Amazona Zoo, Cromer, UK

We’ve already justified our season ticket purchase, as today Maebh and I visited the Amazona Zoo for a second day in a row! It was a great day with perfect weather – though just a few degrees warmer would have been even better.

As Soren participates in multi-sports after school on Thursdays, we didn’t have to pick him up until 4 pm, so we have extra time and could stay to see the Jaguars being fed at 3:00 pm.  We were lucky as we got to see a bonus feeding of the caimans (alligators), in addition to the three scheduled feedings – American Otters, Spider Monkeys and Jaguars.

The Spider Monkeys were really cool – they each had a different personality.  Lucky for us, we were given the private explanation as the zookeeper feed them in front of ONLY Maebh & I.  He explained little details about the monkeys like the name, age, gender and some interesting facts.  Ulysses, is the patriarchal male in the group and quite an old boy at nearly 30 (I think).  Each of the girls had a pecking order and many times, they had their food stolen from Ulysses.  A few fights and territorial squawks and swipes, each one ate some pellets, fruit and peanuts.  The last thing they ate are the carrots.  There are two blonde ones who looked similar, Anna & Itz, but one has blue eyes and one has brown.  From far away you’d not be able to see the difference, but as he put some food on the outside of the fence, they had to reach their arms and even tails through to reach it and so I got a few close up shots.  Really cute & fun to watch.

There were like three other types of monkeys at the zoo.  These tiny guys were so cute and played peek-a-boo with Maebh.  She had a laugh when she saw herself in the window glass after finding the little guy inside.
What was pretty cool is that we were the ONLY ones there for the caiman (alligator) feeding, as we were in the right place at the right time.  We went inside the building seeing what was going on and they were just coming in with the bucket-o-chicks.  Therefore, we got lots and lots of one-on-one explanations and watched as they threw the dead chicks and fish heads strategically to ensure all 10 or so were fed.  All I have to say is thankfully the chicks were not still alive as watching them try to escape would probably be a little too much, even though I know that is natural.
As a friend posted on my facebook posting, this zoo is not a good place to be a chicken! He told me that the bucket-o-chicken which he had for the caimans, was baby male chickens from a local hatchery and the females are kept to lay eggs.

More chicks to eat but this time larger ones with more meat were fed to the American Otters.  The first thing they do, is rip the head off to ensure their prey didn’t get a chance to get away.  These guys were also amazing – within minutes they finished up their meals and disappeared.  Probably off to take a nap.

The chicken hand hanging out reminds me of the Dim Sum meal we had in San Francisco’s Chinatown.  We ordered chicken fingers and out came literally a hand with fingers and I swear painted nails.

I took 940 photos, yet I did have lots of non-camera time with Maebh too.  After our picnic lunch, she enjoyed the play area (though it really is better for the bigger kids) and fun with bubbles.

Having a little trouble, as these are not the blow ones, but rather swing through the air type.

She likes the animals, but she really could careless about a  jaguar searching around his den looking for the chickens which the zoo keeper went in and hid for him.  Me on the other hand was so excited. In fact, just as it was about to start, she started yelling at me that she had to poop and now.  I whispered for her to shhh and if she could hold it for a few minutes – back and forth – then she really yelled poopie now.  So we had to leave the jaguars area and head to the nearby (and not so happy about the only) bathroom where she peed and did NOT poop.  So I did miss about 10 minutes of the feed, but thankfully there was only one Jaguar eating so we were able to watch 3 chickens found and devoured.  The Mama Jaguar took all the food yesterday so she was separated today and the guy put her up above in a cage until the son ate all today’s food.


There were a few groups of baby ducklings running around, all in the close watch of their Mom and Dad.  They were all cute, but something about the all yellow ones.  I think they were so much cuter than the others.  Perhaps because they were different or stood out from the rest. The mama ducks were pretty protective of the babies and did a great job in actually chasing and scaring away a rather large duck who came too close.

Speaking of ducks, the large one who was sitting on her two eggs yesterday was still there, protecting them from predators – no babies yet.

We enjoyed the other small animals like the small monkeys, two different types of owls and other birds.   This large owl, could turn his head around completely.

There is something about flamingos which I love too, but they can smell if kept in small spaces.  They are pretty and do unique things like yoga poses, eat with their heads upside down filtering their food and never look at you.
Well over 10 years ago, we visited them in the wild in the Carmargue, France.  Such a beautiful bird!  I wish I had a digital camera back then.  For now, you can see what we saw here.

Then there is this bird, which I say is an emu but I think it had a different name.  He was funny to look at and did strange things with his neck and head.  He sort of reminded me of the Scientist on Back To The Future.


Then there were tapirs who loved the mud. I normally wouldn’t even look at these guys for more than two minutes, but they were somewhat clean and then suddenly jumped in the mud and were having a blast.  Perhaps it was a mating thing, as one really muddy one stood very still while two others came over, smelled his or her butt area (uh huh) and then they too went wild in the mud.  Thought it may be a camouflage thing, from a distance it would be hard to see.


And to end a great day, we went over to the cafe for an ice cream.  I got a chocolate one and she chose a Lion Bar ice cream, which when Soren saw he was nearly in tears.  He loves Lion Bars and was jealous she visited the zoo – twice!! I explained that I’d take him soon and that he goes to school and she can’t yet.


After all these photos and many of them with the fences, the private after-hours, photo tour is looking really good right now, but still a bit too pricey!

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