Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears!

This might come as a bit of shocking news. I've lived in Cali for coming up on two years now, I have had an unhealthy fascination with nature since birth, and I've yet to visit what is considered one of the best zoos in all of South America right here in Cali. I'm still trying to figure out how I allowed that to transgress as long as it had!

Last weekend a few friends from school and I decided that now was the time to go! Sarah and Justin, along with their seven month old, Claire, and my roommate, Nira, all headed to the far western side of the city to the Zoológico de Cali. The beautiful facility is nestled along the mountainside and traversed by several tributaries of the Rio Cali, adding not only a beautiful backdrop to visit the zoo's creatures, but also a constant and pleasant background noise to accompany your walk along the winding paths.

The zoo had quite the selection of animals, including a few that I'd never seen in person before, such as a giant anteater, which, even when curled up in a sleeping ball, is impressive. We saw a strange "sitting bird" (at right) and some scarlet ibises in the bird aviary as well as a plethora of stunning butterflies and a chrysalis or two that would have made some jewelry jealous in the butterfly atrium.

And, yes, there were lions, tigers, and bears there. In fact, the bears came from as far north as Alaska! Grizzlies in South America, not something you see every day!

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