On my first trip to the San Diego Zoo one of the places I visited was the Horn and Hoof Mesa, a very long trail that ran down the entire right side ("right" as depicted on the zoo map) of the zoo and exhibited mostly (as one can guess) hoofed mammals. This time, I walked into the zoo feeling certain I wouldn't have to walk that long trail this time around.
But when I examined the new zoo map, something was off. The Horn and Hoof Mesa was gone, and in its place was an entirely new exhibition area: Elephant Odyssey.
That was something I didn't foresee.
That wasn't necessarily a bad thing. New exhibits at zoos are usually quite fun. I decided to go and see what this one was all about. However, I certainly hadn't planned on adding an entire area this big to the trip. This would shake things up a lot.
As Elephant Odyssey is situated at the far right of the zoo, I got to check out some of the other exhibits located along the various trails on my way there. As it turns out, this is going to be a maniraptor-heavy post.
A Guam rail.
A female magpie robin.
I think this is a fig parrot. I'm certainly going to remember to photograph the signs next time.
Another minor drawback of this zoo is that even the nocturnal animals tend to be housed outdoors (with one exception that I'll get to in a later post). So I didn't have much luck seeing things like lorises and flying squirrels. There's probably a better chance if one visited those around dusk. (The zoo opens to eight at night during summer and winter holidays.) However, I still got to see this southern white-faced scops owl. This species is famous for its defensive responses: it can either fluff its feathers and spread its wings to look more threatening, or press its feathers tightly against its body to resemble a tree limb. Another good use for feathers, and a good example of how feathers can drastically alter the apparent shape and size of a dinosaur.
A laughing kookaburra. One of my favorite living maniraptors.
A banded mongoose. Seeing this guy reminded me that typical mongooses are unusual among small carnivorans in being largely diurnal.
This parma wallaby lived in the same exhibit as one of the koalas. It had a shelter underneath the elevated walkway that surrounded the koala exhibits.
A ring-tailed lemur. Unusually, these lemurs were kept with rock hyraxes, perhaps because this is one enclosure the hyraxes can't escape from. (Hyraxes are good climbers, and I hear they're difficult to confine.)
A Visayan warty pig.
Some Cuvier's gazelles.
A bateleur eagle.
A Madagascar buttonquail. This one was part of an exhibit with several other African birds.
For example, there was this white-headed buffalo weaver.
There was also this green woodhoopoe.
In another exhibit was this guineafowl.
The guineafowl lives with this hornbill, though I'm not certain what species this is. (The zoo has a lot of different hornbill species, by the way.)
And here's a white-bellied go-away bird.