned previously how fascinating I find it to watch the animals at zoos. Their interactions with one another and visitors enrich the experience for the visitor. One hopes it does that as well for the animal. We creatures of all stripes are curious beings, although we all have days when we like to keep folk at arms length.

Big horn horn sheep find different niches to use as a resting spot on their rock pile at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A big horn sheep lays quietly during a warm fall day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And sometimes they can be coaxed out of their shyness with a bit reward, like food nuggets. Who doesn’t like an afternoon snack and a head scratch.

A visitor makes a goat’s day by feeding it a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A goat accepts a head scratch from a visitor at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And hopefully it leaves them and ourselves asking for a little more attention and time, plus snacks. Snacks are always good and there is no foul in asking for more.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A goat calls to a visitor that just fed it a snack, making asking for more, at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Making Friends in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

23 Nov

A giraffe takes a treat from a child at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When visiting the animals at the zoo, it is amazing to me to see these creatures interact with visitors. The more tame creatures that is that would not pose a threat under the proper conditions. Outside of Siouxland the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE does provide a chance to people to interact and get a close up encounter. I often wonder if some of the children that do interact later in life become veterinarians or wildlife advocates.

Visitors attract giraffes with treats from a high viewing platform at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A giraffe seems nonplussed about its photo being taken at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The encounter certainly makes a visit more memorable and most likely will entice visitors to return. Although sometimes the “wild” creatures may not only be walking around in the penned up areas. What looked like some of kind exercise building field trip for a group made me curious, but not enough to interrupt their process. Certainly memorable, I would think for the participants and the impersonating giraffe.

 

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

During an outing at the Henry Doorly Zoo one of the participants dresses in a giraffe costume in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A giraffe takes a treat from a visitor at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Zoo near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE

20 Oct

A Flatland gorilla stares back at visitors while sitting perfectly still at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Flatland gorilla sits in a shady area on a hot fall day while visitors watch at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Primates are interesting creatures. Much like their “human” counterparts. They are expressive and inquisitive and sometimes just annoyed. I noticed on a visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE how the Flatland Gorillas would ignore the inquisitive humans looking at them in their enclosure only occasionally looking at them. Many times they sat just beside the paned windows just out of sight. Looking possibly for their own bit of solitude away from prying eyes.

But that’s hard to do in a zoo environment I would think. Even inside people tried to get up close and engage these creatures. And a new member of the gorilla family made it even more apparent that we are fascinated with wildlife.

A parent Flatland gorilla and its youngster lay quietly on a hot fall day while visitors watch at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A staff member of the Henry Doorly Zoo talks with the baby Flatland gorilla as it moves about in its enclosure in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A baby Flatland gorilla works at getting its balance at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

In a way you can’t blame these creatures for wanting to avoid prying eyes. And I find it interesting to watch the entire scene while people watching. The lengths we go to see something in our lifetime we will never see in a natural setting. To enjoy the majesty of these animals the lives they represent but do not live themselves. I am not certain what in human nature makes us wonder about such things. But I know I will continue watching, pondering questions I can’t possibly answer but still intrigued the thoughts.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Flatland gorillas sit in a shady area on a hot fall day while visitors watch at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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