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Lion Cubs and more

By: BriarCraft , 11:14 PM GMT on March 13, 2014

One evening last week, I saw an interesting story on the local news. It was about lion cub triplets at the Oregon Zoo who recently met their dad for the first time. While the announcer did a cutesy voice-over, this is the video that was shown:

A little investigation at the Oregon Zoo's website soon took me to YouTube and this fun video:

I learned the cubs would be on display with their parents any dry day with temperatures above 45┬░. After checking the forecast, I picked a day. A little gentle persuasion and I soon had DH and my parents convinced it would be a great way to spend Wednesday afternoon.

After years as a member of the San Diego Zoo, I don't have high expectations when I visit other zoos; they just can't compare. That said, the Oregon Zoo continues to make improvements in its ongoing effort to provide an entertaining and educational experience. In fact, there were two major construction projects underway, causing some exhibits to be off display and animals in other open exhibits to stay out of sight because of the noise. Even so, it was a great afternoon to be at the zoo, along with hundreds of young parents and their rambunctious children.

Some animals, like this lizard, were unperturbed by noisy construction or noisy children. Hanging by his back claws, he even managed to doze off.

If OregonBirdOfPrey happens to come by, he should appreciate what it's like to see a Red-Tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture up close:

Who says turkey vultures are dull black???

I hope never to meet one face to face, but isn't this face handsome?

Menage a trois? Quatre?

Nesting time in the Lorikeet aviary.

and I couldn't resist purchasing a little cup of nectar to share.

I had to take at least one photo of the many life-sized bronze critters that add a bit of fun to the landscape. This little squirrel was caught filching peanuts from someone's lunchpail.

Finally, we came to the object of our quest, the lion family.

Born on September 7, 2013, this is one of the triplets.

Mom was nearby.

And here is Dad with one of his offspring.

Thanks for coming along with me to see the lion cubs!

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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51. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
10:24 PM GMT on March 22, 2014
BriarCraft has created a new entry.
50. BriarCraft
8:50 PM GMT on March 22, 2014
Data: That's a smart cost-cutting solution you came up with for kitty flea control. We are down to 4 cats this year, from a high of 7, so while our costs aren't as high as yours, they aren't cheap. I'll have to give your method some serious thought.

Sandi: I think you do have the same cold. I blamed my sneezing on having forgotten to take the zyrtec, but maybe not. I do know my face hurt from the congestion and I had trouble focusing on the computer screen. Today, I feel pretty fair -- definitely on the mend.

Poppy: I'm sorry I haven't been by to see your photos and blog update yet! Now that I am feeling better, I'll make a point of it this afternoon. I am interested!!!

So the pups have had their first taste of a tether. You're right, it did have to happen sooner or later. It will be much easier on them than other pups because TnT already know how to behave and to respond to your signals and calls. Still, they must have felt like they were being punished for no good reason.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
49. calpoppy
8:31 PM GMT on March 22, 2014
I came back to find you and Sandi with colds! You both need to get better!! You have a trip soon (I think) and Sandi has a lot going on at her house, LOL!

We had a great time, a couple of firsts. One, Tess got her first tick, she is sooo lucky. Two, we were busted for not tethering our pups up in the campsite, LOL! My poor pups who had never been tied up, were :( But we had a fifty foot rope and so each had 25', so they actually handled well ;) And, we all need to get used to it, as most all places require that.

I will share my AC here!

Happy spring from the desert!!!
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48. sandiquiz
8:02 AM GMT on March 22, 2014
Oh, this head cold only lasts three days? So I should be feeling better by this evening then, right?
I have never sneezed so much in my life...I thought the top if my head would explode!

As to a natural cough suppressant....have you tried black treacle? A spoonful allowed to melt and trickle down your throat really does sooth it and stop the tickling that makes you cough.
BTW - are you saying the cough comes after the head cold has cleared? Oh, thanks!

I have never needed flea treatment for my cats. They are house cats and never go out. A 60 mph road, less than 100 yards away, is a good enough reason to keep them safe. I can't see the road, and now have learnt to ignore it, but I know it is there.
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47. DataPilot
12:18 AM GMT on March 22, 2014
On a related subject, would you believe BFH recently referred me to petbucket.com in London, where I can get 6 Frontline flea treatments for $37 vs. $60 here. Go figure.

BriarCraft, I'll let you in on a trick our veterinarian taught us. Have you ever noticed that the flea treatments for cats and dogs all cost roughly the same per dose, even though a large dog dose consists of a much greater amount of medication? If you purchase the jumbo-dog sized flea medication, you can split a single vial over 6-8 cats. Just use a dosing syringe. Your veterinarian may even be willing to help you, if you ask.

