Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Love at the zoo

Experience the wild side of romance at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Queens Zoo this Valentine’s Day. While only some of our animals mate for life, all of them enjoy living with their roommates— or, exhibit mates—in their very own special way.

Kick off a romantic Valentine’s Day by visiting the Zoo’s new pronghorn trio. These elegant animals, which resemble antelope, truly know what it means to be “matched-up.” Last year, Zoo staff slowly introduced the pronghorn to the long-time bison herd in an effort to integrate the two species within the same exhibit. The process proved successful, and both types of animals now live together in a beautiful, majestic exhibit, which resembles the vast prairies of the American West, the native land of both species. Though they tend to keep their distance, both pronghorn and bison do display curiosity toward each other every now and then. While we might try to get to know someone by saying “hello,” these animals do it the wild way through the occasional lick or sniff.

Next, drop in on American bald eagles Mel and Claire II at their love nest, where chivalry seems to still exist. Longtime resident Mel has shown Zookeepers and visitors he knows how to treat a gal. Claire II gets first dibs on the food, and when she’s done, Mel will come over to finish it off. Claire II even gets to choose her favorite spot to Have a Wild Valentine’s Day at the Queens Zoo perch, without any fuss from Mel, proving he really is a regal eagle.

Don’t forget to check out the Zoo’s playful pair of Andean bears, Spangles and Cisco. These two are notorious for their PDA: public displays of affection. They are often seen cuddling up together looking like a big furry ball, or play fighting in the winter after a light snowfall. But as with most couples, this pair isn’t without the occasional tiff. Luckily, female Spangles know how to keep her male counterpart in line. Though she weighs in at a modest 150 pounds, it’s still clear that she’s in command of the 400-pound Cisco.

The Zoo is also home to cranes and swans, two avian species that choose their mates for life. Male cranes also pitch in when it comes to parenting. They sit on nesting eggs to keep them warm while their mates take a break. With all of these great traits, these males make quite a catch!

As you can see the Queens Zoo inspires many complementary matches for its residents, imagine what it can do for you! Queens Zoo, a Wildlife Conservation Society park, is located at 53-51 111th Street in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Corona Heights, NY 11368. Admission is $6 for adults, $2.25 for seniors 65 and older, $2 for kids 3-12, free for children under 3. Zoo hours are 10 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. daily. For further information, call 718-271-1500 or visit www.queenszoo.com.


Anonymous said...

The Queens Zoo is one of the hidden secrets of Queens. It is a great place.

Anonymous said...

I plan on visiting the political zoo
at Queens Borough Hall and then skip off
to Eddie's Sweet Shop with my "honey" !

We'll be needing a strong double milkshake
afterwards, if we chance to catch a glimpse
of Beep Marshall!

Gag, choke, ugh!

I'm sure that there are many sweetheart deals between developers and the Beep
still going down at "The Hall".

And I've heard that Manes' ghost
can be spotted after midnight
counting his bribe money in the men's room!