Posts tagged ‘Zoos’

Which are the largest bears?

Bears are large, powerful animals with thick, shaggy fur.  They are among the favorite performers in circuses and zoos.

The bear family includes some pretty big bears.

A lion, for example, may weigh as much as 450 pounds.  But a good-sized grizzly bear or polar bear may weigh 750 to 1,000 pounds!

Bear

The biggest of all bears are the big Alaskan brown bears and Kodiak bears found in Alaska and on Kodiak Island off the coast of Alaska.

Some of these giants may weigh more than 1,500 pounds and may be over nine feet tall when standing on their hind feet.

Bears look clumsy because they walk with a peculiar, shuffling gait, but are not nearly as slow as they look.  They can run faster than any human runner.

Most bears are usually peaceful animals, and run from danger.

But all bears are short-tempered and dangerous, and even friendly, tamed bears cannot always be trusted.

In fact, the grizzly bear is considered by many to be the most dangerous of all North American wild animals. – Dick Rogers

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What are koala bears?

The koala bear is a small, wooly animal found only in Australia.

The koala looks for all the world like a cuddly, live teddy bear.  It is about two-feet long, with ears seeming as if they were stuck on, and with a

Koala

patent-leather nose and shoe button eyes.  In fact, koalas are popularly known as Australian teddy bears.

They are not real bears, of course.  They are pouched animals.  Baby koalas are carried in a pouch when they are fist born.

A koala makes its home in a special king of tree—the eucalyptus or blue gum tree.  It holds onto the tree branches with its sharp claws and feeds on the oily leaves.  At one time you could see many koalas in zoos, but now there are only a few.

The koalas were hunted for their fur until they were in danger of disappearing from the world.

Today koalas are protected.  No one is allowed to take them out of Australia any more.  – Dick Rogers

Does the giraffe have a voice?

The giraffe is the tallest animal in the world and often reaches a height of 17 feet or more.

But there is another remarkable thing about this unusual animal—it has practically no voice.  The giraffe has a poorly developed voice box which it seldom uses.

Giraffe

Giraffe in zoos have been heard to utter a soft “moo,” and they can grunt or whimper and make whistlelike sounds.

A baby giraffe may bleat like a lamb when hungry.

The giraffe’s great height comes mostly from its long legs and neck, for its body is no larger than that of a horse.

Although  its neck is very long, the giraffe has the same number of neck bones that yu have in your own neck, but the giraffe’s neck bones are very long.

Because of its height, the giraffe can browse on twigs and leaves on the upper branches of tall trees, far out of reach of other animals.

While the giraffe is gentle, it can put up a good fight when attacked.

It uses its head like a sledgehammer to strike heavy blows and kicks out with its powerful hind legs. – Dick Rogers

How did the mute swan get its name?

Swan

The mute swan is a large, graceful water bird with a long slender, curving neck and snowy white feathers.  Mute swans are the kind most often seen on the ponds in parks and in zoos.

The mute swan does, however, hiss when it is angry and makes a low “barking” sound when calling its young.

The male swan is called a cob and the female a pen.

Her brownish-gray bales are called cygnets (pronounced SIG nits).  They become white by the time they are a year old.

Hans Christians Anderson’s story “The Ugly Duckling” is about a cygnet who thinks it is just an ugly duckling—until it grows up to be a beautiful swan.

Swans feed mainly on plants that they nip from the bottom of ponds and shallow takes were they spend so much time. – Dick Rogers

What is a GNU?

Gnu

Gnus are large, ox-like African antelopes.

A gnu (pronounced noo) is a large, ox-like African antelope with high shoulders, a pushy, horse like tail and a long, sad-looking face.  Long, thin legs and a tuft or chin whiskers add to its queer appearance.

There are two kinds of gnus – the silvery-gray brindled gnu and the smaller dark-colored white-tailed gnu.

Brindled gnus are found living on the open grassland of Central Africa.  When frightened, the gnu prances about leaps into the air and kicks its heels, then dashes away with a toss of its head.

Like other antelopes, gnus are fast runner and can run a speed up to 40 miles an hour to escape an enemy.

The white-tailed gnu is nearly extinct.  Once found in vast herds roaming the plains of South Africa, white-tailed gnus today are kept and protected in zoos and in special parks so they won’t disappear from the earth.  Gnus are also known as wildebeests. – Dick Rogers