Whatever you do, make sure that the dog product you buy is a formulation that is safe for cats. Some dog flea products are fine on cats, but others can be lethal!

For example, if you study the label for Advantage II for Dogs (NOT Advantix!) and compare it to Advantage II for Cats, you'll notice that the formulation is identical. The only difference is the price. Ounce per ounce, the large dog product costs a fraction of what is charged for the cat product.

We have more than a dozen cats, so we've gotten good at keeping down the cost of cat ownership. We have to.
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46. BriarCraft
10:48 PM GMT on March 21, 2014
So I resemble Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and I sound like Jeremiah the Bullfrog, so what? DH only felt ill for 3 days and, well, so did I -- though it sure felt longer than that. Sore throat on Monday, but otherwise fine. Tuesday thru Thursday, miserable. NOTE TO SELF: Just because you come down with a cold, don't forget the zyrtec! Allergy attack on top of head cold = no fun.

This morning, I couldn't go more than a minute without coughing and that took the starch right out of me. And then I remembered WINE. I hate the stuff, but keep a bottle or two around for when my parents visit. I pulled the cork on one of those this morning, poured some into a shot glass, took the tiniest sip. And stopped coughing immediately. I swear that stuff works better than any cough medicine.

Sandi: So sorry I shared my head cold with you.

I was intrigued by the Whiskas Dentabits, as they look better than the Purina Whisker Lickins that I give my cats. A search revealed they are strictly British, which I find interesting, as there are other Whiskas products available here.

On a related subject, would you believe BFH recently referred me to petbucket.com in London, where I can get 6 Frontline flea treatments for $37 vs. $60 here. Go figure.

Ylee: Silly man! Of course blogs are contagious. Pffft!!! I came down with one in 2010 and I haven't been able to get over it yet. I'm beginning to think it might be terminal (pun intended).

Prose and GG: Thanks for getting some spring mojo going. Lot's of folks are ready to say good riddance to winter.

WTS: Cold AND allergies combined. Not fun.
No more standing water in the garden patch, but the mud is so wet it's shiny. Probably still okay for planting rice.
I have a fondness for Brother Miles's music, too, and I truly don't think it's because he is my brother.

WW: Glad you liked the music!
Thanks for sending the cardinal and bluebird over to spread that springtime feeling.
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45. WeatherWise
12:05 AM GMT on March 21, 2014
Hi Briarcraft, I hope you are feeling better. I checked out your brother's music website. He is good! Thanks for sharing the link.

Happy Spring!

Spring is the Cardinal in the Red Tips

And Spring is the chickadees in the Bluebird House!
Hey, and the Bluebirds showed up one day too late.

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44. WatchinTheSky
9:12 PM GMT on March 20, 2014
Hope the nose is not worn off yet!! Maybe it is just allergies from the rice paddy?
Was just checking out brothermiles - loud and funky ;) Good stuff!
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43. GardenGrrl
6:50 PM GMT on March 20, 2014
Hey guess what time it is?
It's Springtime!

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42. Proserpina
3:44 PM GMT on March 20, 2014

"Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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41. WeatherWise
3:42 PM GMT on March 20, 2014
Hope you cold is better this am.

Going to check out your brother's music website.
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40. Ylee
2:06 PM GMT on March 20, 2014
Are the blogs contagious? Maybe I'd better stay away.... :' )

Hope you feel better soon!
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39. sandiquiz
1:34 PM GMT on March 20, 2014
We have a cat treat here made by Whiskas called Dentabits

I used to give them to Blue, but he had one bite and then swallowed. Max at least crunches them up before swallowing them.
I also exercise him at the same time, as I make him sit and wait, then I throw the biscuit into the hall and he chases it, before coming back and sitting by my feet, waiting for me to throw another!

I have your head cold.... so you have my sympathy! Yuck :(
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38. BriarCraft
7:25 PM GMT on March 19, 2014
PSP: You're an inch ahead of me for March rain to date, 5.6" here. It is soooo soggy around here and, since it has warmed up into the 50s and 60s, the grass has started growing between all the inter-connected puddles. Can't possibly mow, but it sure does need it. Hopefully it will dry out a bit before the grass gets too terribly high.

Data: A quick check revealed that you did succeed in posting a couple of comments to your own blog.

FYI to all, DataPilot put some good computer/virus advice on her blog and on WatchinTheSky's blog as well.

