Posts Tagged ‘st louis zoo’

KM visited the Cheetah cubs again….

June 14, 2007

Remember the post about the Cheetah cubs that I had gone to visit in St Louis Zoo? Here it is, at

When KM visited St Louis last week, I asked him to visit them again, and nothing loath, off he went to the Zoo one afternoon. One of the original four cubs had died even before we had been to see them..but the other three are thriving…Here they are!


Cheetah Curiosity


Cheetah duo


Cheetah Trio, St Louis Zoo, 8Jun07

And now for the rest of the news….

1. Laptop is back, doing absolutely fine, I am very happy with my “local” repairman who did such a good job for such a reasonable amount.

2. These pics were taken by KM on….MY NEW CAMERA!! Since KM wants to hog the Canon DSLR when we go on any future wildlife trips (a trip of a lifetime is being planned for July)…he and DnA got me a wonderful anniversary gift…a Canon S3 IS .

With everyone (er, except chirdeepshetty and sainath) telling me that after being used to a DSLR I would not find this very good, I was under the impression that this would be a simple point-and-shoot kind of camera. Far from it. I am still wading through the manual, just trying to identify the features…

And of course, now, even *I* can see the difference between pics taken on the DSLR and this camera; but I did need a lightweight camera to cart about everywhere….and I am thrilled with the S3IS.

I will need a LOT of help from all of you great photographers out there to be able to use this camera properly….

Artificial Displays at the St Louis Zoo

January 18, 2007

The Zoo takes a lot of effort to recreate the kind of natural scenery one would see while sighting an animal in the wild.

Here are some examples:

In the bee-eater section, here is a recreation of the rock face in which bee-eaters lay their eggs:

artificial nests of bee-eaters, St Louis Zoo

more pics, click on this

January 17, 2007

A lovely train which visitors ride,
At the St Louis Zoo;
It’s not big, it’s not wide,
But it will take all of you.

Around the Zoo it chugs along,
Bells clanging at the crossing;
The engineer waves to the visiting throng,
And they wave back at him, pausing.

Two flags flutter upon its head,
One is the famous Old Glory;
The other one,blue, white and red,
Is the flag of Missouri.

“Instead of walking around the Zoo,
It’s great to board it with children..”
Say tired parents and grandparents, who
Enjoy the Zoo a little more,then!

Train, St Louis Zoo

Incredible Light

January 11, 2007

This is my tribute to the many photographers on LJ whose work I admire so much that it got me out of my rooted feeling that I would never be good at photography, and whose encouragement keeps me going when I still get discouraged occasionally.

I am using the “large” format, which I don’t, normally….if the effect on my LJ isn’t good, I will re-size it back to “medium”…

I just HAD to shoot this image; I bet you can never, ever, guess what it is….

Incredible light

Isn’t that light wonderful?

The hippo enclosure at the St Louis Zoo has a plexiglass sheet down one side so that one can see the hippos both on land, and under water as, transformed from lumbering land animals to graceful shapes, they swim past underwater. The sun was shining through the water and the glass, and was falling in prismatic glory on the concrete and the sere leaves…an image that I was lucky enough to see, and even luckier to have the camera handy!

To every one of you photographers, from A to Y, ( through D and K and at least two S’s!)who have encouraged me and my photography…thank you.

The Dance of Life

January 11, 2007

We were so lucky to be able to watch and document this…photos were by KM, at the Insectarium in the St Louis Zoo.

Don’t look for crispness…he was following these butterflies as they flitted about and around each other.

Would you like to see the Dance of Life?

Steve Bircher, Michael Masek, and more of the Zoo…

January 9, 2007

I was very impressed with Steve Bircher, the Curator for Mammals/Carnivores at the St Louis Zoo. First of all, his very positive attitude to a totally unknown voice asking for permission to see the cheetah cubs when they were not on display; then his remembering to call me back at the time he said he would.

When we met him at the Zoo, just prior to our being taken to see the cubs, we found a very competent person. He has been with the Zoo, he says, for the past 29 years, during which no less than 30 cheetahs have been bred. The Zoo is very worried about the shrinking gene pool of these animals (cheetahs have much less genetic diversity than the other big cats to begin with) and they have been getting semen samples from cheetahs wherever they can. Recently, the Zoo got two males from Toledo to help with the breeding program. The fact that Lucia and Shanto, the parents of the cubs, are not related, is a big plus for the breeding program.

