Saturday afternoon Tracey and I decided to visit the Animal Kingdom Zoo and Pet Store in Bordentown, New Jersey. It’s a small roadside zoo with lots of older-style cages and enclosures, featuring a rather surprising array of primates, and while I can’t say I’m exactly pleased with the way some of the animals are kept, the staff does seem like they’re trying to give the animals a decent existence (many of them seemed crippled or otherwise indicative of unwanted pets).
The zoo offered a few good photographic opportunities, although I’ll have to acquire (and master) photoshop to fix some of the pictures. One such shot was the following one of a wolf, as it was impossible for me to get closer to the cage to get the out-of-focus bars out of the shot;
The zoo also sported a pair of white-nosed coati in a shaded enclosure, one of which of the blonde variety;
We also happened into a newly-arrived baby camel soon after entering the zoo. This baby could not have been more than a few days old, as it still was a bit wobbly while walking and the remnants of the umbilical cord were still attached. Why it was serparated from its mother at such an early age, I don’t know;
A breeding pair of white peacocks were also roaming the grounds, the mother guarding a group of three white chicks;
Another peacock male was not so fortunate, however; for some reason he was missing all of his beautiful, sexually-selected tail feathers. That didn’t stop him from trying, though;
Some Helmeted Guineafowl were roaming the grounds as well (thanks for the help with the identification Julia!);
The Muntjacs I remembered from my last visit were still at the zoo, although they had gotten rather chubby. They didn’t seem to eat the various peanuts/fruit loops/etc. people threw into their enclosure, so I’m not sure exactly how they got to be so corpulent;
The lemurs didn’t seem to experience the same weight problems, although they seemed hopelessly addicted to Fruit Loops given out in the “Animal Feed.” They largely ignored peanuts and animal crackers, sticking their heads and arms out of their cage hoping for the cereal. While I’m dubious about the long-term health effects of this, there was no doubt that they were sugar-fiends;
There were a few canines in the zoo as well, including some sleepy fennec and silver foxes;
There was another canid at the zoo that was less-lively; a stuffed/skinned wolf hanging in the vestibule before the zoo entrance, along with a stuffed boar head, pronghorn head, various animal skins, and others. Where the zoo acquired these pieces, I don’t know, but they were sad to see. I remember visiting a place called Ray’s Sport Shop as a child, calling it “The Animal Store,” not realizing until later that all the antelope, moose, cats, etc. on the wall were the “prizes” from various hunting trips.
Not everything about the day was sad or disquieting, however. The giraffes were extremely friendly and interesting, and I got my fair share of giraffe saliva all over my hands feeding them some grass and a few peanuts. It was interesting to see all of their different personalities, some being rather timid to take the food from me, but aggressive when a more friendly giraffe would move in. Still, it was certainly the high point of the day;
All in all, it wasn’t a bad day, although I wish the zoo would stop allowing visitors to give the primates so much sugar (especially unsupervised; there was virtually no staff on the grounds). The zoo reminded me of the general problems of any zoo, trying to provide safety for the people and the animals, taking in some sick and unwanted animals, but lacking the funding to give them the absolute best care.