Sandi: Funny you should mention trying to brush Max's teeth. I have tried that, both with the rubber fingertip bristle thingy and a cat-sized toothbrush. On multiple cats. Even using special pet toothpaste. That is far worse than giving a cat a pill, which I can do on the 1st day, but not so much by the 5th day. My current theory about brushing a cat's teeth is that it is a clever marketing ploy to extract money from us for useless items. I have gotten the best results by giving "tartar control" treats which are extra crunchy. Even so, after 10-12 years, most cats need to go in for an ultrasonic teeth cleaning. (Siamese have a genetic predisposition to bad teeth, so they need more frequent treatments.)

GG: I did manage some chicken ramen noodles between coughing jags. The one good thing about this particular cold is it hasn't caused any chest congestion. If neck and head were amputated, I'd feel fine.

My brother, the musician, has got his very own website as of today. If you've got a few minutes to spare, go check it out:
He is the organist in the Green Onions video and the audio-only music is all composed and performed by him. As you might have figured out by now, I'm a big fan of Brother Miles -- he's that good.
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37. GardenGrrl
10:01 AM GMT on March 19, 2014
"What DO We Want? "Chicken Soup!" "When Do We Want It?" "NOW!" ....how old hippies protest having the flu.

Hope you feel better soon.
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36. sandiquiz
8:01 AM GMT on March 19, 2014
Oh, no, poor you. That sounds like a really nasty virus.
Once DH begins to feel better I hope he looks after you.
Funnily enough, I awoke with a sore throat this morning....I do hope it isn't the precursor to a bout of 'something'!!

Lots of hot drinks ...particularly honey and whiskey:-)

Hope the kitty at the 'dentist vet' has arrived home and feels Ok. I am trying, trying being the operative word, to brush Max's teeth....he allows me to do the front, but not the back! Lol
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35. DataPilot
3:54 AM GMT on March 19, 2014
Oh no, that sounds an awful lot like the virus that I picked in Portland a few weeks ago. Nasty, nasty - I'm still coughing from it. I do think that you are on the right track with your blankie and triple-strength kitty cat treatment. Purring kitties do wonders for making you feel better. Also hot soup, and plenty of ibuprofen.

I've tried three times now to respond to your comment on my on own blog, and each time my posting went into a black hole. I'm going to try again tonight. Wish me luck.
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34. PugetSoundPost
11:31 PM GMT on March 18, 2014
Hope your cold passes quickly! Get well! I just saw your zoo photos and they are always fun. The zoo controversy continues and is a tough one to resolve. It is nice to have a place to see animals that most of us surely never will see in the wild. And once you see them and connect to them personally that way, I think a person is much more apt to actually care and be more pro-active to donate or whatever to help their wild state. Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is certainly worth seeing for you. Feeding the birds with the seed sticks (a bit pricey ($1 per stick, I think) and very soon eaten) is fun. We were out with wild lorikeets in Australia and that was a fun experience - so different from Western Washington birds!

We are up to 6.70" rain for March currently here at home, and tomorrow looks like another pretty rainy day. It is funny how the rainy season has been rather well confined, so far, to September and March, with so little rain, compared to average, in between. I wonder how the rest of spring will go?
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33. BriarCraft
10:53 PM GMT on March 18, 2014
WW: Oh dear! Snow and ice at your place? But it was springtime there just a few days ago!

DH, always generous, decided to share his head cold with me. I haven't had a cold for over 10 years, but it seems this rhinovirus is making up for lost time.

My nose is so stuffy I can't blow it, but that doesn't stop it from dripping. Right about now, I closely resemble Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Every hour or two, I get a bout of chills that requires no less than a blankie and three cats to warm me. Sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat, chills. I sound like an ad for cold rememdies.

Gotta go find another Ricola and some tissues.
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32. WeatherWise
6:17 PM GMT on March 17, 2014
BriarCraft, I thought it was a super exciting series.

We have a coating of ice on cars and grassy areas. When I went out to the mailbox a bit ago, still ice falling and very, very fine snow so fine that it flutters around before falling. Has been very cold today. Our high was when we woke up and dropped quickly to the 20s. Is 28 now with windchill of 22.
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31. BriarCraft
6:02 PM GMT on March 17, 2014
Thanks for the fun St. (Rice) Paddy's Day graphics!

Prose: Mother Nature has got to be confused, dumping snow on Virginia this late in March!

WeatherWise clued me in to a great photo series of a Sandhill Crane FAMILY in the WU gallery. And here I am hoping just to see some adults on my upcoming SE Washington photo shoot.

