Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – 2013

This is the fourth of three posts documenting separate visits to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Yes, I’m channeling Douglas Adams. Anyway, this being the fourth visit to the zoo, I concentrated even more on getting shots offering new perspectives on the animals and the place. That said, some of these are a tad repetitive insomuch that the animals are pretty much the same as they were on my previous visits. Boring, really.


These photos were taken with the Nikon D7000. If you want to see the full-size versions, they will be in THIS SmugMug Gallery. Visit the SmugMug gallery is to see all 154 photos in the series. For them not wanting to read my ramblings, there’s also a gallery at the bottom of the post.

We begin with us finally riding the chairlift that takes you . . . uh, I don’t remember where it takes you. I think there’s a small display at the top of the ride, but the attraction is the ride itself, or at least it was for me.

Here we go . . . 

The Mountain Sky Ride (clever name, init?) gives you a decent view of the surrounding plains as it passes over a few of the animal enclosures. 

These aren’t exactly flattering to the animals . . . 

This next shot is a bit more majestic, at least mostly hiding the old matted pelt. 

Here’s an overview of the giraffe feeding stations. 

On this particular visit, we got to see lots of peacock chicks. Here’s one with the mother. 

Once again, on this visit, I concentrated more on stuff I don’t normally photograph. For instance, what I think were new statues . . . unless I missed these in our previous three visits. 

Even so, I didn’t notice there are three deer until I just processed the photo. That’s because the little one was lost in the high contrast of the scene due to the bright midday sun. Really; it not an indication I’m losing my marbles. 

On the above photo, I didn’t notice there are three deer until I just processed . . . wait . . . I just said that, didn’t I? 

I’ve shown this bird before . . . 

. . . wait . . . it might have been one of these other ones. 

It don’t look like they’re going to run out of these anytime soon. 

I have to once again show the giraffes, but perhaps I can show interesting shots like — for instance — the one in the opening shot. Here’s another version of it . . . 

I do like the interaction of the giraffes with kids . . . 

This next giraffe kept staring up at the sky . . . 

. . . and it afforded me a different perspective, although one I’m used to when around tall people.

They also had a younger, rather dainty giraffe.

. . . had to do an artsy treatment of it. 

This next shot brings up a sad memory . . . it’s of a lioness that was killed by a male lion just two months after this photo was taken. 

This shot was taken from just the other side of a thick glass separating me from the lion. She was, in fact, looking at the male lion in another enclosure. 

Since my last visit — in 2010; see my last post — the zoo had done a number of renovations and improvements (the new lions display being one of them; the new display was not yet open at the time of the above photo). 

The above is reminiscent of some Indiana Jones movie or other. It’s a good way to let visitors closer to the animals while still keeping them from becoming a light snack. 

I mentioned before the meerkat webcam was taken down . . . and the proud critters took it hard . . . 

I mean, some of them still had pride in their jobs of scanning the sky for threats . . . 

. . . but some were less invested in the duty . . . 

One of the improvements made were to the elephant enclosure, now offering a place for people to hand-feed the elephants under the supervision of a handler . . . 

It’s only at set times and they’d already closed the line when we got there with enough people waiting to fill the allotted time. 

Elephants be neat . . . 

. . . but they could sure use some moisturizer. 

Other elephants were availing themselves of the self-serve stations . . . 

I waited a number of years to get this next shot . . . 

That’s the full photo shot at maximum zoom of my lens . . . I would have loved a closer shot, but I was happy to get this; the window of opportunity was no more than a couple of seconds. 

This was another attempt, but it did not work out as well. 

Again, they could really use some moisturizer. 

Part of redoing the pachyderm enclosure also resulted in a better enclosure for hippos (fun fact: the closest living relatives to hippos are whales). 

Yes, they too could use some moisturizer.

The zoo has some new additions . . . Jedi Hyenas. 

They slop mud over their eyes and hunt by using The Force. Here’s one trying to pack more mud over its eyes. They have very skinny legs that allow them to run really fast. 

These are three peacocks sleeping (and one keeping guard) . . . 

They have a peculiar way of sleeping. I think it would hurt my neck, but it don’t seem to bother them. 

Have you noticed they always seem pissed off about something?

Here’s another one with her chick. 

Many of the animals are quite expressive . . . 

Sometimes, they look like humans who have a lot on their minds. 

There are more of these in the gallery, but they look like more of these . . . 

Here’s a shot of the moose . . . 

Here are a few shots of a Mexican Gray Wolf (more in the gallery) . . . 

There are sixteen shots in this next animation (each separate shot is in the gallery) . . . 

