Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and say to yourself, "I wonder what interesting animals were born in zoos all around the world today." Well, now you can find out! Just go to Zooborns, a favorite new blog of mine. Thanks to Em of Em's Bookshelf for the link! Look at this latest addition, an extraterrestrial-looking munchkin called a "sifaka." Huh. Never heard of it! (Um, yes, it's the smaller of the two "creatures.")
If you want to faint from cuteness, go over to the Zooborns site and look at the baby gorilla (those sweet soulful eyes!) and speaking of extraterrestrial: scroll down to the giant anteater and its baby. Whoa. There are some animals you just never think about and so it doesn't occur to you to say, "Wow, that lives on this planet?" But look at that giant anteater with its little piggyback baby and you can't help but think it.
Watch this 3-second (literally) "video" of a giant anteater. Make sure your volume is turned up.
Last week as part of my [now-broken] nonfiction-only reading vow (I have to make those from time to time in order to tear myself away from novels), I read Menagerie Manor by Gerald Durrell. I loved Gerald Durrell's books when I was 12-13ish, when I dreamed of traipsing around the world collecting animals for zoos. That is just what Durrell did for much of his career, and he has a number of books about his expeditions, several of which I have on hold at the library and need to go and gather. Menagerie Manor is a highly entertaining and readable selection of anecdotes on his life as a zookeeper/zoo owner. The zoo he founded in the late '50s is on the Channel Island of Jersey, and I think I would quite like to go there some day. Doesn't it look lovely?
It concentrates on rare and endangered species and especially on breeding them; Durrell's Trust also does wonderful conservation work around the world. What an interesting life, well-documented in very entertaining books; if you're an animal lover, do look into him.
[After reading an amazingly wonderful novel set mostly on the Channel Island of Guernsey recently, I now add the Channel Islands to my list of travel destinations (sigh. It is a very long list.)]