Ancient History

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Jungle Love

Springtime at the zoo is a festival of animal instincts displayed. Yesterday we were treated to shows of “instinct” all around us at the Denver zoo. We met my sister-in-law (Nini) and my niece and nephew there. The day was overcast and chilly and the older kids were skeptical that they would survive being exposed to temperatures below standard mall thermostat settings. It didn’t take long for them to forget it wasn’t 72 controlled degrees, however.

From the start we noticed that the animals seemed more active, more frisky than usual. All around us the drive to Xerox genes was in full-force. Birds were having gang wars over nesting turf. The seals were running after each other and tumbling into the water while biting. Peacocks were strutting, male ducks were were chasing hysterical and panicked-looking female ducks, the grizzlies were dancing snout-to-snout, and the monkeys were swinging wildly. Either someone slipped caffeine into the Gorilla Chow or we were privileged witnesses to the Circle of Life in action, ready for another trip around.

The birds, the bees, the chimpanzees. I half-expected to hear Barry White and the sound of champagne corks popping in the pens and viewing areas.

Here a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep butts heads with a stump in an impressive show of masculine smarts:
butt head

Those two crazy kids, the Grizzlies:
fred and ginger

I am still surprised that the kids didn’t ask more questions, beyond “when’s lunch?” and “can we ride the train?” They simply thought the animals were being funny or fighting. Who knows, maybe we did witness a few lover’s quarrels (he shed his skin on the floor again).

If we were to go back to the zoo in 6-8 weeks we would see piles of baby rabbits and conga lines of ducklings following their mothers (I promise I won’t dream of eating them). Instead I will just admire the fuzzy, adorable brilliance of another chance to go around the circle.

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