Several weeks ago, I was able to visit both Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens (Columbia SC) and Zoo Atlanta (Atlanta GA). Both of these facilities have impressive collections, and each zoo has its strengths. Not much narration in this post, but a variety of pictures. And I apologize in advance, there are several photos in the Riverbanks series which are oriented sideways. I cannot figure out how to right them- that is how Photobucket downloads them apparently.
Up first is Riverbanks:
Ring Tailed Lemur
This was a neat exhibit- the meerkats were housed in front of the elephants, so you could see both of them together in the same view.
Galapagos tortoise yard
Check out the rattle on this dude!
I really liked how the Aquarium and Reptile Complex (ARC, their ‘reptile house’) incorporated an impressive amount of natural light through skylights over almost each exhibit.
A view of the Southeastern section of the ARC
And a view of some of the Desert exhibits
Cayman Island Blue Iguanas
They had a group of Tomistomas, or False Gharials
And Boelen’s pythons. Their iridescence is just flabbergasting.
There were three Gaboon vipers in this enclosure, along with a pair of green mambas.
I love radiated tortoises, and was thrilled to count over a dozen large adults in this paddock
Asian Black Mountain Tortoise, Manouria emys phayrei
The “Birdhouse” had these amazing exhibits, along with tanks that stretched along entire walls exhibiting several penguin species. As you can probably imagine, there was a very potent smell in there…
At Zoo Atlanta:
I was super excited to see this Bongo. I have never seen the Bongo at Zoo Atlanta before, and this time around we saw that there are three: male, female and juvenile.
Manouria emys have a unique nest building method, and this female was performing it. They lay their eggs in a mound of vegetation and leaves that they scrape together. The finished product looks much like a gator nest.
I really liked how they have the green tree pythons and the emerald tree boas displayed next to each other. They have been this way for years, but this is the first time I really thought about the intent behind this setup.
You may remember my request about a month ago for images of cribo habitat. This is what I have been envisioning exactly, and I will be working on the finished product over the next couple of months. This particular exhibit housed Neotropical rattlesnakes beautifully.
King cobra exhibit
Nekkid mole rats
There are two tiger cubs that were born last year and are now fairly sizeable. Their mom was relaxing back in a corner in the shade, but these two were quite photogenic and very active.
One of them spotted a grackle in their yard and stalked it, and pounced halfheartedly. The bird flew off, but it was still cool to see them practicing some of their hunting behaviors.
Aldabra tortoise yard
Thanks for looking. I hope you enjoyed the vicarious trip.