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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Special Treat

Today was a beautiful autumn day, warm and sunny, which is why I planned to go to London Zoo. Sadly, my friend had one of her frequent illnesses and was unable to go. She will kick herself.

The okapi is a very shy animal that lives deep in the rainforest in Africa. It wasn't discovered till 1901. Man, of course, having found it, now hunts it for its meat and skin.

The okapi looks like a cross between a giraffe, a zebra and a horse. The coat looks really velvety, and I was just coming round the end of the okapi enclosure wondering if it felt that way, when I noticed that, at the far end of the enclosure, the male okapi was standing in what used to be a ditch, now drained and grassed over, right up against the fence, and apparently being stroked by a visitor.

I hurried along, and found that this supposedly timid animal was allowing people to pet him gently on the head, ears and horns. The coat here was not really velvety like I imagine the back would be, but it was a real thrill to scratch the ears of such a beautiful creature.

The meerkats have had their second litter of the year. Some of the smaller primates did their best to entertain the public. The lion cubs are getting huge. But today will be remembered as the day I touched an okapi.


6 comments:

Kimberly said...

Very cool! At a zoo once, we were able to gently touch a rhino! Also, I still remember being able to touch the backs of sting rays in their pond. There were sharks there too...they both felt slightly like touching frim jello.

SnarkAngel said...

The okapi is so cute. So much for shyness. I'm always amazed how intuitive animals can be to affection offered from outside their species.

BASRIC said...

I love the zoo. Yours has a lot of interesting animals. Its been a while since I visited ours. Makes me want to go.

Thanks for sharing

Eliza said...

I'm still enjoying your visits to the zoo, especially when you post something surprising, like touching the Okapi..or the Red Titi monkey, which I don't think I've ever seen before

jazzy said...

Thanks for sharing your touched an okapi-day!
Just so sad that okapis (amimals in general) are hunted.

Tess said...

I love it when you go to the zoo!

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