Sunday, January 31

London Zoo

Today dawned bright and clear, but bitterly cold. Overnight the temperature had fallen to -2°C. However, even at late as 9am, despite blue sky and sunshine, it was still -1°C. A layer of thick white semi-hoer frost covered everything in sight. In fact, we briefly thought it had snowed overnight. We later discovered our car covered in spectacular ice crystals. Fortunately the new windscreen was unharmed.

On a spur of the moment we ventured out and went to London Zoo. It’s only a ten-minute walk from our house, on the edge of The Regent's Park. However, despite its proximity, we’ve never visited. The Zoo claims to be the world’s oldest scientific zoo as it was originally established for scientific study in 1828. It didn’t open to the public until 1847. It also houses the world’s first public reptile house (1849), first public Aquarium (1853) and first insect house (1881).

More than 750 species are on display, spread across 36-acres. We thought we’d see the inhabitants out and about given the unusually sunny weather. However, most were huddled under heating lamps or sheltering indoors as the external temperature never rose above 3 °C. The Great White Pelican gained our immediate sympathy as they shivered in the feeble sunshine, while the penguins didn’t seem the least bit bothered.

Today’s highlights included the Galapagos tortoises. Dirk, the oldest of three tortoises on display, turns 70 this year. These lumbering giants looked very content exploring their cosy new enclosure. The otters and meerkats were also active, as were the ring-tailed coati. We both loved the Llamas who anxiously searched for their keeper bringing a late-afternoon snack. However, by 4pm, were both shivering and decided it was time to head for the warmth of home.

1 comment:

rhonda said...

Glad you enjoyed your day at the zoo albeit cold. The tiger certainly looks like he's enjoying the sun shining on his face. love the camel !!!