Isn't this special?
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30. Proserpina
5:22 PM GMT on March 17, 2014
@Maria photo 20140317_1056_edited-1framed_zpsf36d7a9a.jpg

Today we woke up to eight inches of snow, it clung to every branch, covered the few spring flowers that dared to bloom yesterday, frustrated Mimi who wants to be in the snow to play, gave me the opportunity to enjoy the winter wonderland and to take lots of photos.
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29. WatchinTheSky
4:53 PM GMT on March 17, 2014

What happened to all your rain?? Rice paddy will dry out!
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28. WeatherWise
1:02 PM GMT on March 17, 2014
It's St. Patrick's Day - Don't forget to wear GREEN!

Have a wonderful Monday!
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27. GardenGrrl
10:12 AM GMT on March 17, 2014
Happy St Rice Paddy's Day!
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26. Ylee
5:07 AM GMT on March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Briar! Hopfully thing wilol be greening up there soon!
From Millan.Net
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25. BriarCraft
5:02 AM GMT on March 17, 2014
Data: There's a wolf sanctuary an hour's drive from here that is very much like the 1994 version of the Raptor Center you describe. I think one has to make an appointment and be part of a group to get inside the gate. While I understand that they restrict access out of concern for the animals, I believe they also restrict the amount of money that is donated to their cause. People have to see to understand, to care. Otherwise it's too easy for us to not even think about it.

I don't know about you, but there are a lot of relatively nearby places I really should visit/check out/explore. I've been working on that. The year before and the year after I had my hip replacement, I started paying attention to things worth seeing within day-trip range. It started mostly because I couldn't do a lot of what I wanted to do and I didn't want to just sit around. When I regained my mobility, I decided to keep on visiting local and semi-local sights. It was something I could fit in between regular activities. It didn't cost much. And I had discovered I really enjoyed it.

My point is not to toot my own horn, but to maybe remind you that there is a gorgeous world around you within 50 miles of Eugene in every direction. Life is too short to take such things for granted.

GG: Whenever I run across a habitat being restored, I leave a donation, too. We have paved over too much, broken up migration paths, drained swamps, etc. It's the least we can do to help fix some of what we've messed up.

I can just picture you with lorikeets perched on your arms, shoulders, and head with a huge grin on your face. The only way that scene could get better is if corgi puppies were swarming around your feet, right?

Prose: I hope Mimi's recovery is quick, so she can get rid of that dratted radar dish around her neck. That is a cute collage and it shows she has perked up some.


Here in western Washington, we now have our third wettest March ever, and it's only half over. Could be we're on our way to a new record. Today, it was a steady rain all day long, without a single break. Even though the bird feeders are all under cover, they were soggy from all the little wet bird feet and drippy bird feathers. 1.2 inches so far today, with two hours yet to go.
4.4 inches so far this month
4.9 inches average for the entire month
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24. Proserpina
11:18 PM GMT on March 16, 2014
Mimi @Maria photo PicMonkeyCollagef_zpsfb210830.jpg

I love this animal blog! Everything except the bats, well they are cute but I am not comfortable with them.
I hope that you have been well and getting around to take your nice photos.
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23. GardenGrrl
10:39 PM GMT on March 16, 2014
Hi, okay, have to admit I love the new style zoo's. They really do serve a purpose in being ambassadors to the wild world for people who will never visit these places but may start making donations to help preserve those areas.
I know I always drop a 20 into one of the donate to preserve wild habitat boxes they have out.

And yes I'm a little kid again in the parakeet/cockatiel open flight cage :D So, for me zoo blogs and visits are wonderful.
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22. DataPilot
8:09 PM GMT on March 16, 2014
We used to live within easy walking distance, almost literally in the back yard, of Cascade Raptor Center for years. In fact, I remember when the Fox Hollow Road facility first hung out their sign. But I never visited. Their website says that they opened to the public in 1994, but all of the many times that I was there (a public hiking trail runs from my former home to a parking lot next door to their facility), their gate was closed. I'm not sure if visiting hours were limited, or if tours of their facility had to be pre-arranged back in those days.

Now that we live 20 miles away, the Raptor Center has regular public visitation hours. Hubby and I have said, numerous times, "We really should go visit", but we haven't done it yet. We live near a wetland area that has a tremendous variety of avian life, and are able to watch raptors without leaving our property. But we could get a lot more up-close and personal to the birds if we visited the Raptor Center.

Thank you for mentioning the damage that the ice storm did to the Raptor Center facilities. We didn't hear about it, probably because our power and internet were out for so long. I'll contact them and see if they need more help. I'm sure that a donation would be welcome, even if the storm damage has been cleaned up.
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21. BriarCraft
7:40 AM GMT on March 16, 2014
Data: Somehow, showing that video to an imprisoned orca seems like adding insult to injury. For a species supposedly smart, humans sure do some stupid things sometimes, don't we?