More about Steve and our visit

Protected: Here are the Cheetah Cubs..

January 8, 2007

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The Butterflies…

December 22, 2006

I am sending some pictures of the beautiful butterflies that I snapped in the St Louis Zoo…god, it is SO difficult to get these things on camera!!

I don’t know most of the id’s…so I would appreciate some help on them. There were only volunteers in the Insectarium and even the list of id’s that they had didn’t match up with the pictures I had…

Let me start with those whose id I *do* know:


Zebra Longwing Butterfly, IMG_0856.JPG

Zebra Long Wing Butterfly, IMG_0855.JPG

And here are some of PAPER KITES:

Paper Kite Butterfly

Paper Kite Butterfly, IMG_0860.JPG

Paper Kite Butterflies, IMG_0858.JPG

some more very pretty butterflies …click on this

Butterflies…and cubs next week, Inshallah

December 16, 2006

Today I did my usual walk to the Zoo, and decided to spend time in the Insectarium, specifically, in the butterly area…and I managed to get some …er…nice pictures (that Tamron lens works WELL as a macro lens I must say.) I had such a great time.

The email I sent to the Zoo guest services got an “out-of-office” response, so I talked to someone at the information desk and soon got to meet someone in the Education Dept with my request to see the cheetah cubs. I was told that if Steve Bircher, the curator, ok’s my request, I can…wheee!

Came back walking briskly in the cold, through the gloaming (ha, that’s a nice old English word for twilight!)…came in thoroughly chilled and am nursing a hot cup of coffee as I type. Life has such simple, unalloyed, great pleasures to offer…

Am still unable to drag and drop from Picasa to the Flickr uploader; will try later tonight, or on Monday.

Bird-watching in St L, photography, and cheetah cubs

December 15, 2006

kalyan talks about the mindset which makes him rush off somewhere as soon as he hears of the prospect of seeing a rare bird.

At my beginners’ level, too, I find symptoms of this dread disease. I missed two wonderful trips, to B R Hills and to Bhadra…but family commitments took me halfway across the world at the time when LOTS of winter birds arrive at home, when travelling is such fun and when I could have learnt a lot more.

But having come here, I decided that I would at least visit the Zoo, which is just half an hour’s walk away, and see the exotic birds there with newly awakened eyes.

Alas, KM didn’t want to bring either the Canon prime lens, or the 75-300 lens which I have been somewhat getting used to…now, instead, I am getting used to the Tamron 28-200 lens instead. Predictably, my pictures quality has regressed again.

I have shot a couple of birds on nearby trees that I can’t yet identify…but today, I got some AWFUL pictures of what is THE representative bird of St Louis, after which their baseball team is also named…the Cardinal. It is such a bright and beautiful bird…bright red in colour. Birds are not frequently to be seen at this time of year.

My friend Abhijit Menon-Sen gave me a useful link for birds of Missouri; I am trying to match my OFP (Orrible Fuzzy Pictures) to them to get id’s. I *might* post the fuzzy pic of the cardinal…if my birder friends promise not to laugh at it.

I tried my hand at some pictures of some of the beautiful birds at the Zoo, like the Hyacinth Macaw, Spectacled Owl, the Tawny Frogmouth and so on…but alas, the low light in the bird house meant that red-eye is a permanent problem, and the wire of the cages keeps getting in the way, too, Will have to figure out how to leave the flash off and yet get good pics. I am a basic-point-and-shoot person getting into deep waters….helllpppp!

But meanwhile…I picked up a local newspaper yesterday..and it says that the cheetah in the Zoo has just had three cubs!! Wow, what a success for the Zoo. (the St Louis Zoo is a smaller, but to my mind, an even better version of the world-famous San Diego Zoo…indeed, they have several times won the Best Zoo in the US award, no mean feat when you know the size and clout of other Zoos.) Apparently, since the weather is so cold, the cubs will not be displayed at the Riverside Enclosure until spring….I am planning to call/ email someone at the Zoo (I find people there VERY approachable, I might even just go there in person) and ask if, as a visitor from halfway across the world, I could get a sneak peak at the babies…maybe I won’t be allowed to photograph them, but I would really LOVE to see the cheetah cubs, even though captive!