Entrance to Chiang Mai Zoo, northwest of the city.
As we enter the zoo grounds, it is quite clear that Christmas celebration decorations are still prominent.
In entrance area, a nice “May Peace Prevail on Earth” post along with lovely flowers & spouting elephants.
The recommended hop-on hop-off open-sided buses will prove their worth (20 baht or 57 cents US) getting around this very large and hilly zoo. A sliver of the monorail shows above.
Before we get on for the first bus ride segment, Keith gets this photo of the flamingo (or “'mingos” in Anya language) flock.
First stop: the Koala house, but we quickly learn they are nocturnal and this is mid-day! Koala naps seem so cozy -- these may be the consumate tree huggers.
Of course you can always buy a furry companion to hug, sit beside, or carry with you as you travel - hmmm
so, so, suck your toe . . . . cages do beget neurosis - this is mild!
One old man meets another - or is that a lady elephant?
Well, up close and personal, he doesn't look quite so old -- for an elephant, that is.
Is the elephant laughing at the handler (mahout?) who mans the “pooper-scooper” in the elephant pen..??
Peg checks out one of the noisy Hornbills we came across.
A holiday greeting as we enter the Penguin house.
Humboldt penguins a long way from home, --- but not unhappy
Elephant saying hello to a little girl on our trolley. He was big. She was afraid. We could have jumped off and paid a few baht to buy bananas to feed this guy, but we were in a hurry to find a place to eat lunch ourselves.
How do you liven up a couple of lazy Hippos? Spend a measly 10 baht for some Hippo food and watch the action.
Gramma tosses whole carrots and small sweet potatoes. Their chewing teeth are WAY back there.
These are REALLY BIG guinea pigs -- called “Capybara” They are bigger than most dogs.
This picture is for scale - see how big they are. (also see grandma's new glasses)
You always let sleeping badgers lie - maybe a better/new English language idiom...?
We also let these smaller sleeping Leopard Cats continue their snooze.
These 2 Binturongs (Asian Bearcats) are also fast asleep.
I suppose some comment should be made about the ethics of zoos, but here we are rather enjoying it by not examining too closely either the ethics or the conditions. In fairness, it seemed most settings at this zoo were pretty nice.
This handsome fellow was a special treat, and seemed neither bothered nor interested in the human throngs.
Having your own pet Zebra is nice too.
The giraffe trio seemed to get along rather well, but there were two males and one female, so I suspect it is not always that way.
I suppose being in a zoo might just be somewhat preferable to being at a world fair and ridden by somebody's gutsy grandmother. (This in tribute to Keith's grandmother Wheeler and her ostrich riding experience circa 1914.)
This lion pair share a paddock with a huge lovely waterfall, large well-placed bolders -- what more could a fellow ask for? ”A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow! “
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty -- nice kitty. (Nice white tiger, but a very restless and pacing fellow.)
Mom tiger sleeps while dad paces and plays peek-a-boo with the photographer (sorry, all other tiger shots were blurry)
If called by either this leopard or panther, be sure NOT to “anther.” Darn that wire cage! I'd complain what a problem it causes when photographing, but I expect it's rather more of a problem for the kitties.
Camels with a pinata? Are we in the wrong country? Signs said these were “one-hump camels”
Heading towards the exit, Keith grabs one last shot of the giraffe pen as we pass by a second time.
Who has the better spotted shirt?
The orchid path of dalliance taken just before we leave the park.
Leaving the orchid garden, Keith gets this shot which includes one of the several monorail skytrains that passed over us during our visit.
Before leaving the zoo, Keith insisted on trying to return to feed the big elephant we saw earlier. He apparently had enough of tourists for the day and was off duty. We did find an interesting collection of Macaques (or Old World Monkeys) still performing. This old fellow did not seem very excited about the activities of his younger collegues.
This was an active bunch of smaller fellows.
One last photo of the colorful flowers before we head for the exit.
Near the exit a visiting monk pays tribute to the zoo's 3 spirit houses. We guess that 3 large spirit houses are needed for this large area and the many long-term residents. Many small ceramic animal figures have been added to other traditional offerings.
If you look closely, you can see Peg (aka “grandma” or “Nana”) beside the “Bon Voyage” sign in the middle of the large zoo archway. Soon back out on the main Huai Kaeo we would stoll a bit before catching a quick ride back to our condo. [NOTE: Last 2 entries are short video clips & take longer to download.]
A qick video of our elephant friend who missed a ball of some food tossed down by a staff person. The noise in the background is some howling monkeys in the nearby monkey cages.
VIDEO -- It is always interesting to watch the giraffes move - the seem to walk so effortlessly and elegantly. The delight of young children can be heard in the background.