You did a nice job of completing the Keiko story. I'm no friend of businesses that exploit animals, especially intelligent animals. Many were taught a lesson by that story. I have seen a depressed gorilla and an endlessly pacing bear, too. Thankfully, modern zoos seem to have learned to do better. They still have improvements to make, but the successful ones, at least, are working on it.

YCD: I certainly identified with Papa Lion's interaction with the cubs (or whatever one calls small lions) - you can't just bite their head off, even though that is physically possible. Mamma Lion would make Papa regret such action and he knows that.
I can identify with that, too. At various times, my parents, DH, and I all were tempted to bite some kids' heads off and it was only respect for their nearby mothers that saved them. ;- )

Mike: You can certainly avoid zoos all you want, but I'm glad you realize that they do fill a useful purpose, at least some of the time. Zoos, more than any other organizations, have sponsored captive breeding programs. If not for the San Diego Zoo and others, California Condors would be extinct. Instead, they are being re-introduced into the wild. Zoos are a bit like modern Arks. Sad, but true, and I don't mind supporting them so that they can continue to improve living conditions for those within.

Sandi: Thank you! You just reinforced my point. There are many such worthy projects around and they need money to fund their efforts.

Dianna: Good to see you! I think childhood experiences and the cherished memories they create have a life-long influence on people. They teach us to have an interest and care about those with fur or feathers.

OBOP: I'm getting a reputation! I seem to recall that having a reputation was not a particularly good thing in high school. Just kidding. And thanks for the compliment.

Your perspective from being a volunteer at the Wildlife Care Center is a great one. You know better than most that there are birds, and animals too, that can't survive in the wild but that can have a life worth living in captivity. I'm sure no zoo visitor would mind seeing a peregrine with a crippled foot.

I thought I recognized the woman with the turkey vulture. She is memorable for her pretty hair and her peaceful demeanor. Thanks for reminding me where I had seen her before.

I looked up Cascade Raptor Center and bookmarked it in my browser. That definitely looks like place I would enjoy visiting.

Data: Cascade Raptor Center is practically in your back yard. Have you been there? On their website it says they had about $20,000 worth of damage from snow and ice recently. Must be from the same storm that knocked your power out.
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20. oregonbirdofprey
9:32 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
Briar you're always doing things I like to do too. I was out at the zoo last summer after having not been there for a few years. The lady in your picture holding the turkey vulture is also a volunteer with me at Audubon. Several of our volunteers are at the zoo as well. I was lucky to get a "back-door" tour of the zoo education bird facility last summer and got to see, among other birds, a one-eyed bald eagle that we had rehabed at Audubon two years prior. Very nice to see one of "our" birds that's not releaseable find a good home at the zoo.

Data I think it's true that many of us humans who've had the opportunity to fly in small aircraft feel a special connection with large soaring birds. From the time I was a kid I've loved watching them, round and round, up, up, up they go, seemingly effortlessly. Once in a glider a redtail hawk joined us in flight. It eased up just ahead of the starboard wing tip, stayed there for 4 or 5 minutes, then dropped away. I imagine it thought we were some kind of giant funny looking bird.

The bat picture is my favorite too.

I have some misgivings about zoos and aquariums too. I'm old enough to remember when zoos were not much more than steel cages where animals lived what we now know must have been physically and emotionally torturous lives. It's true that things are much much better these days but so is our knowledge of animal cognition and emotions. I feel bad still for large animals, including and especially dolphines and whales. I would prefer zoos and aquariums housed animals who were not releasable for whatever reasons (some do) and species that are threatened or endangered and would benefit from research and captive breeding programs.

Finally for those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest or visit sometimes I also highly recomend the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon and the Cascade Raptor Center near Eugene, Oregon. Both institutions that strive to learn about and improve the lives of animals.

Another great blog Briar, you're getting a reputation!
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19. DataPilot
8:42 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
BriarCraft, I hope you don't mind if I put one more long comment about Keiko on your blog.

Seeing the plight of that poor orca in Seattle circa 1971 forever changed the way I viewed wildlife in captivity. In those days, most orcas didn't survive longer than a year or two out of the wild - that is, IF they survived the initial capture period, which they often didn't. Keeping them alive was incredibly expensive, but that expense was more than offset by the income they brought in.

