Calgary Zoo - Cottontop Tamarin

Some people call it the dot com lifestyle, because there is a greater level of flexibility for online entrepreneurs (and freelance writers) when it comes to working hours. I took advantage of this perk the last couple of days by taking a quick jaunt over to Calgary, partly to poke around in Cow-Town and mostly to shoot animals at the Calgary Zoo. Before you send PETA after me, you’ll want to know that I was only shooting with a camera.

Although I never pursued it professionally, I love animals. I can’t get enough of The Dog Whisperer, for example, and those National Geographic specials on TV are always a treat (particularly in HD). Although it’d be great to pay the wallabies a visit in their native Australia, seeing them at the zoo is the next best thing.

Based on what I saw, the Calgary Zoo is better than the Greater Vancouver Zoo in terms of the variety of animals on display, but it still pales in comparison to the San Diego Zoo. The Calgary Zoo has some interesting exhibits, like the ability to get within touching distance of some manta rays (don’t touch them), but a lot of the animal habitats lacked in realism and comprehensiveness. We’re not really seeing much in terms of simulated “natural” environments.

Unlike some other zoos, though, I did find that the animals at the Calgary Zoo were more likely to notice and pay attention to you when you looked back at them. Some even chose, it appeared, to pose for me. Below are some of the photos that I took. Check back tomorrow, as I just might have a video of a baby gorilla playing with her papa too!

Calgary Zoo - Great Horned Owl
The Great Horned Owl, along with a couple of hawks, call an outdoor aviary home. The kicker is that you can enter this aviary without any barrier between you and the birds of prey.

Calgary Zoo - Lions in the Snow
What are these African lions doing in the snow? Aren’t they cold?

Calgary Zoo - Snow Leopard
The Snow Leopard takes a (very) brief break from its nap.

Calgary Zoo - Tree Kangaroo
Not all kangaroos hang out on the ground. The Tree Kangaroo is just as cute.

Calgary Zoo - Giant Fruit BatThat is one massive bat with a wingspan of up to 1.8 meters (about six feet). Thankfully, it only eats fruit.