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I promised to show off my panda photos today, and I’m going to keep that promise! Haha. And, of course, the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo doesn’t just have giant pandas. They also have hippos, okapis, rhinos and even tapirs! It was pretty awesome to see tapirs or okapis in real life! And the hippos were even getting their teeth cleaned out when we saw them – it was crazy!
But before I show some of the other animals, let’s marvel at the cuteness of the giant pandas, Shin Shin and Ri Ri, as they enjoy their bamboo lunch!
One of the things I read about the pandas, as I was waiting in line to see them, is that they are really good at climbing up trees! However, they can’t get back down once they climb up…so, the zookeepers have to go rescue the pandas pretty often. Haha. Poor little guys!
Red pandas, however, are very good at climbing trees and also getting back down them! I really enjoyed watching these guys climb! They aren’t related to giant pandas at all, either. They’re more closely related to raccoons.
Another animal I could’ve watched for hours was the snow monkey! They were hilarious, and I thought it was just too funny that they were able to weigh themselves on the scale pictured above. (Although, I think they just liked sitting there…not that they cared how much they weighed. Haha.)
We spent the most time, however, by the gorillas. These guys were fascinating to watch. I don’t believe I had seen a gorilla in real life since I was about 8. Their mannerisms and facial expressions are so human-like it was startling.
And my favorite thing at the zoo was getting to see hippos and pygmy hippos up close! Their outdoor habitats were getting cleaned when came through, so they were indoors getting fed…and we were able to really get a good view of them!
I had initially been a bit concerned about how messy the pygmy hippos indoor area was (why wasn’t this area getting cleaned?)…but then I watched these little guys in action for a few minutes! Wow! They, um, poo where ever they darn well please, and it goes everywhere. There were even signs warning that you could get hit! Eek.
The big hippos, however, were not as messy. And they were actually getting their teeth cleaned out when we walked over by them! I had always thought hippos were pretty dangerous, but these guys didn’t seem to want to eat the zookeepers. They even seemed to enjoy getting the water squirted in their mouth. 🙂
The okapi was also inside at this time. I apologize for the quality of his photos. There was a glass in between us, and the glare was terrible. Okapis kind of look like zebras, but they’re actually more closely related to giraffes. And I was really impressed that all the little kids who were looking at the okapi, knew what he was and how to pronounce “okapi!”
Tapirs were another animal I was really surprised to see! They kind of are similar to pigs and live in the jungles in South America and Southeastern Asia.
I’m also rather pleased with this photo I took of the Ueno Zoo’s tiger. Haha.
Needless to say, I was like a little kid at this zoo. There were so many animals I had never dreamed I would see outside of watching National Geographic! And getting to watch the hippos was incredible. If you are in Tokyo, Ueno Zoo is definitely worth a visit, and it’s only 600 yen for a ticket (roughly $6 USD)! Click here for their website.
I’ll end this post with a gallery of some more photos I had taken. And I’m curious, which is your favorite animal out of the bunch? 🙂 And has anyone else seen okapis or tapirs or giant pandas? Let me know in the comments!
Click here to see my panda-themed outfit that I wore to the zoo!