Safari at the NC Zoo

Camille and Judy are at it again. When they went zooing last year they soaked in the North American exhibits and have returned to gape at the African animals on the other side of the highly-rated North Carolina Zoo – October 18, 2018




Once inside the gate, we indulged in a portrait with a safari-themed background. A little further in, Judy tested her triumphant look on some old elephant bones. If you are at all into animals, this zoo is life-affirming, with enormous habitats, magnificent art, and devoted keepers.




The first animal to catch our eye took our breath away: a lioness powering across the landscape with measured grace.




Next were the baboons, just doing their thing, picking off nits and soaking in sun.




Everywhere we looked, from baboon to greater kudu, jaws were busy moving food from fore to aft.




We paid a mere $3 for the privilege of feeding the giraffes. The enormity of the heads they extended over the railing was the stuff of Jurassic Park dreams. It was difficult to keep our hands to ourselves, but we paid attention to the sign and did not spook them by stroking their cheek.




Best three dollars we’ve ever spent, feeding romaine lettuce to giant giraffe heads.




The African Plains exhibit is home to a large variety of animals and, at 37 acres, is only a fraction of the 500-acre zoo.



Zebra. Of course!




A cow and a bull companionably eat their hay. Thanks to timing and sheer dumb luck, we happened upon the African elephants during the “Meet the Keeper” hour, when the animals are happily feeding, up front and center. The keeper explained that all but two of the elephants were cows, and that they kept the second bull in an adjacent pasture.


We were curious about this young elephant’s behavior. She picked up a flake of hay and dropped it in a different spot, ate for a while, then went back for more. The keeper told us this was normal and asked, “Don’t you have a favorite place you like to eat?”

We did not ask what another, older cow was doing with the stick in her trunk. Didn’t even notice the stick until trying to decide which of 32 photos to post on this page.


One person asked why weren’t the elephants gray, and the keeper explained that they were. Underneath that coating of good old North Carolina clay, they were gray. Like horses, and other animals that fall prey to biting insects, elephants give themselves a coat of dirt to keep the flies down.

Need more? Check out last year’s visit to the zoo, here: NC Zoo


[Troutsfarm] * [October, 2018] * [Bob’s Week in Cologne] * [Safari at the NC Zoo]