Lions and Tigers and Bats, oh my!

We celebrated George’s birthday with a jaunt to the wonderful Oakland Zoo. What a thrill to see the animals in their natural-looking habitats, with lots of space and things to keep them busy. The Zoo’s website says that their goal is to provide the animals with “safe environments which stimulate and encourage natural behaviors.”

George and I raced to see the tigersThe Zoo currently has 5 female tigers.  One was rescued from a circus and the others are four sisters (Molly, Milou, Ginger, and Grace) who were rescued from private owners. Coincidentally, today is International Tiger Day!

Tiger at Oakland Zoo

We also loved watching the two lions, a brother and sister who came to Oakland as 6-month old cubs in 2000 from the Houston SPCA, part of a confiscated group of improperly-cared-for cats.

Lion at Oakland Zoo

We made sure to leave plenty of time to spend at the bat habitat. The fruit bats came to the Zoo in 2004 from the Lubee Bat Conservation Foundation in Florida.

Bat at Oakland Zoo

This Squirrel Monkey happily munched on bugs and grass in front of us.

Spider monkey at Oakland Zoo

If you haven’t been to the Oakland Zoo in a while, it has been extensively renovated. This Wiki includes a pretty good history, although it doesn’t go into detail on some of the problems that led to the changes. And you can read the Zoo’s own version of its history at this link.