When YA and I went to San Diego last month, the second attraction on our list was the San Diego Zoo. The zoo has a great reputation and YA has wanted to go there for years.
It was hot that day (although not as hot as the day before at the Safari Park) and due to covid, none of the zoo shuttles were running. Like the Park, the zoo is built on the hills of San Diego, with different regions of the world represented in their own areas. And like we did at the park, YA and I covered the whole thing during our day there.
Our first surprise was the North Sulawesi Babirusa. Never heard of it? Neither had we! The last time I encountered an animal new to me was 20+ years ago on my first trip to Africa. In Kenya I saw an okapi – a large deer that looks like a cross between a horse and a zebra. Babirusa means “pig deer” Malaysian and have daunting looking teeth and the males also have remarkably dangerous looking upper tusks. We didn’t see any baby babirusa but if you look online, they are very cute.
We got our second surprise about an hour later in the Africa Rocks section of the zoo. We came upon a large empty enclosure with a sign that said “Fossa” – another animal that neither YA nor I had ever heard of. One of the zoo employees told us that they had just cleaned the enclosure and would be putting out “lunch” for the fossa in a minute, so we stayed. She put food all over the space so the fossa would “hunt” for it. If you’ve every thought about what the result of a dog and cat union would be, the fossa is it. Or maybe dog, cat and weasel? It was beautiful with a long, luxuriant tale and looked like it would be quite a proficient hunter. Their natural home is Madagascar and apparently they are able to bring down even the largest lemur species.
It was a great day and we were both happy to have made the acquaintance of two new animals that we had never encountered before.
Have you learned anything new lately?