[Chicago-talk] Our trip to the Zoo

brian d foy brian.d.foy at gmail.com
Sun Aug 12 01:47:06 PDT 2007

A bunch of people made it to the zoo on Saturday to tour the camel
exhibit (and a few didn't make it for various reasons, so better luck
next year).

The tour started with a docent-guided walk through the Reichenstein
African Journey, where the highlight was the meerkat exhibit. You may
remember those animals from such films as The Lion King and Meerkat
manner, but I remember it as an O'Reilly service from a long time ago:

The camel tour started with a zookeeper taking us behind-the-scenes of
the old elephant exhibit. The elephants all died of TB in the past
couple of years, so the camels got to move up in the world by taking
over the elephant space. Inside the elephant enclosure there are big
rooms caged in various ways designed to get elephants to do whatever
the zookeepers need. How do you control an elephant? Move it into a
"pinch corridor" that has a movable wall. Once the elephant is in the
corridor, shut the cage door and move the wall in until the elephant
can't turn around.

The camels themselves were outside. It was a mildly hot and sticky
day, not the worst that Chicago can do, but the zoo closes the
animal's entrance to the enclosure so they stay outside. Otherwise,
they'd stay in the cool inside and eat all day. Just like Perl Mongers
would do, although the Camels don't get caffienated drinks.

There are three bactrian camels, one male and two females. These are
the two-humped sort that come from China and Mongolia, not the
one-humped dromedary sort on the front of Programming Perl. The
zookeeper said their names, but nobody was really listening since we
were too busy taking photos. The camels decided to not come up to us.
They're smart like that; a group of people spells trouble.

We were actaully able to get closer to the camels from the public side
of the exhibit. Here's the Perl people of the group:


Next year perhaps we can try for a different animal. They do have
alpacas there, although we could still sponsor the camel and then try
to see the polar bears behind-the-scenes. :)

brian d foy <brian.d.foy at gmail.com>

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