Den (dewhitton) wrote,

More zoo photos

A wombat with a lot of time on his paws gives his claws a rest and relaxes in the winter sun.

This is a male bongo showing great interest in the new female bongo in the next cage. The stripes on their coats are asymmetrical so they have a different pattern on each side. This makes it hard to count the number of animals in wild herds. An animal only has to face the other way and you can't tell if it's been counted or not. They're found in the dense forests of north-west Africa, and are scattered across the territories of ten countries - mostly in that group of happy countries located below Mali and along the Atlantic Coast: Liberia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, D.R.Congo etc. The red colour in the animal's coat washes out in the rain and can stain your skin a deep red if you handle a wet bongo. The Zulu think you can get leprosy from touching a bongo. Red hands is the first symptom of the disease.
Bongoes are endangerd.

This is also a bongo.

Onagers, or the Persian Wild Ass, are found in the deserts and mountains of Kuhha Ye Zagros that run along the Iran/Iraq boarder. This is the area the two countries slugged it out for ten years in the Gulf War during the 80s. I remember when that was always called the Gulf War, until someone else stole the name for their war. What the media are calling Gulf 2 really should be called Gulf 3. Anyway, during the first Gulf War almost the entire wild population of Onagers were wiped out through the processes of target practice and food gathering. They didn't have the luxury of applying for refugee status and so became critically endangered. When the Bible mentions "wild ass" this is the animal they're writing about. It looks like a donkey, but a keeper told me once that he'd never enter the enclosure alone. Onagers scared him.

Onagers were used to frighten people.

TAKHI, or Pzrewalski's Horse

Takhi in Dubbo

The Takhi are an ancient branch of the horse family and are unusual in that they have 2 small toes just behind the main hoof of each foot. They are native to Mongolia and used to be found across all Europe. Ice age artists painted them onto the walls of caves, along with wooly rhinos, kine and mammoths. Eventually the takhi's range contracted to the steppes around the Gobi Desert. Ghengis Khan and his boys rode them into battle, and they made up the major part of the economy until the larger horses of the West made their way into the area. Their numbers dwindled. In the late 1800s Captain Przewalski "discovered" them and so they came to be named Przewalski's horse, despite the fact they had a perfectly good Mongolian name already. By the 1950s they horse was extinct in the wild. Dubbo Zoo obtained their little mob of takhi (7 mares and a stallion) in the early 80s and joined the world-wide effort to preserve the animal. In 1995 they worked with the Munich Zoo to send 12 mares (6 from Dubbo, 6 from Munich) and 2 stallions back to Mongolia.

People drove for days to watch the release. A lot of old Mongolians cried. "I never thought I'd see them again! I thought my Grandson would never see them" one old-timer is reported as saying. He'd driven for 7 days to see the horses.

"To stand in the dust of a galloping takhi is to bring good luck." Old Mongilian saying.

Takhi in Lascoux

The trouble with a lot of endangered animals is that they don't look unusual or cute or even special..

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