One of the highlights during this trip to Detroit was my final day of activities…visiting the Detroit Zoo. This was my second visit to Detroit’s zoo, with my last time being in 2015. The day started out a bit cloudy, but I still wanted to get to the zoo before any rain decided to come down. Once there, the parking lot was soooo packed, I ended up parking on the 4th level top deck. Once inside, my first stop while walking past the new penguin exhibit was to see the Bactrian Camels, who were just sitting and lying around. As I walk further, I feel a few drizzle drops of rain. It starts to rain steady for a few minutes, so I find a huge, leafy tree to stand under. After about a 10 minute rain shower, the sun comes out making for what will appear to be a great day at the zoo.
My main attractions to check out were the lions, tigers, bears, gorillas and bald eagles. I arrive at the Amur Tiger area, but couldn’t locate him right away. But after further viewing, I spot him below asleep in his den. I snap a few photos and move on because I didn’t think he would be getting up any time soon. I then make my way over to the Chimpanzees and Gorillas. Once there, I see many Chimpanzees running around to the point that I couldn’t focus on any of them. Walking over to another side, I spot two Chimps on a ledge sleeping and playing. As I capture them, I spot another Chimp up in a tree, so I go over and catch her up in the tree lying back, legs crossed posing for everyone. Later, while walking around to find the Bears, I spot a Western Lowland Silverback Gorilla walking about, so I stopped to see if he would do anything interesting! After looking for a shaded spot, he sat down and ate on some green leaves, which gave me an opportunity to get a great shot of him! After that, I walked around and spotted a group of Greater and Chilean Flamingo eating, and a male Peacock Peafowl and a female Peahen Peafowl. Actually, lots of the Peafowl were walking around throughout the zoo minding their own business. Next up were the Red Kangaroo. A pretty interesting thing with the kangaroo were that you were able to go inside their exhibit and walk right past them as they laid around in the shade. But the scary part was even if one of them hopped over to you, you were not allowed to touch them. It was a pretty cool walk through, though…very different. The Grizzly Bears and Reticulated Giraffe were next as I walked past a very busy Groundhog. Other animals I saw throughout my walk were an African Spurred Tortoise, Grevy’s Zebra, White Rhinoceros, Japanese Macaque and a lone Bison sitting in some shade, with the rest of its body getting some sunshine.
As time is winding down on this great afternoon (no summer hours yet), I make my way towards the exit and stop to photograph the African Lions. The male lion was asleep in the shade, while the female lion was asleep in the sun in front of me. Although they were behind very thick glass, I was able to squeeze off a few shots of the sleeping beauty, including a close-up of her h-u-g-e paws. The last animals I photographed were the Bald Eagle…my second favorite animal in the world behind the Cheetah. I photographed two of the three eagles, who were very photogenic, partly because they suffered wing injuries and can’t fly. Their movement seemed to be limited as well. Interesting facts about the Bald Eagle:
*A symbol of strength and freedom, the bald eagle was chosen in 1782 as the National Emblem and is pictured on the Great Seal of the United States.
*The bald eagle uses its feathers to balance. When it loses a feather on one wing, it will also lose a matching feather on the other side.
*The bald eagle earned its name from the Old English word "balde", meaning white, referring to the distinctive white feathers covering its head and tail.