Photo Friday: Penguins and Pandas and Bears, Oh My…

I used to live out by the Toronto Zoo — well, not around the corner, but a fairly short drive away. We’d go a fair bit and I was even a member for a few years. Then I moved downtown and my focus changed. It would be a long drive out there, anyway, and there were so many interesting things to discover in the urban part of the city.

As I’ve started to get stronger again after last year’s hospitalization, we’ve been looking to range further afield. And I started having a hankering to explore the Zoo again. So we went. This was fully knowing that it would flatten me for several days, but it’s probably not a surprise if I say that it was absolutely worth it.

Toronto’s had pandas for a visit for the last few years and they had cubs. By now indistinguishable from the adults, but four pandas is quite something. They moved to Calgary next year, and then I assume back to China. What I need to know is that as the cubs were born in Canada, doesn’t that make them Canadian citizens? Do we get to keep them?

We didn’t cover nearly everything — it’s a vast area — but that gives us a great reason to go back. What we saw was amazing. 

Well, the things I was able to see. The zoo was built a long time ago and back then, there were different ideas of what is an acceptable grade for a ramp, for instance. This made the journey occasionally quite nerve-racking interesting and occasionally frustrating when I couldn’t see the animals, nevermind photograph them. There were several areas that were under construction and I sincerely hope that these will include an accessibility upgrade.

What I could see, and there was lots, was absolutely wonderful and occasionally very funny.

We got stuck by the polar bears for quite a while. First we tried taking underwater shots and that went nowhere. Then we watched this one frolic in the water while munching on the remnants of its lunch. This included a pear, which turned out to be an excellent tool for scale, giving you a real sense of how huge these animals are.

We also spent a lot of time looking at the penguins. Again, we tried some underwater shots and I did get a few that might with a lot of work get vaguely sharper, but it was aboveground that the action was.

Part of that action included two cormorants. They started out sitting on their own perches, but then moseyed closer. By the time one of them gave the other a stick, I started thinking there might be a courtship brewing. They danced together for a while — have you seen the green of their eyes? — and then… Well, things got extremely National Geographic as the courtship had consequences. If the stick was first base, it very quickly progressed to a home run.

And of course I have photos, but although this isn’t a completely family-friendly blog, it’s not all the way to adult. You’ll have to make do with the beginning of the dance.

Pandas, tigers (mostly invisible from the boardwalk above), polar bears, porcupines, penguins and copulating cormorants.

It was an excellent day at the zoo.


What a great day. You two look great! 😄😊
Rick said…
It looks like a cool zoo. I have never been, but maybe someday.

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