I’ve got more photos from our experience seeing Jungle Jack Hanna that I wanted to share! It really was amazing to see all of these animals and hear some really incredible facts about them.
I was incredibly excited when this animal came out on stage.
This is a two-toed sloth.
I love these creatures.
They spend most of their time in trees and only come down to the ground about once a week to use the bathroom.
Their fur often times become covered in green algae. This actually benefits the sloth by camouflaging him while he is in the trees. To predators like eagles, the sloth just looks like foliage.
This is a barred owl. He is from the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro.
Barred owls are the only typical owl in Virginia with a completely dark eye. They are named for the barring on their chest. These owls have really inspired my artwork.
This is a really unusual animal – an echidna. It’s a monotreme like a platypus, which means it’s an egg-laying mammal.
Those are sharp spines. They are powerful diggers and this little guy was covered in dirt!
This is a serval and she was insanely cute. (I may be partial because my fiancé and I symbolically adopt a serval at the Conservators’ Center. For her, being on stage was play time, and she just kept biting and swatting at her leash.
She was getting ready to pounce in this photo. She cracked me up. I could barely get any photos because she moved so fast. Servals can jump over 9 feet straight up in the air to grab birds out of the sky. That gives you an idea of how athletic they are.
This is a Harris Hawk. I didn’t get photos, but one of the hawk’s handlers stood up in the balcony with the hawk. A man from the audience was brought onto the stage and he held out his arms in a big “O” shape. Behind him was another handler. The hawk flew from the balcony, directly over my head (I felt the wind from its wing flaps) and through the man’s arms and landed on the handler’s glove behind him. It was absolutely incredible.
Birds of prey often do this posturing when they are eating prey. They envelop the prey with their wings to try and keep it to themselves and so as not to attract other predators.
I don’t remember the name of this frog, but Jack said it had toxins in its skin. It was huge!
This is a boa constrictor. I used to work with a boa at my zoo, but she passed away a few years ago. She was a great snake to work with. Very docile.
I love the patterns on these snakes.
This is a penguin, but I don’t recall what kind. I believe this is a penguin from South America.
There are 17 species of penguins worldwide. Only 4 of those species live and nest on and around the Antarctic continent and 3 other species live and nest on Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands. The rest live in more tropic regions and couldn’t survive in the cold.
Ohhhhhhhh the clouded leopard! This is my little cousin’s favorite animal and I can see why!
She was gorgeous!
The handlers held the animals attention by offering them treats.
Animals are incredibly intelligent, so it’s very enriching to keep their minds active and teach them new “tricks.” The treats help to reward good behavior and keep the animal’s interest as well.
Look at that tail!
Sadly, the results of a 13 year study have concluded that one subspecies of clouded leopard is now thought to be extinct in Taiwan. More information on that story can be found here and here.
My hope is that the other subspecies of clouded leopards will be survive and thrive with the current conservation efforts underway. We need to keep these beauties around forever!
Last, but not least, Jack concluded his lecture by showing us a full grown cheetah. He told everyone not to move, and he said don’t go to the bathroom unless you can run faster than 70 miles per hour.
I’m absolutely in awe of this beauty.
This majestic creature is already inspiring my artwork.
After the lecture, we were able to attend a reception event with Jack Hanna, his handlers, some of his zoo’s animals, and birds of prey from the Wildlife Center of Virginia. The reception was absolutely PACKED. I don’t do well in large crowds and small rooms, but we made our way around to each animal and to Mr. Hanna himself. Jack signed an autographed photo for myself, my fiancé, and my zoo. A couple of the animals at my zoo came from Jack, so I told him that and he said he knew my zoo very well and that he loved my zoo. He was incredibly nice. Meeting him is something I will never forget.
Onto the photos! We got to meet the sloth up close and personal! I was smitten – what a beauty!
This is Ruby, the Red-Tailed Hawk from the Wildlife Center. She lost her eye after she was hit by a car. You can find her story here.
This is Buddy the Bald Eagle. He is also from the Wildlife Center. He’s pretty famous in these parts. His beak became deformed after a bout with Avian Pox. More about his story can be found here.
This is a barred owl from the Wildlife Center. I’m not sure which education animal this is, but he or she is beautiful!
Awww the three banded armadillo! He was still all rolled up, but we got to touch him!
Last, but certainly not least, this little cutie is a Bennett’s Wallaby! She was still very young, but she was fine with the crowd. She seemed totally comfortable in her keeper’s arms.
We had a fabulous time, and I would highly recommend seeing Jungle Jack if you ever get the chance!