Passing the colobus with their rock star capes fluttering in the breeze as they perched in their trees, we came upon the African wild dog enclosure. Also known as the painted dog for their splotched coat that looks like a modern artist’s canvas if one could get past their comically large ears. Running around his yard, he then appeared to hide behind one of the large trees and peeked his cheerful face out from behind.
Next door was the three cheetah brothers. When we first approached they all stood stoically next to one another in the middle of their yard looking directly out at us. Or did they catch sight of the African wild dog in the next enclosure? In a blink of an eye they dispersed and each went to a different corner of the exhibit. Reminding me of my own house cat who ‘hides‘ behind the curtain with his tail and back end visible, one cheetah sat beside a sparse tree with branches hanging around it, looking out as if to say ‘you can’t see me.’
For the smallest and oldest zoo I’ve recently visited the Philadelphia Zoo still packed in brilliant exhibits, conserve their rich historical buildings, a wide range of species and held strong to their message for conservation throughout.