furtech: (Eurofurence)
After having a late breakfast at the Marketplace, I headed out to the Leipzig Zoo. As much as I might mock the teeny size of the Best Western Room, the second best part of this hotel (after price-- cheap!) is location. Five minutes to downtown Leipzig and under a ten minute walk to the zoo.

LeipzigZoo2013
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I try to get to any zoo at about 1pm: this is about the time most zoos feed the animals. If there is any time that they will be awake and active, this is it (the sweet spot is 2-3pm). So if there is an animal you love to watch and won't be satisfied with a furry, snoozing lump-- ask the keepers when that animal is fed. They will be glad to tell you and you will see them pace, eat, food-politic and then some.

I was hoping to see the maned wolf out and about-- but it was a lump. Visible, but just a reddish bump of fur behind a tree. Apparently they feed them at some odd-hour, because this creature did not move an inch the entire day (I kept checking back-- first thing in, during the day and on the way out after 5pm!).

I then bee-lined to the hyenas. After African Wild Dogs, hyenas are my favorite animal to watch. One nice thing about going to a zoo alone: you can dawdle as long as you like without driving friends crazy because you want to spend hours just watching a certain animal...

The hyenas did not disappoint! They had just gotten their food and the hierarchy politics were in full swing: there were two animals who were clearly dominant, plus a shifty-looking third who was not. Of course, this latter animal was the most interesting to watch. She (or he) had a nasty wound on her neck: clearly she had transgressed at some point. She would sneak down to the food pile-- which at this point was mostly turnips and other vegetables-- and, after giving the other two a quick scout, would nose around and triumphantly skitter off with a turnip. She was especially triumphant when she found an unclaimed caulifower. Love her.

Hyena

I had lunch at the restaurant at the back of the zoo, which overlooked the Savannah area of the park. Very relaxing meal except for having to share with the local wasps (what is it with all these wasps in Germany? The locals just ignore them as they bodly eat their food!?!).

I walked through the new, big exhibit, Gondwanaland: this is a huge greenhouse of a habitat that houses open-air tropical plants and animals under a gigantic dome. Humid, but very nicely done. The catwalks are pretty cool.

When I passed by the hyenas again, they were napping. Two of them had decided to snooze right up against the big glass wall, to the excitement of passersby. They acted like they *enjoyed* the attention: they would stretch luxuriously and ignore the many snapping cameras and glass-tappings. Best zoo hyenas I've ever seen! What hams!

Hyenas

About this time the zoo was closing, so I headed out. I walked past the still-sleeping maned wolf and back to the hotel. After all that walking, I took a rest. I ended up not going out to eat, but rather eating all my snacks and fruit from the marketplace: most of it I could not take on the plane the next day anyway.

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furtech

August 2015

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