Friday, 2 May 2014

Madhouse diaries : A Zoo-per day out !

I can tell we've been packing a lot into the holidays because I can't keep up with blogging about our family fun ! As I mentioned at the start of the week, one of our geocaching adventures took us to the zoo in Fort Mardyck. For the holidays, they were offering free guided tours so I thought it could be quite interesting to pop in and find out more about some of the animals.

We started off with the marmosets. We've been to this little zoo countless times and rarely see the marmosets because they hide at the back in their house. Today, one of the keepers went round the cage dotting a honey mixture all over various areas and they all came out, much to the kids' delight.

Pierre was particularly taken with their Spiderman antics, climbing across the roof of the cage upside down !

Next stop, the big walk-through aviary where we saw some storks patiently sitting on their eggs waiting for them to hatch. They should be ready to hatch in about a week or two but apparently, even then, you wouldn't see them for a while because baby storks are black and they stay in the bottom of the deep nests so that birds of prey won't spot them.

The vultures looked quite cute and cuddly, contrary to the way we usually think of vultures as evil, ruthless beasts waiting for things to die !

This bird - not sure what it is, it was in the vultures' enclosure but it didn't really look like a vulture - was very interested in us and came hopping over to the fence, following us along as we walked away !

As always, the bears were a big attraction.

We learnt that because the zoo feeds them all year round, they dont hibernate and because they don't hibernate, despite mating every year, the female bear never falls pregnant.

 But this is a good thing because bears are solitary animals and, although these two tolerate cohabiting, the male would almost definitely not accept having another bear in "his" territory. Female bears are apparently single mothers in the wild, bringing up their cubs on their own.

I must admit, I may have had a juvenile snigger at the latin name of these squirrels.

Pierre excitedly spotted Santa's reindeer - "the real ones", because Santa came to the zoo at Christmas to see them. We didn't see them fly though - believe me, Pierre had a good look !

I admired the stunning colours of the regal-looking peacock.

We looked at some smooth-shelled tortoises, then Juliette read the sign and said that the next enclosure was for "horny"-shelled tortoises. Cue more stifled sniggers !

We saw some very affectionate goats who came over to be stroked.

Then we were stunned to see the otters outside. Normally, the best we get is a grainy black and white picture on a TV-screen from the camera inside their hut.

Not to be outdone, the beaver came out to say hello. I didn't realise how big they are.

The keeper explained that they can carry two apples in their mouth at once then swim back to their foodstore. Just as she said it, he did a quick demonstration !

Forget Fifty Shades of Grey, the flamingoes offered fifty shades of pink !

Not to be outdone by the storks, the pelicans have been busy building nests and laying eggs too.

A horrified triple squeal (from all three of the Madhouse kids) heralded feeding time for the owls !

And we finished off with a visit to the seals. From the surface ...

... and underneath.

Pierre said bye bye and the seal seemed to wave goodbye back !

Time for a quick family photo - Sophie set this up so that it looks like a One Direction picture apparently ! - and we were off for the rest of our geocaching adventure.

Other blogposts you may be interested in :

Clarks Get Out and About, Get Adventurous Campaign

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