Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bronx Zoo Part I: JungleWorld

A notable feature of the Bronx Zoo is that it charges extra for several of its exhibits. As a result, getting its full experience entails some significant spending, which makes me ever more thankful that the National Zoo is free to visit. Regardless, the Bronx Zoo is widely considered to be one of the top zoos of the country, so there is some justification for the steep admission.

One of exhibits here that requires additional spending is JungleWorld, an immersive indoor display simulating a tropical rainforest environment. Many of the animals here, mainly belonging to species native to Southeast Asia, are separated from each other and the visitors by "naturalistic" barriers such as steep surfaces and moats, though the numerous flying species have more freedom to roam than the others.

Thanks to a combination of factors, I used my camera sparingly on this trip. My camera battery has been getting loose, rendering it unreliable, and, with the knowledge that the zoo was a large one, I was also consciously trying to conserve the battery. Readers who are interested in getting a more comprehensive idea of what the zoo looks like are encouraged to plan their own trips or to check out the abundant photographs taken by others available elsewhere online.

A Matschie's tree kangaroo. An endemic of New Guinea, this species would be part of a very distinct fauna in the wild from the rest of the inhabitants here, despite being geographically close.

A few animals at JungleWorld do live behind traditional glass windows, such as this Indonesian sailfin lizard. Like the New World basilisk lizards, sailfin lizards are capable of running on the surface of water for short distances, but do not get as much airtime in nature documentaries.

Falcated ducks (left pair) and Philippine ducks (right pair).

A pair of Malayan tapirs.

A frilled lizard, rendered in terribly altered colors by my camera.

A colony of fruit bats and a painted stork.

Some stretches of the Bronx Zoo involve a lot of walking without seeing any exhibits along the way. Auspiciously, the zoo is well planted and the paths are thus well shaded from the heat of summer. Upon leaving JungleWorld, the next exhibit I came across was home to a number of African species, including these African crowned cranes.

Other inhabitants included a marabou stork and some nyala. The lion enclosure is visible at the far back of this display (but not in my photos), providing the illusion that the lions are kept in the same space as their potential prey.

A wild eastern chipmunk foraging on the side of the path.

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