Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bristol Zoo Part I: Entrance and Twilight World

One might think it would be easier and more convenient for me to visit the Bristol Museum, which is correct. However, I have only skimmed the museum galleries thus far and lack good photos from there, so I'm covering the Bristol Zoo first.

The Bristol Zoo is fairly small; one can tour the whole place in around two hours at a clip. Some have given it grief for devoting so much of its already limited space to play areas for children. In terms of species selection and overall aesthetics, however, I found a lot to like about it.

The zoo has an impressive primate collection. Take these drills, for instance.

Another feature of the Bristol Zoo is its many walkthrough exhibits. One near the entrance contains several species of shorebirds and waterbirds, including these pied avocets, common redshanks, and marbled teal.

These greater flamingos likely get most of the spotlight.

Some little egrets in a tree.

The lions here are Asiatic, not African. (They are not in a walkthrough exhibit, if that weren't clear...)

Further along past the lions is the entrance to Twilight World, the zoo's nocturnal house. The images I captured here are subpar, so bear with me. (Insert usual spiel about difficulties of taking pictures in the dark.) The first exhibit in the building is of a diurnal species though, this yellow mongoose.

I was unable to get even a marginally satisfactory photo of the Turkish spiny mice, but they are the rarest mammals at the zoo. The last line on this sign even says that hardly anything is known about the species (though they have successfully bred in captivity). These claims may or may not hold up. I tend to enjoy small rodents in any case, so I won't complain.

I was impressed by the large number of marsupials at the zoo that weren't koalas or macropods. Here is a kowari, a small predatory marsupial.

A ground cuscus, so called because it sleeps in burrows rather than in the trees like a typical possum. This one is not sleeping.

The last non-macropod marsupial at the zoo, which I was unable to get a picture of, was the eastern quoll, a medium-sized predatory marsupial.

That's only three species, I know. It still beats most non-Australian zoos that I know about.

Spot the Malagasy jumping rat. I've spent ages trying to get good photos of this species at the National Zoo, to no avail. They are monogamous and also really cute.

Worthy of mention was that there were some rare primates housed in Twilight World (lorises, mouse lemurs, and aye-ayes), though I do not have photos.

Right outside the exit is a walkthrough exhibit for Livingstone's fruit bats. Visitors are advised not to stand directly underneath them.

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