Monday, February 18, 2008

Oakland Zoo: Mammals, Flamingo, Spoonbill

Feb 10

We went to Oakland Zoo today with our friends Jonnie, Katy and Thelma.

I love animals and nature conservancy, so I really enjoyed going there. I think I took 200 hundred photos (total) . They kept teasing me, hehehe. But I did take time to just enjoy , savor the experience and watch the animals. It was a very beautiful day! It felt like spring already.

I hope you enjoy the photos! In case you want to enlarge any photo, just click on it. In order to stay on the web page, right click on the mouse then choose second line "Open link in new tab". I also included descriptions of the animals retrieved from the Oakland Zoo website:

At the entrance of the zoo.

Pangga (above) and Jonnie (below) at the gift shop.

Behind me are the lesser flamingos and African spoonbills.

Lesser Flamingo:

Height about 40 inches (101 cm). Plumage deep pink. The deep keeled bill is dark carmine-red with black tip. Eyes orange.

Locally common on alkaline lakes in East and Central Africa, sometimes present in vast (up to a million) numbers. Very infrequent in coastal areas.

African Spoonbill:

36 in, 91 cm. Recognized by its long spatulate bill, bare red face and legs, and all white plumage. The bill is bluish gray with a fringe of red along the edge of the broad end and some pink and red about the proximal end. Voice is a double “aark-ark”, but it is normally silent.

Lakes, marshes, rivers, estuaries of Africa from Ethiopia to Kenya to South Africa as well as the lowlands of Madagascar.

African Elephant:

The adult male is much larger than the adult female. Head and body length including trunk: 19-24 feet. Shoulder height: 10-13 feet. Weight: 5.5 - 7 tons. Tail: 4 feet. Brownish gray skin has folds and may be one inch thick in places. The African Elephant has a marked dip between its fore and hindquarters giving a concave curvature to its back.

Natural home range is 500 miles; migratory patterns are taught from one generation to the next. Now they are mostly restricted to parks and preserves. Habitat formerly was area south of the Sahara; agricultural expansion has severely reduced it.

African Lion:

Typically a mature male stands 4 feet at the shoulder and is 8 .5 feet long, plus tail. He'll average 450 pounds. Females are considerably smaller, weighing less than 300 pounds. Lions reach full weight at age 6. Adult lions usually have a plain unspotted coat, light brown to dark ochre in color. Male lions have a brown mane, which tends to grow darker and fuller as the animal ages. The tail has a black tuft at the end. "White" lions occasionally occur in the Transvaal region of southern Africa, but these are not true albinos.

Thousands of years ago, lions were common throughout southern Europe, southern Asia, eastern and central India and over the whole of the African continent. Today, with the exception of some 300 highly protected animals in the Gir National Park of India, the only naturally-occuring lions are found in Africa. (But even in Africa lions have been wiped out in the north; the last Numidian male was shot as a trophy in the 1930s.)

Zebra, Grant’s:

Black ground color with bold contrasting stripes continuing all the way down to hooves; rarely any shadow stripes, except occasionally and faintly on hindquarters. Seven to ten neck stripes; three to four vertical body stripes. Short, upright mane. Tail terminally haired. Shoulder height 50”; weight 500-600 pounds.

From northern Zimbabwe to the Sudan in East Africa. Inhabits grasslands, especially those with scattered trees.

Head/body length: 5’10”- 9’1”; tail length: 36”; weight: 350-550 pounds; shoulder height three feet or less. Eyes are large with excellent vision. Coloration is bright fawn to reddish tan, shading to white underneath, and sharply marked with uneven black stripes: a unique pattern for each individual.

Found throughout India from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, except in the deserts. (Other races are found in Burma, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, and Bali.) Prefered habitats include dense thickets, long grass, or tamarisk shrubs along river banks.

Sun Bear:

Smallest bear, length about 4.5 feet. Height at shoulder of 2.5 feet. Two-inch tail not easily seen. Weight 60-140 pounds. Coloration of sleek black fur with yellow crescent-shaped breast mark, grayish or orange shortened muzzle. Stocky build. Forearms incurved. Feet are large with strongly curved claws and naked soles. The ears are rounded and short. Head is short and flat with small eyes.

Asia, Burma through Southeast Asia, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and Borneo. May reach northern China and northeastern India. Dense tropical and subtropical forests at lower elevations.

Me, Pangga and our new friend "Mr. G" at the back (hehehe) ;
with our friend, Katy (below)

Giraffe, Reticulated:

Head-body length 12-15 ft.; height to horn tips 15-18 ft.; weight 1700-4200 lbs (males). Both sexes have horns, although the females’ horns are smaller. G.c.reticulata is a bit smaller than the other subspecies. Reticulated are characterized by large polygons separated by cream-colored lines rather like a large net thrown over a colored ground, hence the name "reticulated" giraffe. Color ranges from tan to deep chocolate brown, especially in old males who tend to darken as they age.

Open woodland and wooded grassland throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Reticulated giraffe are confined to north-eastern Kenya, eastern Sudan and Eritrea.

Mr. G: "Yep! It ain't easy getting a drink".


Largest and most heavily built of the antelopes. Shoulder height: 6 feet. Weight: up to 2000 pounds. They have a hump on the shoulders and a prominent dewlap. Color is tawny; dorsal line, tail tuft and tip of dewlap are all black. They have a few thin, vertical white stripes on the body and a tuft of dark hair on the forehead.

Found in eastern, central and southern Africa. Prefer plains or moderately rolling country with brush and scattered trees.

Dama (Addra) Gazelle:

Gazelles are medium sized antelopes. Height at shoulder 35-43 inches; weight 160 pounds. The largest of all true gazelles, the Dama is slenderly built with a proportionately long neck and legs. Neck and upper parts uniformly rufous or chestnut brown, sharply contrasting with the white rump and lower parts of the body. Head of adult is pure white. The tail is short, well haired, and white with only the very tip black.

A genuine desert animal, the Dama Gazelle inhabits all of the Sahara from east to west and the Sudan.

1 comment:

  1. i love roseate spoonbill flamingees!


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