Goodness! What a big mouth you have….
Jim and I met eighteen years ago, and one of our family traditions has become going to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, or SeaWorld on holidays. This morning we went to the San Diego Zoo, which we chose because the new Reptile Walk opened today. I’ll have lots of pictures of it later on.
First I wanted to share pictures of one of the San Diego Zoological Society’s ambassadors:
That is a Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). This one is a subspieces, the North American Timber Wolf. It is the wolf that has been re-introduced to Yellowstone National Park.
As with all of the Zoological Society’s ambassadors, this was an injured wolf rescued from the wild and nursed back to health. Its injuries will not allow it to be re-introduced to the wild, so it gets to live out its life at the San Diego Zoo…. lucky wolf.
The two wolf handlers were telling us about the Yellowstone ecosystem and that, with the re-introduction of wolves, it is now North America’s only “complete ecosystem.” I have Googled “complete ecosystem” to try to find out exactly what that means but no real luck. I’m getting the impression that it has something to do with the wolf being an apex predator, i.e., at the top of the food chain. Only humans and tigers, both apex predators themselves, are a threat to it. Tigers are not in Yellowstone National Park, and humans, well, they tend to mess up everything….
The gray wolf is the sole ancestor of the dog. The genetic divergence between gray wolves and dogs is only 1.8%.
From Little Red Riding Hood:
….Little Red Riding Hood then says, “What a deep voice you have.” “The better to greet you with,” said the wolf. “Goodness, what big eyes you have,” said the little girl. “The better to see you with,” said the wolf. “And what big hands you have!” exclaimed Little Red Riding Hood, stepping over to the bed. “The better to hug you with,” said the wolf. “What a big mouth you have,” the little girl murmured in a weak voice. “The better to eat you with!” growled the wolf.
Humans are not a part of the gray wolves’ diet.
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Posted on July 4, 2012, in Fauna, Mother & Father Nature, Photos, Zoo & Safari Park and tagged gray wolf, north american timber wolf, san diego zoo, wolves in yellowstone national park. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.