The Hoppy Okapi

A 2012 Pacific Crest Trail Adventure

Wild Animal Park – Baby Okapi! January 16, 2010

Baby okapi at the Wild Animal Park

In mid-November, one of the San Diego Zoo newsletters announced the October birth of Uche, the latest baby okapi at the Wild Animal Park. Today we finally had a chance to spend a morning in Escondido to go see him for ourselves. It was a chilly but clear morning- probably 60 degrees or so when we arrived at the park shortly after 9am.

We first headed up to Condor Ridge, where the desert plants were awash with blooms.

Desert plants on the hillside

Porcupines nibbling vegetables - so cute!

Porcupines nibbling vegetables - so cute!

Prarie Dog!

Unlike my trips to Anza-Borrego State Park, I can always count on seeing bighorn sheep at the Wild Animal Park:

Sheep at Condor Ridge

Sheep at Condor Ridge

California Condor

California Condor

Orange flowering plant, related to Ocotillo, perhaps?

Orange flowering plant, related to Ocotillo, perhaps?

On the path to Condor Ridge, we also saw super-cute owls and magpies, and I lamented the lack of a digital SLR  – without a manual focus function on my camera, I couldn’t focus past the wire cages to photograph animals well. I also considered getting a couple of owls for pets, but then decided they would probably nest in out sleeping bags on the top closet shelf, and try to hunt the cats..so probably not the best idea.

After Condor Ridge, we went to check out the elephants; I think the youngest one was born in Spring 2009, so it’s still pretty mini compared to the adults.

Elephant playing with food ball

Baby elephant headbutting the grownup

Then we saw two young tigers – they were still quite fuzzy and playful.  According to the WAP website, they’re just over a year old, born on my birthday in 2008!

Tiger cub

Flamingos

We then wandered into the Heart of Africa section of the park. The cheetahs were hiding somewhere, so we didn’t get to see them, but we did get to watch the warthogs basking in the sun:

Warthogs in the sun

And we admired more flowering plants:

Orange cone flowers

And then it was time for the okapis! The mother okapi was feeding in the center of the exihibit:

Adult okapi

And, once again, baby Uche! He was hiding away in the back of the exhibit, nestled behind a tree.

Baby okapi at Wild Animal Park

Uche!

Cutest baby okapi ever?

 

To the Zoo! January 11, 2009

Our San Diego Zoo membership gives us access to monthly early-hours events at the zoo (and quarterly ones at the Wild Animal Park), and occasionally we even manage to go! Yesterday we woke up early and headed over to Influx for some coffee and The Best Pastries Ever before heading over to the zoo.

photo from influxcafe.com

We got to the zoo just as they began letting people in at 8am – there were probably about 100 people attending the early-hours program – and shuffled our way to the morning’s presentation at the Guinea Singing Dogs exhibit. There, we watched two 14-week-old cubs play around with dad as mom watched from a hill-top perch. The pups were so cute!

Guinea Singing Dog pup

Guinea Singing Dog pup

Guinea pup exploring his enclosure

Guinea pup exploring his enclosure

Next door to the singing dog presentation, a keeper was also talking about (but not sharing a cage with!) the stripped hyenas. I think these guys are usually sleeping when we walk by, because I was surprised by how big they are when they’re up and active.

A Striped Hyena

A Striped Hyena

After leaving the hyenas, we went down to check on the warthogs. There were five of them in the enclosue, including the gnarled old male with giant warts and crooked tusks.

Warthog on a walkabout

Warthog on a walkabout

When one of his friends woke up, the big male retreated to his warthog cave – trying to hide?

Warthog Cave!

Warthog Cave!

We then headed up through bear canyon to elephant mesa, where we saw a mob of meerkats taking in the morning sun.

Meerkats

Meerkats

Meerkats

Meerkats

More Meerkats!

More Meerkats!

The Baird’s tapirs were already sleeping by the time we visited them:

Baird's Tapir - Count the toes!

Baird's Tapir - Count the toes!

But the pack of capybaras (they’ve multipled! there used to be two but there were at least ten yesterday!) that share their enclosure were awake and quite skittish, running away every time the guanaco came close to them.

Capybaras

Capybaras

The giant anteaters were hiding out of site, and the Giant Vietnamese Squirrel was apparently too tiny to see, but we got a very close up view of the two rhinos on elephant mesa:

rhino head

rhino head

friendly rhinos

friendly rhinos

And the giraffes were enjoying a morning in the sun.

Baby Giraffe

Baby Giraffe

Giraffe eating breakfast

Giraffe eating breakfast

We then headed down tiger river (the three young tigers were snuggled in close to the glass at the first viewing window), and came to the Malayan tapir enclosure for what turned out to be the highlight of the day. Chukai, Chantek, and Annie were quite active and very vocal, chasing each other around the enclosure and the pool. We heard a lot of the typical tapir squealing, but also a coughing/sneezing-sounding noise that we hadn’t heard tapirs make before.

Malayan Tapirs in the pool

Malayan Tapirs in the pool

Looking for apples in the pool

Looking for apples in the pool

Tapirs everywhere

tapirs everywhere!

After our lengthy stay at the tapir enclosure, we stopped by to see the okapis, and then walked over to see the Harpy Eagles before heading home.

Okapi hiding in the trees

Okapi hiding in the trees

 

Cuddly Baby Okapi! August 23, 2008

We stopped by the Wild Animal Park this afternoon on our way back from Temecula, and were lucky enough to see Zuri, the baby okapi born in June. Pictures of adult and baby okapis below, plus a warthog, a tortoise, some lions, and a special “native mule deer of the Wild Animal Park” spotting…

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 288 other followers