Tag Archives: animals

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©)

Animal Watching in Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

5 Nov

A ring-tailed lemur eats a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As sad as I feel about seeing animals in caged environments where zoo animals live out their lives, I am also fascinated in watching them and their behavior. Just like any creature, four-legged or two-legged we all have certain characteristics.

A ring-tailed lemur eats a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A ring-tailed lemur stares out at a visitor while eating a snack at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And if one isn’t in a hurry when visiting a zoo like the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD, the animals give minor performances as one might like to imagine they do in the wild, albeit for some of this creatures their lives here are safer and out of danger.

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©)

 

A snow leopard naps and ignores visitors at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

I see these animals sleeping, pacing or eating, which is something we all do. And look out from their enclosures to see who is looking back. I wonder if they wonder what life must be like on the other side of that fence. But for some this home is probably all they know.

A snow leopard looks out visitors at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

 

Snow monkeys snack in the morning at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As people we adapt to our circumstances and surroundings, making the best of what we have or attempt to have in the daily lives we pursue. Maybe we ourselves should take a little more time to watch, listen and look.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A king vulture at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A King vulture resettles itself on a branch at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A King vulture checks out visitors at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 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©)

Human Nature isn’t just for Humans in Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo and the Great Plains Zoo

2 Oct

A Siamang gibbon looks at a visitor while trying to nap at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am always amazed at the human-like nature that some animals seem to portray. But then again, maybe the animals think that of us humans, behaving in a manner they themselves exhibit. I visited a couple of zoos near Siouxland recently. It wasn’t an extremely hot day on either visit, but it was quite humid and the temperatures were creeping upwards and I arrived at the zoo toward the end of a feeding period, so maybe a nap wasn’t completely out of the question.

A black and white Colobus monkey peeks at visitors watching it take a nap at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A black and white Colobus monkey peeks at visitors watching it take a nap at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some days I myself might be better off with a nap and just enjoying the moment, although these creatures only have so much room to roam about in. They do the best they can. And taking a break and relaxing should be high on their list. Something I might keep in mind myself down the road.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A Bornean Orangutan tries to get comfortable on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Bornean Orangutan lays quietly on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Francois Langur yawns before getting down to the business of taking a nap on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A Francois Langur relaxes before taking a nap on a hot fall day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Zoo Time near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

30 Jul

Visitors walk through the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE has a number of different types of environments where various species are displayed, giving visitors a sense of the climate these animals inhabit as the zoo continues to build out these habitats.

A Cape Thick-Knee stands guard next to its chicks at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bird stays nestled in a bush in the Desert Dome at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But still it’s not the same as being in the original space from where the species, if not this particular animal, hails from. But with fascination visitors are drawn to see these magnificent creatures, great and small. I don’t find it morbid, but intriguing along with others who spend a day walking, watching and admiring.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A gorilla looking for a little solitude as it eats an afternoon snack at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A baby gorilla gets a little TLC from zoo staff at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seal cooling off on a humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Portrait of a parrot at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Lions and Tigers and Bears near Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

18 Oct

A Kodiak bear sits in repose at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A black bear relaxes in the afternoon sunlight on a coolish day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This fall I made a trip to Sioux Falls, SD, just outside of what some might consider Siouxland, and again visited the Great Plains Zoo there. It was a cool day, temps somewhere in the 50’s and overcast for the most part. On a visit to the zoo a year ago it was much warmer in the fall and the animals for the most part then stayed indoors. But on this particular day they were out and about, enjoying the sunshine and their confinements as much as they can.

A red fox curls up in the sunshine on a cool day for a nap, ignoring visitors watching at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brown bear seems very aware of his surroundings and what’s near at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The zoo is educational and is very good at describing its residents and particulars about their individual lives. It also has an area devoted to educational pursuits.

Stuffed animals reside in the Delbridge Museum of Animal History at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Near the tiger enclosure there was Chinese calligraphy on the walls of a building which blended in nicely with the shadows created by nearby trees. Adding a quiet kind of ambience to that corner of the zoo. It was a peaceful day and even the animals seemed to sense that. Watching and marking time. Tomorrow is yet another day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Asian characters on an exhibit seem to blend into the shadows as shadows themselves at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Amur tiger paces in his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A red wolf looks out at visitors looking into his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mountain goat enjoys his perch atop Redrock Mountain at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rare breed goat watches passers-by from a perch at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young boy smiles as a rare breed goat eats some treats he left for them at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young Snow monkey is not having any of it from an older sibling at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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