Recent Travels: Syracuse

I’m going to split this post up into a few bite-sized chunks so it’s not photos galore so anticipate enjoying a few more photo-heavy posts in your near future.

These last few days have all been about enjoying friends, family and all that my location has to offer. A few days ago my mum, Ling Ling, and I took the short drive to Syracuse to enjoy the Central New York Regional Market and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. The regional market is easily the largest I’ve ever been to. I’m so accustomed to vending at my mini-market in Saugerties that by comparison this one is absolutely ginormous! You can literally find everything: from handmade pasta, bread, cheese and veggie burgers to dog bones to herbs & flowers to kitchen tools to dvds to soap to clothes to wine & beer (Good Nature Brewing’s American Brown Ale is the stuff of dreams.)….you get the point. It’s a wonderland! Sorry I didn’t get photos but it was just too overwhelming for me to even try.

Here’s a photo of the two different lavender plants I purchased at the market (plus a yellow jacket enjoying their fragrance). Each plant was $2.00 which I thought was a great deal. Growing my own lavender has been a dream. The way I go through it, I probably should have purchased ten more plants, at least, but this is a good start.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is always an enjoyable visit. During the summer of 1995, I worked as their veterinary technician extern and was offered the zoo vet tech position after I graduated (I turned them down because at the time they had a policy that all park employees had to live in the county and living in that big of a city was not my cup of tea). They fixed the zoo up since the last time I visited and let me tell you that the grounds and buildings are looking gorgeous! Plus, my sweet Asian elephants now have a brand-spankin’ new enclosure and exercise yard. It’s always nice to return to a place and see that it’s improved with time. I can’t say that in a lot of cases. Here are some photos for you to enjoy…

I'm safari ready.
I’m safari ready.
Humboldt penguins
The Humboldt penguin colony. They even had a small fuzzy baby there. Awe.
White-lipped deer
A crew of white-lipped deer hanging together in the shade. Can’t blame them. It was hotter than heck.
It’s a tough life. The lions at the zoo are actually triplets.

Lazy lion

Chow time for the radiated tortoise.
Chow time for the radiated tortoise. I used to walk him outside to do public talks…after a few minutes of him traipsing around I’d grow impatient and have to pick his arse up and carry him to the venue.
Asian elephants
I am so lucky to have been able to work with these elephants. Here’s Romani, Targa, Mali and Kirina with their caregivers.
Asian elephants
This is during the public elephant demonstration. Here’s Romani showing how she lifts her foot for health checks.
Asian elephants
I helped bring this little bundle of joy into the world. Kirina was born on June 20th, 1995. On June 21st, for my birthday, they let me transport the placenta to Cornell University in my tiny Plymouth Colt. It took up my entire trunk and was so heavy that it nearly made the back-end touch the ground. I was just hoping I didn’t get pulled over because how do you explain that!? It was an honor to be a part of her and her mother, Romani’s, life.

Some of you may be uncomfortable with zoo photos or the idea of zoos and I get that. Believe me, I had misgivings about working at a zoo for a little while but all zoos and situations are not created equal. I don’t enjoy petting zoos and I completely detest circuses. These exist merely for the enjoyment of humankind which I think is absolutely sick. Profit always seems to trump the health & happiness of the animals in these situations. On the other hand, most zoos participate in captive breeding programs, support native-habitat conservation efforts and serve to educate the public. That’s the difference. The more I know and the more we continue to pillage and plunder our natural world, the more I realize that zoos and refuges are the only and last hope for many species. Sad but true. I wish they weren’t necessary, but if people continue to cut down forests and poach the endangered, zoos will be the last place most species will be allowed to exist without threat. I hate that I even have to write that sentence. It’s shameful.

This is not a great photo but they had an octopus! I just love them and find them completely fascinating.

1 response to Recent Travels: Syracuse

  1. Jess says:

    OMG! I would love to have had the opportunity to work with these beautiful animals. The lion (ess?) is beautiful! And they have an octopus?!
    I agree, as unfortunate as zoo’s are, if they are there for the support of an animal (refuge used for educational purposes), I’m okay with that.

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