Here's a wonderful video showing an inside look at Keiko's life. It was produced while he was living in Newport, prior to his release into the wild. (Warning: it's a tear-jerker)
The Free Willy Story: Keiko's Journey Home

It's impossible for me to forget the day that Keiko was flown out of Newport on a UPS plane. He was released into a sea pen near Iceland, and eventually into the open ocean where his original family still lives. While he enjoyed frolicking with other orcas for a while, he left them and started swimming northeast. He didn't stop until he got to Norway and found new human friends. He died of pneumonia a year and a half later. This video tells the rest of the story.
The Whale that would not be Freed

Whether or not Keiko should have been released is still being debated; however, almost everyone agrees that the real tragedy was taking him out of the wild in the first place.

But there is a silver lining. People around the world - especially children - loved Keiko. My hope is that the next generation has learned the importance of treating wild creatures with respect and allowing them the freedom that they deserve. Animals aren't just resources to be exploited for financial gain.

Keiko helped teach us that.
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18. osdianna
4:06 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
My grandparents lived in the San Diego area, Oceanside, and I was born there, so our summer trips back to visit the grandparents usually included a trip to the San Diego Zoo...we're talking from about 1955, ancient history! I never made it to the Safari Animal Park, which opened in 1972. I remember comparing it to the San Francisco Zoo and finding it (SF) lacking....oh, and the SF Zoo members got to attend an evening trip around the zoo once a year, where I remember offering an apple to a giraffe and having his tongue wrap entirely around my hand, spitty. They always had a live animal to pet at those occasions and I remember being allowed to hold a koala. It was a memory I cherish.

Thanks for the zoo tour!
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17. sandiquiz
1:44 PM GMT on March 15, 2014
......that zoos fill an important role in preserving some species and in educating or reminding people that we aren't the only ones who need a place to live on this planet.

There is a very special zoo in St Helier, Jersey, that I have visited a couple times. It was started in 1958 by Gerald Durrell, simply to protect and breed endangered species. Its biggest success was opening a wildlife park in Madagascar where the almost extinct Aye-Aye now has a healthy breeding population.
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16. clearlakemike
3:30 AM GMT on March 15, 2014
I hate zoos or seeing animals in captivity but I did enjoy the photos (and will watch the video later.) The Monterey Aquarium is sort of ok in that respect although very beautiful and interesting.

Having said all that, I am beginning to think that zoo's, particularly the ones like the San Diego Zoo, might end up becoming the last refuge for some of these wild animals before they become extinct in the wild, unfortunately. Sorry to be such a "Debbie Downer" but...

Anyway, on a more positive note, I enjoyed seeing the Turkey Vulture very much. Who knew they were so colorful. When you see them on the road they look so funereal.

Great photo of you and the Lorikeet! :) The bats are cute too, lol
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15. ycd0108
2:41 AM GMT on March 15, 2014
I don't see my handle in your responses so I guess I haven't commented here yet.
I certainly identified with Papa Lion's interaction with the cubs (or whatever one calls small lions) - you can't just bite their head off, even though that is physically possible. Mamma Lion would make Papa regret such action and he knows that.
Could it be that Papa is attempting to pass on a lesson or two?
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14. DataPilot
2:11 AM GMT on March 15, 2014
Here's a quick clip of Keiko the orca watching TV.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
13. BriarCraft
1:14 AM GMT on March 15, 2014
Data: It's been about 10 years since I was at the Aquarium in Newport and you are absolutely right about that magnificent jellyfish display. That aquarium is one of the better ones I've seen, comparable to the Monterey and Scripps aquariums in Cali.

My recollection of the Winston Safari also includes an ostrich. This one wasn't looking for food, but thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. He wanted to exit with us and one of the keepers directed us to help him herd the ostrich with our car.

As to large mammal captivity, there ought be a law about that. Orcas, elephants, lions, wolves, etc. not only need room to get proper exercise, they need a stimulating environment and the company of their own kind. If they must be in captivity, for whatever reason, they deserve to be treated with respect at the very least.
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12. DataPilot
8:34 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
BriarCraft - It's been at least 10 years since I've been to Wildlife Safari, although I've driven past countless times. I like the fact that the animals are walking around free, while the people are in the cages (their cars). The last time we were there, an ostrich stuck his head through the window into our car, and spent a good two minutes looking for food. Once he realized that there was nothing worth eating, he moved on.

Probably the saddest example of a "zoo" that I can remember was a salt water tank in Seattle back in the early 1970s. A single orca lived in a tank so small that he could swim all the way around in a few seconds. Around and around he swam, while people reached out and touched his back. Not much of a life for such an intelligent animal. The orca probably came from a brutal 1970 capture in Penn Cove, Whidbey Island. Coincidentally, my family moved to Penn Cove shortly after we'd visited the Seattle orca, and lived there for 4 years. I never once saw a wild orca in the cove.

