08 September 2011
at the zoo! pt. 2
Continuing with the topic of the previous post, this blip will inform the audience of other wonders seen at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre. And without further ado, to the sun bears!
It was lovely to see so many different bears, but I was so enrapt with all of them that I didn't photograph very many. This was one that looked me dead in the eyes and then winked. I swear. But I'm not going to tell you what message was transmitted telepathically; you're going to have to look your own sun bear in the eyes someday. Anyway, there was a really dopey looking one that got scolded by another, but for the most part, they were all relaxing in the shade.
After the adventure with all the bears, we walked past some Southern Serow (Capricornis sumatraensis maritimus). Fierce. I would share a photo here, but you would be too terrified of all the terror in the male Serow's eyes that you would crawl under your seat. He was not pleased with having so many people checking out his lady. He huffed and puffed, and I quietly walked away.
This python was as thick as my torso. There were five of them. The kids were all kinds of fascinated and terrified and placed bets on who the snakes would go after first. This was the exhibit that garnered the most reverent children, staring at the creatures for much longer than all the other look-and-walk exhibits.
There was a huge spider on the sign for the pythons, and I was immediately called over to photograph it. The kids learn quickly, so they all know that I like insects and spiders. Throughout the day, the two phrases I heard the most were "Amy! Spider!" and "Amy! Walk!" This is how I know I am a Nelson. Thank you, Riley. [Todd and I easily could have spent several more hours, if not days, at this zoo. We will be going back frequently enough that if you make the voyage to these parts, we'll gladly take you too.]
This is Todd. He's drinking a Bird's Nest. What's that, you ask? According to the rest of the English on the can, it's flavor is "White Fungus". This is what curiosity does. It compels you to drink sugary, mushroom liquid. It wasn't too pleasant, really.
Gratuitous baby monkey. This one goes out to my mom.
One of my favorite creatures was a minorly ignored one: the Civets. This is an unflattering photo of one, but my, my, would I love to cuddle with one. It uses that wobbly little nose to sniff the devil out of anything and everything, including one's fingers and face and whathaveyou. It looked like a mix between a raccoon and a cat. Naturally, I pet it.
That was the main place I heard "Amy! Walk!"
Next up, this little beauty.
She was missing her right leg, but was still a million times more agile than any of us.
I liked seeing how some of the animals that were missing a limb or eye had adapted to their surroundings. There was a sun bear that was missing his left paw, and didn't seem to think anything of it. The baby elephant had a prosthetic front left leg. Easy, no problem.
We ate lunch as a mass, and slept as a mass. After their rests, Rothana, Chamroeun II, and Pheaktra came over to discuss the finer points of life. They asked all sorts of questions regarding American politics, religion, and war. They wanted to know more about what we thought of the Khmer/Thai border debate. They asked about Libya (Libye) and the Middle East and Bin Laden (Beenlada). It took us awhile to figure out what "Badaobama" was.
Srey Meas kicking back in a hammock.
Paly and his sister Seang Mai striking a pose. Do you understand why we thought we had landed on a different planet? Most of the kids looked like they were straight from Back to the Future, but the part when they actually go to the future, and it looks... awesome. I love these kids.
After lunch and nap time, more beasts.
Until then, goodnight!
Editor's Note: Todd reminded me that I left out the most critical and time-consuming topic of discussion from our sit down with Chamroeun and Rothana. Chamroeun seemingly asked about "grandfarmers". Even with Todd trying to understand in Khmer, we could not figure out what grandfarmers were. According to Chamroeun, it's a movie about robots from space that fight with each other on Earth. Ah. Transformers. Once that clicked, Todd spent the next ten minutes trying to convince the boys that Transformers are not real. They genuinely insisted that they actually exist. This led to an in-depth explanation of animation and movie magic. At the end, Rothana said in Khmer, "ooh, America is so good at fooling people!"