Tag Archives: exotic animals

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©)

Spending time at a Zoo near Siouxland, Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE

12 Jul

A giraffe eyes some eats at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A tiger pacing along the fence line on a humid day at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Zoos are fascinating places to visit for those of us who can’t travel to those far away exotic places where these various animals live. Although I know the importance of, and for the most part great care, that these animals receive, many born into captivity, it still breaks my heart to see them in their enclosures. And I wish funds could be established to enable people to visit these animals in their natural habitat as opposed to the various zoos.

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is noted for its care and continuing expansion to give the animals a better habitat and visitors a better experience. And I admit it’s enjoyable to be so up close and “personal” with these animals as I venture south of Siouxland to visit.

Visitors watch a tiger pace in its enclosure at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A seal enjoying the shade at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The animals have their own personalities which I am sure zoo handlers will attest to as probably patrons who frequent their favorite spots more often than I can. And we see them through out humanistic eyes and our relationships we have to our own pets, who definitely have their own personalities, and aren’t afraid to exhibit them when it suits the situation. “Not now, no petting, I’m busy napping!”

A monkey on display at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One of the many parrots on display at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As a photographer I am intrigued in trying to photograph them. Some of the big cats don’t make it easy, especially on a hot and humid day. They want to stay out of the midday sun and do a spectacular job of it.

A leopard peers through tall grass at visitors at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A big cat burrows into the shade of its enclosure barely seen by visitors at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

But we come and stand and watch and stare and enjoy the time and hopefully learn. To be better shepherds, keepers and ultimately humans who actually care and not just through lip service.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A young child watches a giraffe eat foliage at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE Thursday, June 13, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visiting a Zoo near Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

18 Dec

Earlier this fall I took a trip up to Sioux Falls, SD and stopped into its zoo, the Great Plains Zoo, which was busy getting ready for a Halloween event for that evening. Sioux Falls is a continually growing community and it surprised me that it had a nice zoo. Personally, I am not a big fan these institutions. Some zoos I have been too the animals constantly walk around a very small circuit, confined to an area that just makes me sad. I understand possibly the need for zoos. People can see animals they normally wouldn’t see and a place for rescue animals and those born into captivity. Still.

But I found it was a nice day to sit and ponder such questions. I also saw some incongruity such as a black rhino in an area with fall foliage on deciduous trees. Somehow I don’t think of some continents with these types of plants.

A black rhino of Africa is oddly contrasted with decidous trees at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There were some others there to also enjoy spending a nice fall day out looking at creatures one does not normally see in the Midwest.

An orangatan at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A scarlet ibris of South America at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Looking sad is a black and white Colobus monkey from Africa at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was also an artist drawing a “Disney Princess” with part of the zoo as a background. I thought for the subject matter of species being out of place, the scene was well done.

Some sketchy stuff going on at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am planning a Photo Safari class trip to a zoo in Omaha, NE if enough students sign up to go. It is a much larger zoo than this one in Sioux Falls with some recently completed space to allow animals to roam a bit more. I don’t know if I can get past my own personal bias and feelings about “caged” animals, but it does give an individual something to ponder and being grateful to enjoy freedom of movement as one desires.

Sioux City, Iowa

A black rhino of Africa at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Giraffes in their enclosure at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An African spurred tortoise looks for a little shade at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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