For them too lazy to check them out, here are a few of the frames . . . 

This next bear decided to rest right next to the thick glass separating it from screaming kids . . . I wanted to join him. 

But, instead, I watched something else that amused me. A couple of flies approached . . . 

Then, one landed on his nose as he watched the other . . . 

One left, but the other stayed . . . 

It’s a beautiful animal . . . looking bored.

Here are a few shots of a bored Puma . . . 

. . . all of a sudden becoming attentive of a screaming kid running around . . . 

This parrot was being sprayed with a water bottle (it was hot) . . . 

Here’s that last shot put through one of the Topaz Impression filters . . . 

I mentioned baby peacock chicks . . . these were very photogenic. 

. . . and here they are with the proud mother . . . 

I should mention — again — the gallery has more photos.

How about another statue that I either never noticed or was new?

Here are a few more of my look-alike . . .

A couple of hippo shots; I really like the second photo.

There was a baby gorilla playing in the gorilla enclosure . . . 

He delighted the crowd by swinging and moving around. I did try to shoot a video, but it didn’t turn out very well and is not worth showing. 

I thought he  (she?) looked a bit like a miniature old man . . . 

There are a few pictures of the adults in the gallery, but the lighting was very bad and the glass dirty. They are OK, but the’s only one I think worth sharing here . . .  

The baby didn’t hang around long . . . 

I did get me a few more primates photos, including a few interesting ones . . . 

How about it, dear readers? How about we give them a hand?

No, I meant . . . ah, nevermind.

And that concludes this post. Here’s the gallery of all the photos for them who prefer to just look at the gallery. 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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18 Responses to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – 2013

  1. renxkyoko says:

    I enjoyed looking at the animals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have trouble telling the difference between gorillas and chimpanzees. I saw a great program about a group/ family/ clan of chimps a couple of weeks back, Amazing how they are like us; omnivores.
    They had no problem catching other monkeys and dining on them. They actually caught and killed more than 2 dozen for the daily feast.
    They were very fastidious, and even shared the food out, it wasn’t every chimp for themselves. Almost as if they were well mannered Englishmen & women :)
    Now that will draw a caustic comment!


    • disperser says:

      Gorillas are omnivores but classified such only because they occasionally eat insects. That I know of, they are not meat eaters.

      Here’s a handy guide . . . if they look mad, they are probably gorillas. If they look like they are smiling as they tear you to bits, they are chimps.

      If you are Tarzan, you were raised by gorillas and you pal around with a chimp.

      If your name is Magilla, you are a gorilla. If you are in a lab smoking a cigarette, you are (likely) a chimp.

      If you went to space, you are a chimp. If you are multiple times larger than a chimp, you are a gorilla.

      If you are called a gorilla, you might also be a human working as an enforcer for organized crime.


  3. oneowner says:

    Puma shots particularly outstanding! Cats are cool!


  4. I love your animal photos, Emilio!!!

    Maybe that giraffe was watching the skies for SuperGiraffe to fly in! :-D Aw, that is so sad about the lioness. :-( I like how the meerkats sit! The bear animation is so cool! :-) Anything in the monkey or gorilla family are a favorite! I could watch them all day! The baby gorilla walking away is soooooooooooooo cute! :-)

    The effects you used to make some of the photos look like paintings are so beautiful!

    HUGS!!! :-)


  5. Eddy Winko says:

    Hippos and whales, who’d have thought.


  6. AnnMarie says:

    Great pictures, though a zoo no longer promotes a fun environment for me. I’m aware that some species have been hunted to extinction, and some have their last few just in zoos. Nevertheless, their stereotypic movements are sad to observe. So, I think I’ll go to one of your SmugMug bird galleries to lift my mood!


    • disperser says:

      Most zoos treat their animals very well. One can — and many do — argue that regardless of the treatment these animals are in cages. The thing is, we anthropomorphize animals my mapping onto them what we would and would not like.

      I’m not sure freedom is a concept animals can understand. The idea behind having one’s environment controlled by others is anathema to many humans, but our lives are constantly controlled, our actions limited. Only, we don’t get free food and we don’t live in safe environments.

      One could argue we have the illusion of freedom.

      Now, perhaps capturing an animal and transporting it from its environment to an enclosure might cause distress, but many of these animals are zoo-born. In that regard, are they any different than cats and dogs?

      I don’t have answers, obviously, but neither am as quick as I used to be at ascribing intent and emotions to animals I can’t even begin to understand.

      It would be interesting asking animals if they would rather live in the wild or in a zoo. I know most humans readily choose the latter. Perhaps animals would as well.


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