Hubby and I visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport during the time when Keiko of "Free Willy" fame was living there. While his tank was very large for being in an aquarium, with plenty of activities available, Keiko seemed bored. (I'm still trying to find a photo of him watching his TV.) About the only thing he paid much attention to were the people around his tank. It didn't surprise me that he fared poorly when he was released into the wild near Iceland.

Have you been to the aquarium in Newport? If not, you really should go. The jellyfish display alone is worth the trip.
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11. BriarCraft
7:22 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Do WU have any idea how gratifying it is to see this many visitors less than 24 hours after posting a new blog? Especially considering the subject. When putting this post together, I thought this isn't very interesting, but it will be a decent filler until my trek to SE Washington at the end of the month.

GG: I hope you're out having some springtime fun, too.

WTS: I hadn't been up close with any lorikeets for maybe 15 years. It was time.
I was told the vulture weighs about 4 pounds and the wingspan looked to be about 5 feet. The hawk weighs about 3 pounds.

Data: I went to the zoo 3-4 years ago when they had a new baby elephant. I don't recall seeing lions or tigers before, either, but I did not get the impression that they were new additions. The way the zoo is arranged, with inter-connected loops, it is easy to miss a section completely.

Being in Eugene, you're not that far from the Winston Wildlife Safari, down by Roseburg. Have you been there recently? It must be 20+ years since I've been.

It must be nice having that persistent thermal updraft nearby. It is nice to watch the vultures soaring in lazy circles.

Skye: I never fed a giraffe before. Sounds like fun!

Sandi: Yes, it was a guy with that massive camera lens. And heavy-duty tripod. I don't think he could have snapped a quick shot if his life depended on it. I do wonder what good such a lens could be when taking a photo of a lorikeet from ten feet away. He certainly couldn't do any real close-ups. Methinks he was more concerned with making a good show of it.

Zoos went out of favor here in the 70s, too, but instead of doing away with them, the various zoological societies set about reworking the zoos to get rid of bars and make the enclosures as pleasant as possible for the animals. As a result, zoos seem to be almost perpetually reworking one section or another. The Oregon Zoo certainly bears no resemblance to the zoo I visited as a child, when it first opened in 1959, or it's predecessor that was nothing but a row of barren cages.

There is a drive-through safari park in southern Oregon. And San Diego, California, has a very large safari park with an elevated train for the people.

Cloudy: Thanks for the Garden Song! I had forgotten that one. It's one of those "simple" songs that have lyrics worth listening to. I'll be humming that this afternoon when I go out to the greenhouse.

WW: Thanks for your kind words. I was concerned that the photos weren't going to be much, since most were taken through thick, hazy plexiglas. Thanks to Photoscape, I got fairly good results by adjusting brighten (not brightness), contrast, and a tiny nudge to "saturation".

I always have trouble thinning little seedlings. I have to fight the impulse to try to transplant them all, reminding myself just how many basil and parsley plants I want. That number may be as high as six plants, but definitely not six dozen, so then I get to work thinning. I do confess to doing it in stages to make sure I keep the best of the bunch.

Skye: I never fed a giraffe before. Sounds like fun!

Ylee: Their poo is just about a clear liquid so it doesn't stain or make much of a mess. And, yes, you need to watch what branch you stand under.

I have a hunch those cubs could to a pretty good job of shredding anyone who tried to cuddle them now.

Poppy: I'm not a huge fan of zoos, but it is nice to go occasionally, when there is something special to see. It is unfortunate, but true, that zoos fill an important role in preserving some species and in educating or reminding people that we aren't the only ones who need a place to live on this planet.

I've not been to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo yet. We'll have to check it out one of these days and buy a couple of seed sticks.
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10. calpoppy
4:46 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
I love the bat photo! I am not big on zoos, though being with Brody at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle was a hoot and a half!!! We went into a place where they have cockatiels and parakeets. You buy a seed stick and hold it out. ! second later you are covered with birds! Brody was awed and then laughed and laughed!

I like the turkey vultures too! They came close last summer when they spied a ground squirrel that TNT had killed, not attractive heads but the rest are pretty, LOL!
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9. Ylee
2:53 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Looks like a nice day for a fun trip, Briar! I've never been where they fed lorikeets, so if you feed them, do you run the risk of them pooping on your hand? :' )

The cubs are growing fast, aren't they? I think they've grown past the cuddle stage!
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8. WeatherWise
2:01 PM GMT on March 14, 2014
Braiarcraft! Wonderful share, as always, in your new blog entry! Your photos are gorgeous and your dialogue brings them off of the page. Sounds like you had a wonderful afternoon. Thanks for the photos and the video link.

