New giraffe species at the San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo logo

I discovered many decades ago that annual memberships to places that one enjoys going quite regularly are very worthwhile.

First, they save a lot of money.

Second, though, things are always changing.

As my wise old grandmother told me after I had become the largest typing service in Kingsville, Texas: “If you want to stay #1, you have to change.”

At the time that didn’t make sense to me, but after watching several companies—Quark Express, Lotus 1-2-3, PC Word, Wordstar, WordPerfect—with #1 market share disappear because they failed to change, either with the times or in response to competition, I now understand.

The San Diego Zoo is another case in point. When I was watching Johnny Carson in the ’60s and ’70s, two of his regular guests came from the Cincinnati Zoo and the San Diego Zoo. Even though San Diego was much closer to Hollywood, I thought the Cincinnati Zoo got more exposure. That put the Cincinnati Zoo on my list of top zoos to visit.

When I finally got to the Cincinnati Zoo in 1995, it was a major disappoint-ment, especially since I had already been a member of the San Diego Zoo for a year. I was soooooooooo looking forward to visiting what I always considered the #1 zoo in North America. Sadly, the exhibits and the zoo itself were overgrown with weeds, the alligator exhibit was disgustingly gross and odiferous, and many daytime animals simply were nowhere to be found. I now know that the Cincinnati Zoo had lost a major benefactor due to his death and had not found a replacement for several millions of dollars that had flowed into the zoo each year.

Elephant getting a pedicure at the San Diego ZooHere at the San Diego Zoo, they continue to expand the boundaries of zoo exhibits, being the first zoo to create natural exhibits where several different species live together, just like in the wild. Conrad Prebys, San Diego Zoo’s major benefactor, died a few years ago but left a lot of money to the San Diego Zoo. Thus, we have the Conrad Prebys Koalifornia koala exhibit, the Conrad Prebys elephant care facility, and the newly opened Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks! exhibit.

The San Diego Zoo comprises only 100 acres, though, so when an area gets renovated, they have to do something with all the animals that made that area home. Typically, they will loan them out to other zoos, and other zoos reciprocate when they are undergoing their own renovations. The San Diego Zoo also often rescues animals from other zoos that didn’t make it financially, or “backyard zoos” which are typically still found in the Midwest and South. A couple of years ago, several abused and distressed elephants from an Oklahoma Zoo and a backyard zoo in Texas were brought to the San Diego Zoo and rehabilitated, now happily roaming around 14 acres with their own herd.

Recently I discovered a new giraffe species at the San Diego Zoo.

I was quite surprised because I had read nothing about this new species in the Zoo Magazine or on the web site, and nothing in the news about.

It’s quite an interesting animal.

Here’s its picture:

Unusual giraffe

And you thought this whole post was going to be serious. I guess I just can’t be trusted.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Mickey the Meerkat mug shot

Mickey the (bad) Meerkat

Picture of the Moment

Who knew that bad meerkats got arrested?

Here are the recently released mug shot photos for Mickey the Meerkat, arrested for abandoning his post.

Mickey the Meerkat mug shot

Mickey the Meerkat mug shot

Here is what Mickey the Meerkat should have been doing at his sentry post:

Meerkat at the San Diego Zoo

Here is what the Meerkat Police, San Diego Zoo Division, found Mickey the Meerkat doing:

Meerkat at the San Diego Zoo

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Picture of the Moment—Itsy bitsy, teeny tiny, little, & beautiful

Picture of the Moment

It’s amazing how having a great macro lens for one’s camera causes one to see things that one has never seen before, like these itsy bitsy teeny tiny little beautiful flowers.

Itsy bitsy teeny tiny little beautiful flowers

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Gull taking home some food

You can take some home

My wise old grandmother

Whenever my wise old grandmother (MWOG) took me out to eat, inevitably I could not eat everything that the restaurant served me. MWOG often told me, “Just because the restaurant served it to you doesn’t mean you have to eat it all now. You can take some home.”

In her afterlife, I believe she has been counseling some fauna here on Earth:

Squirrel taking home some food

Gull taking home some food

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Agave utiliensii

Picture of the Moment—The very rare Agave utiliensii

Picture of the Moment

The city of San Diego, as well as its suburbs, love to paint their streetside utility boxes.

I’m not complaining.

I love ’em, and I’m always on the lookout for the coolest of the cool ones.

Utility boxes are usually at street corners or in heavily trafficked areas where there is no parking so they often are difficult to get a picture of.

I have been known, however, to go around the block several times looking for parking so I can get out and take a picture.

Here’s one of my favorites from this past weekend:

Agave utiliensii

I believe it’s the very rare Agave utiliensii, not normally seen in cultivation.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

IMG_7761 Coco

Picture of the Moment—Meet Coco

Picture of the Moment

I’m the incoming newsletter editor for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society (SDCSS) .

With over 700 members, it’s the largest chapter of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America.

So I was obligated (not that anyone had to twist my arm) to attend the SDCSS Winter Show & Sale.

I heard that it’s the second largest cactus & succulent show & sale in the United States, right behind the SDCSS Summer Show & Sale.

It looks like I’m going to have a great time meeting lots of people, seeing lots of cool plants, taking lots of pictures, and, of course, compiling the newsletter each month.

Here’s my favorite picture from this past weekend:

IMG_7761 Coco

That’s Coco. She’s just a year old and belongs to one of our SDCSS members. One of her parents was a floppy-eared dog and the other parent was a perky-eared dog. Hence, the floppy ear and the perky ear on little Coco, which I thought was sooooooooooooooo cute.

Fortunately, my assistant, a cutie herself, is not jealous so she did approve this post.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—All auto clinics are not created equal

Out & About San Diego

Ocean Beach is a quaint little neighborhood of San Diego. They believe in themselves, so much so that they want to remain stuck in the twentieth century, and the earlier the better.

The homes along Sunset Cliffs are beautiful ocean-view homes, and many of the businesses at ground level on one side are at the top of the sandstone beach bluffs on the other side. Occasionally, when Mother & Father Nature are fighting, the waves will crash against the bluffs and cause large sections to fall to the beach. Such was the case a few months ago, so I went out to see if I could get some pictures. Nope. The only way the bluffs there were accessible is by boat, and I didn’t have a boat. So I wandered around taking pictures of businesses.

That’s when I found Cliffside Auto Clinic. You might think, “Auto repair shop. Meh.”, but look what’s sitting in front of Cliffiside Auto Clinic:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

One might think, “Gosh, it takes them six decades to repair a car. The owners are probably dead by now!”

Nope.

Cliffside Auto Clinic specializes in restoring cars. How cool!

The “Horseless Carriage” really got my attention because it was in such bad shape:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I think the owner, whom I talked to that morning, said the Horseless Carriage was a 1909 Ford Model T but I’m not 100% sure.

There were other historic car-related items, too:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I also found two early Fidget Spinner prototypes:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post