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Sandra Scott Travels: Make New Memories; Recall Old Ones at Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Last week I asked: Where can you see a golden lion tamarin?

At Syracuse’s Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

It had been several years since I had visited the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

I felt that it was a place to take youngsters.

And, yes, it was a beautiful day and there were many adults with children who were thrilled and amazed by the animals.

But, there were many adults especially those interested in photography.

I enjoyed the visit because it brought to mind some of my travels.

The golden lion tamarin is a beautiful monkey about the size of a squirrel with a golden lion-like mane of hair.

The golden lion tamarin
The golden lion tamarin

I saw them at the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve in Brazil, one of the few places to see tamarins in the wild.

Twenty years ago it would have nearly impossible to see them in the wild or in a zoo as they were extremely rare and their habitat was being destroyed.

National Zoo Scientists and collaborators in Brazil introduced zoo-born golden lion tamarins into the forests, primarily onto private lands where the owners have kept the forest intact providing the necessary habitat for sustainability.

During the 40-year project, the tamarin population in Brazil’s Atlantic Coastal Forest has risen from 200 to 2000.

The program has been “wildly” successful.

And, now many zoos have these critically endangered monkeys.

It is good to visit a zoo in the morning when the animals are most active.

A tiger ... up close
A tiger … up close

In India, I visited the Jim Corbett Tiger Preserve and never saw a tiger.

There are places that guarantee that people will see tigers in the wild but they put out bait to attract them and the Jim Corbett Preserve does not.

I didn’t think it is proper to put out food for wild animals for the amusement of tourists.

But, I did see the beautiful tigers at the zoo.

They were close enough so I could appreciate them – their size and beautiful coloring.

I was in time for the zoo’s elephant demonstration.

I have fond memories of my elephant experiences.

My first elephant ride was in Changi Mai, Thailand.

The elephants, in a single file line, followed a narrow hilly trail across a small creek.

It was exciting.

I heard, “Oh, my God!” in several languages from the riders behind me.

Since there were no tigers at Jim Corbett, I went on an elephant trek.

Off we went into the forest with the elephant breaking a new trail by snapping off trees and branches in the way.

penguins on the rocks
penguins on the rocks

When I was in Peru I was sorry that I could not fit in a trip to the Colca Canyon, which is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is supposed to be the best place to see Andean Condors in the wild.

The condor’s wings range from 8 to 10 feet.

The zoo’s condor spread its wings and went to a higher perch.

Impressive. It made me realized it would have been impossible to fully appreciate the bird’s massive wing span had I seen it in the wild from afar.

The penguins were molting so they were poised on the rocks because it is difficult for them to swim during molting season.

The exhibit reminded me of the Penguin Parade in Australia where at dusk tourists gather onshore to watch hundreds of the Little Fairy Penguins return to their burrows after spending their day at sea.

The Rosamond Gifford is a great place to create new memories and recall old ones.

Travel Trivia Tease™: Where is the Frederic Remington Museum? Look for the answer next week.

Mexico resident Sandra Scott and her husband, John, enjoy traveling and sharing that experience with others. She also writes everyday for Examiner.com (rotating on editions … Syracuse Travel, National Destination and Culinary Travel).