I know I promised a continuation of my tales from Orvieto for today’s post, but I thought I’d take a little break from the Italian adventures and share a recent outing that’s a little more local.
As you know, Finn McSpool recently moved to the U.S. from Ireland (although he’s thinking about packing his bags and returning after learning the results of our latest election). He’s done a little local exploring to Portland’s Japanese Garden, but this week was his first trip to see some local beasties at the Oregon Zoo. Late November may not be the best weather for wandering around a zoo, but Mr. Husband and I discovered a few years ago that on the Monday after Thanksgiving, you pretty much have the place to yourself.
I know many people hate zoos and think they’re cruel, but the Oregon Zoo is an outstanding steward for animal, environmental, and ecological issues, including education, research and protection. Their recent (huge) expansion of the elephant exhibit is not only eco-friendly (lots of clever energy recycling going on), but provides the elephants plenty of room to roam and play. okay, not an entire wilderness to roam through, but at least they’re not being slaughtered for their ivory.
Finn started out his day with a seemingly safe creature he found lounging near the zoo entrance
Being a bit stubby in the leg department, Finn was fascinated by a few of the long-limbed creatures at the zoo.
One even decided to come over and check out his Irish visitor…
But this was all a bit tame for Finn. He wanted to see some dangerous beasts from the wilds of Africa!!
Alright, maybe African crested porcupines aren’t quite the dangerous creatures he had in mind. How about some more carnivorous African wildlife…
Hmmm…these lions seem to be a lot like the cats at home. Sleeping, lounging, yawning, stretching. Finn went out seeking more danger and he found it in the cheetah exhibit.
Once I traded a hunk of antelope steak for Finn, he decided active cats were scary and that the snoozing mountain lions were more suited to his adventure level…
And, of course, after a day of exploring, there’s nothing like stopping off for a bit of lunch and a pint of local beer.
Next Saturday I’ll be back (I pinky swear this time) with an adventure that goes up, down, and all around Orvieto. And Wednesday, I’ll be showing off some of my holiday spirit – a rare species indeed.
And speaking of animals…
It doesn’t take much to read labels to learn which foods and other products use palm oil or its derivatives. You can then either boycott those products or do a quick web search to see if the manufacturers have dedicated themselves to using sustainably sourced palm oil. It only takes a few minutes and can mean a world a difference to the environment and to forest creatures.