Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rocky racoon and the friendly flamingos...

      Featuring a visit to...

My information about each species here is a mixture of what I read on Drusillas own website, research, and even a few little facts I already knew. 

Let's begin with the apes and monkeys shall we. Gibbons are lesser apes and like all apes, have no tail.
Lar Gibbons, also known as white-handed gibbons are mainly found in Southeast Asia and in a small portion of South Asia. They live in small family groups of a male, female and offspring. Lar Gibbons have one baby at a time which stays with its parents until it is about eight. Status: Endangered.

I have to say that looking at these animals through a telephoto lens, there is something very moving about their eyes...

Lar Gibbon (Hylobates lar)

Lar Gibbon (Hylobates lar)

Squirrel monkeys are highly active and inquisitive monkeys. They are found in the forests of South America, usually close to rivers or streams. They live in large groups of up to 200 individuals. Status: Common.

Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis)
Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis)

Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis)

Easily recognised by their large-white moustaches, the Emperor Tamarin is a small species of monkey that lives in the forests of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Groups of Emperor Tamarins often form mixed groups with another species. Babies are carried around by their fathers. Status: Common.

Emperor Tamarin (Saguinus imperator)

Flamingos are next. The ones at Drusillas are Chilean Flamingos. These are one of the larger species at up to 1.5 metres. Found on high-mountain lakes in flocks of several thousand birds in Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Females lay a single egg on a nest made of mud. Status: Rare.

Don't you just love they way their knees bend the opposite direction to ours...

Chilean Flamingo (Pheonicopterus chilensis)

These two seemed to be getting quite friendly...

A real favourite of mine now. The Red Panda. Red Pandas are excellent climbers and will often sleep in trees. They forage for food mainly at dusk, nighttime and dawn. Red pandas have a taste for bamboo but, unlike their larger relatives, they eat many other foods as well—fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs. They have an extended wrist bone that functions almost like a thumb and greatly aids their grip. Status: Endangered.

Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens)

Well they may have been my own personal favourites, but more popular with most folk seemed to be these little creatures...

Meerkat (Suricata suricatta)
Meerkats are a member of the Mongoose family. They live in the dry open land of South-West Africa. They live in social groups of up to 30. Only one pair within the group breed with the others all helping to babysit and look after the young. Status: Common.

North American Beavers live in rivers and lakes from Alaska, to Florida and Mexico. It is North America's largest rodent. The ears and nose are equipped with valve-like flaps that can be closed underwater, while the small eyes have a protective transparent eyelid (nictitating membrane). Owing to the need for a strong foundation for the prominent tree-felling incisors, the beaver has an exceptionally thick and heavy skull and jaw. Status: Common.

North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

Disappointingly, I subsequently found out that the otters at Drusillas are not our own native species. 

Otters such as these are found in a variety of habitats in both fresh and salt water across South and South-East Asia. They live in social groups of up to twelve individuals. Status: Rare.

Asian Short-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea)

Racoons, or should that be Raccoons? Are native to North America. They can be found in forests, fields, wetlands and even towns.Though previously thought to be solitary, there is now evidence that racoons engage in gender-specific social behaviour. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Apparently they are know colloquially by a very un-pc name! 

Racoon (Procyon lotor)

The Cape porcupine or South African porcupine, is a species of porcupine native to central and southern Africa. Porcupines are rodents, just like mice, rats and beavers. They can have up to 30,000 quills when fully grown. Contrary to popular myth, quills cannot be fired at enemies but are loosely embedded in the skin and easily shed on contact. When threatened, it erects its quills and backs towards its assailant. Careless predators may end up with quills so deeply embedded that fatal wounds can develop. Status: Common.

Cape Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis)

Don't you think that this one looks like it has 2 eyes on this side of its head?

And that's about all for the zoo trip. It was a good visit and this is by no means a comprehensive record of the animals they have. I took 200 plus photos on the day, but have tried to limit the update to the ones that worked best. 


  1. Looks as though you had a superb visit there! Cracking shots as ever!
    I too love red pandas, and racoons as well. Certainly more so than meerkats.

    The expression you've caught on the last shot of the squirrel monkey is priceless!! Had it just bitten into a slice of lime??!? Lol!
    Wonder if the 2nd (upper) eye on the porcupine might be it's ear? Curious in any case!

    1. Yes it was good thanks Maria. I am not a big fan of any zoo but still, it was an enjoyable day for sure. Yeah that monkey must have been chewing something sour I reckon ;-)

      Erm, I thought the same thing about the Panda 'eye'...must research that!

      Thanks for your visit and comment...

  2. Replies
    1. Hi Amanda,

      Good to hear from you and thanks for your visit and comment. Much appreciated.


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