Both, my parsley and basil have popped up and are their own little personalities. Now to decide when it is time to thin. It is still pretty cold here for tender plants so will have to keep them inside for a good while longer. Glad I have a nice sunny window for them.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
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7. Cloudyinthewest
9:03 AM GMT on March 14, 2014
Hello BriarCraft,

Those are interesting photos of the birds and lions, and the information as well.

I thought you might like this garden song by John Denver.
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6. sandiquiz
7:16 AM GMT on March 14, 2014
What a great day out you seem to have had. Sunshine, family and some great photos.

It is years since I have been to a zoo. We do not have many here in the UK. They fell out of favour in the 70's when the safari park, Woburn opened.

The oldest zoo is probably Regents Park Zoo in London, which also has a site not far from here, where the big animals roam. It has been around since 1828 and was originally a Zoological Society Collection. (Had too look that bit up, I didn't know it off the top of my head!)

Love the photo of the tiger, and I agree, such a great face, but not one I would like to I snuggle up to! I had to smile at the guy, I presume it is a guy, in the background of the feeding Lorikeet shot, with his massive camera lens!! That one doesn't fit in a handbag!!

Thank you for your very kind words on my blog :-)

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5. Skyepony (Mod)
4:50 AM GMT on March 14, 2014
Those nectar birds always harass me into buying them a cup. We have giraffes that beg you to buy them crackers too.

Looks like a fun zoo.
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4. DataPilot
4:23 AM GMT on March 14, 2014
What a fun way to spend a nice day! It's been quite a few years since I was at thet Oregon Zoo. I mostly remember being impressed by the elephants; I don't recall seeing the lions at all. OK, maybe it's been more than "quite a few" years since I last visited the Zoo. Maybe that's my cue to go back and visit. I live near Eugene, Oregon, about 2 hours south of the Oregon Zoo, so visiting is good day trip.

I love the the fact that the Zoo highlights native bird species. Believe it or not, but turkey vultures are one of my very favorite birds, and incredibly fun to watch. Not so much when they're busy cleaning up road kill (yuck), but they are when they're soaring in a thermal updraft. Our land is situated in a way that results in a persistent thermal throughout warm months, and the vultures like to congregate there. I've watched groups of them soaring for long periods of time without flapping their wings once. Pretty awesome.

We have lots of red tailed hawks near my home, too. We even had a hawk living in a tree in our front yard a while back. Lately, there's a hawk just down the road that likes to sit on top of a particular signpost, scanning nearby fields for prey. I keep hoping I'll get the opportunity to see her swoop down and grab a rodent. But no dice, so far anyway.

I'm just glad that the Zoo is there, allowing kids to see and learn about the beauty of animals.

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3. WatchinTheSky
4:21 AM GMT on March 14, 2014
Looks like a great day for the trip! So sunny, rain must be north. From that angle, the turkey vulture looks almost petite :) It's been a while since I checked out the lorikeets at the Park, so friendly, 'course they know where the food is!
Great photos!
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2. GardenGrrl
11:23 PM GMT on March 13, 2014
First! First! How cool! Looks like a lot of fun and perfect weather.
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1. BriarCraft
11:16 PM GMT on March 13, 2014
From the last blog (and of course, this does not count as "first"):

Quoting 67. BriarCraft:
BFH: Even though starlings are considered an invasive species here, wouldn't it be great to see a murmuration for real, just once?

Sandi: Yes, mine is a Forest Flame,as well.
Even if you don't intentionally splash puddles, if you enjoy crunching autumn leaves, you haven't grown up, either! May we never get so old that we don't enjoy being silly once in awhile.

PSP: Rain is back tonight, but this is the third gorgeous spring day in a row. We had fog this morning and Tuesday, clear and frosty yesterday morning. It has been sunny today since the fog burned off, but I am watching clouds moving in from the west and they will cover the sun before long.

Tuesday afternoon was a productive yardening time. Wednesday, DH and I stopped to fetch my parents and the four of us enjoyed the afternoon at the Oregon Zoo. Today, I have been fussing with the new and "improved" email that ToledoTel has foisted off on its customers. I won't go into all tedious and frustrating detail; suffice it to say that, though our email addresses remain the same, they are going to the deep, dark Google data mine. Setup was a bear and then I discovered I had lost access to my YouTube account in the process. After much fuss and bother, I did manage to recover my YouTube content.

New blog in the works...
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