I encountered another fearless animal at the Smithsonian Zoo: the Bustard, the heaviest flying bird. This bird was completely comfortable with human presence. My guess is that when he hatched from his egg he imprinted on his human caretakers just as baby birds imprint on their parents when they are born. As a result, he was used to constant human attention. He was a very handsome boy with hypnotic aqua-colored eyes.
I encountered a flock of vultures at the Smithsonian Zoo and they were ugly and beautiful at the same time. One of them was picking at a cow skull. It is one thing to see vultures feed on dead flesh in documentaries and films, but it was something else to see it up close and personal. I can still hear the slimy ripping noises of the vulture shredding the skill’s jaw muscles. This bird gave me chills!
At the Smithsonian Zoo, I came face-to-face with the king of the jungle: the African Lion! This big, handsome boy roared for ten whole minutes before laying down and going to sleep. This act was so funny the whole audience erupted with laughter afterwards. It was later we found younger lions and tigers in the surrounding enclosures. He was making everyone know he was still king before going to sleep.
Another dangerous yet elegant reptile I encountered at the Smithsonian Zoo was the Alligator Snapping Turtle. This creature appeared more demon than animal with a grisly beauty about it. I have seen documentaries about this turtle’s unrivaled biting strength. I felt humbled in the presence of such a powerful animal.
Here is a handsome Komodo Dragon I encountered at the Smithsonian Zoo. He was a very sleepy boy. Even though he looked at me as though I was a triple sirloin steak, based on his big potbelly I could tell that he just ate. Even though Komodo Dragons have a bloodthirsty reputation, I was utterly fascinated by the prehistoric beauty of this beast.
I went to the Smithsonian Zoo today and saw a wide variety of animals with a lot of personality. This is a Giant Panda relaxing and eating bamboo as though it were a bag of potato chips. These animals were living the good life because they are born, they live, and die in their version of a luxurious five star hotel.