A safari in Chicago: The Lincoln Park Zoo
If you want a change of scenery and some exotic wildlife, come visit the (free!) Lincoln Park Zoo.
Sunday, July 1, 2012 - 19:52
CAMOUFLAGE SPOTS: Three African wild dogs stand alert in the grass. (Photo: Jeff Kubina/Flickr)
The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is a lovely, free way to spend your day. It is a zoo run by the city, and it has a diverse array of animals that are not found in Illinois. Illinois has some wonderful native wildlife, but it is always nice to see something different.
One of the newest exhibits is that of four African wild dogs, the species pictured above. The African wild dog is an endangered species, and the Lincoln Park Zoo is part of an effort to reestablish them as a species.
The zoo has four female African wild dogs, and they have a rather large, grassy exhibit. One of the most noticeable things about them is their mottled, beautiful coat. The coat of an African wild dog has swirls of black and yellow, as well as white spots, creating a pattern unlike any other animal. For this reason, it has also been called the "painted wolf" or the "ornate wolf."
The white-cheeked gibbon is another interesting species to see at the zoo. The white-cheeked gibbon is a highly agile primate, and there is a family of them at Lincoln Park Zoo. They are very energetic and can be see swinging from branch to branch in their habitat, looking more graceful than a gymnast. They are very playful, and it's fun to watch them swing about. Sometimes they climb up the fence of their enclosure so near to you that you can see them looking down at you.
There are some smaller but still interesting exhibits at the zoo. There are many small mammals, including sugar gliders, sand cats, bats, mongooses and wallabies. The zoo also has an entire house of birds, as well as reptiles.
The zoo contains a lot of biological diversity, and when you see all these animals, it's really astouding to remember how many different species live on this planet. The Lincoln Park Zoo is definitely worth a visit, and it's a way to spend a nice day in the city without spending much money. Give it a try!
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