Sunday, August 07, 2005

nan golden shower of photos

On Friday I went to the zoo. For some people this is no great accomplishment - one quick drive and ten bucks later, they're staring at a tamarind in a branch or scanning a pile of rocks and wondering where the hell the African Porcupine is supposed to be. But the closest zoo to me lies over two hundred fifty kilometres away, so I have to take a plane to see the African porcupines. Don't believe me? I'll show you.

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These people didn't get to come to the zoo with me. They looked a bit uptight.

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I discovered that the zoogoers were even more uptight than the passengers on the plane. By the time they showed up at the entrance to the African Savannah enclosure (a bit oxymoronic, but it's an unavoidable aspect of zoos) they were clearly lost and dazed. These two had clearly wandered out of a 1980 Sears catalogue.



I snapped a picture of this man just as he stepped into a beam of bright sun. His wife was looking straight at me. I still can't quite figure out her expression.



My ostensible purpose there was to train a new field producer for upcoming shoots, but I'd really flown 800 km to hang out with the meerkats.









Apparently they shared an enclosure with the African porcupines, but I couldn't see them anywhere.

7 comments:

blackbird said...

are meerkats carnivores?

palinode said...

Yes. Their diet features things like beetles and scorpions. Researchers in the wild found that they really like hard-boiled eggs as well.

Meerkats work in cooperative groups and raise each other's young. They get my vote for the weirdest looking little animals I've ever seen.

blackbird said...

but I like the way they stand up, in a group, to see or listen to something.

Middle often does a meerkat impersonation.

palinode said...

Deliberately?

Anonymous said...

don't meerkats figure prominently in Life of Pi. I've wanted to know what they look like since reading the novel. Thanks

palinode said...

Yes, the carnivorous island was populated by meerkats.

Helvetica said...

There's always one meerkat on guard, sitting on his haunches looking cute. My brother (who works at that very zoo!) said one morning a keeper passed the meerkat enclosure and noticed the guard of the moment had snoozed off so had fallen forwards until he lay like a plank with his nose touching a nearby rock. My bro also has funny sloth and penguin stories, so next time take pictures of them too ok?