Jack the Lizard Wonder World


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(September 11, 2007)

There is no Elephant, or Giraffe, but….

Raccoon, Ichikawa ZooThe Ichikawa Zoo is a small local zoo. I, Jack the Lizard, visited the zoo today. The zoo was full of elementary schools and pre-schools students, not only from this area but also from Tokyo. What does the Ichikawa Zoo have? Let's check it out!!

Let's start from
"Friendship Park" ("Nakayoshi-Hiroba").

Red Panda, Ichikawa ZooAt "Friendship Park", you can pet the animals. The Pot-Bellied Pigs walk around you while the deer are napping in the sunny area. You can play with all those animals; Pot-Bellied Pigs, Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, and Chickens, etc., as long as you like.

Take a look at the small animals.

The Pot-Bellied Pig is a smaller breed of pig than the normal pigs. Both of them are living in this Zoo. Let's compare their sizes. You can tell that the normal piggy is far bigger with thick hairs.

Otter, Ichikawa ZooA few steps from "Friendship Park", takes you to the Small Mammal Zone. My favourite here are the Oriental Small-clawed Otters. They play with little stones using both of their hands, sooooo cute! Do you know why they actively play like that? The Zookeepers have made a better environment for them such as a sand layer on the bottom of the pond, and many stones to play with.

Black-and-Wjote Ruffed Lemur, Ichikawa ZooWhen I was in the Monkey Zone, a cicada flew into the Mandrill's cage, the male Mandrill quickly caught the cicada and ate it. A female Mandrill tried to get a share from him, but it was too late, he has finished. According to the Zookeeper, the animals sometimes get some snacks from nature.

Hey, Look at me!

Eavan the Orangoutan is the great entertainer.

Eavan the Orangutan, Ichikawa Zoo

He loves to hear the visitors' "Oh!" and "Wow!" He swings himself between the monkey bars. When he hears a big "Wow!", he swings higher. At last, he postures as a wise man on the highest platform.

Juliet is coming to see you, Romeo!!

The couple, Hanako and Daisuke, live separately. But Hanako sometimes breaks away to see her love, Daisuke. Unexpected offspring are not welcomed. Hanako has to take time out in her cell after that though. She is always looking for the next opportunity to escape from "Frendship Park".

Hanako the Asian pot-bellied pig, Ichikawa Zoo

It is a little life, so handle carefully.

Friendship Park, Ichikawa Zoo

The Zookeepers teach you how to handle the Guinea Pigs, and the Chicks.

The Owl is the symbol of wisdom

The White Owl has been so popular since the movie Harry Potter made it famous.

Friendship Park, Ichikawa Zoo

They love hand play.

Otter, Ichikawa Zoo

The Zookeeper, Mr. Mizushina, always checks their health. Their coat of fur is an important matter to be checked. If the fur does not repel water properly, the otter will lose body heat. The most important checking point is their eyes. They can't talk, but they can tell how they feel through their eyes. "I'm not feeling well, Mr. Mizushina."

Could you come a little closer, Mr. Matsuura?

The curator, Mr. Matsuura, took me for a tour in the zoo today. He used to be the care-taker of Lemurs a while ago. They still remember him and stretch their arms as long as possible to touch him. What a lovely moment it is!

Lemur, Ichikawa Zoo

Wishing them to grow up healthy

Squirrel Monkey

Guts the Squirrel Monkey was raised by the Zookeeper instead of his mother. The Zookeeper took care of him day and night, and now he's grown up. When he was little, his mother was too busy to take care of his sister. Once a Squirrel Monkey has been reared by humans, the other monkeys won't let him in to their community. But other Squirrel Monkeys who have been taken care of by the Zookeeper, will take him in to their club.

Let's get to know more about animals.

The Ichikawa Zoo invites some experts to some lectures. That day, Dr. Shoichi Sengoku came, who you may know from TV shows. He talked to us about the natural environmental conservation from little things in our daily life to big things in the global world.

Dr. Sengoku

At last, I learned that the Zookeeper's hard work is behind the cute behaviour of the animals. All their nice and comfy life was made possible by the Zookeepers' hard work and study. Thank you very much for the great opportunity to see them.