Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

The Rest of the Animal Story

Wednesday December 6, 2017                                                                Most Recent Posts:
Fort Wilderness Campground                                       Lions and Tigers, Dragons, Bats and Pheasants. . . Oh My!
Walt Disney World                                                                                  Holiday Magic Already
Orlando, Florida

This post is the second part of my visit to Animal Kingdom in Disney World.  It was such a great day, it couldn’t be done in one post.  The first part can be read from the link in blue above.  Those of you who enjoyed the bats, might like this 1 minute video of the play going on between two of them of which  I could not get any still pictures that weren’t just a tangle of black.    I forgot to put this in yesterday’s post but  You’ll find it here.

Gibbon Ruins

I was on my way to meet David when I stopped by the Anandapur Temple ruins that are home to the Gibbon family.  They are just so much fun to watch that I stayed for a very long time.  What better place to hang out while you wait for someone to call you.

Gibbon Ruins2

These are the white cheeked Gibbons who are currently found in small populations in the tropics of China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Bangladesh, northeast India, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia..  The males are black and the females golden.  They have a life span of about 25 years.  They are members of the ape family, not the monkey family.  Apes include gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, and bonobos.   This group has longer arms and no tails and scientists tell us is most closely related to humans.  

Gibbons are classified as lesser apes. They are relatively smaller, slender, and more agile than other apes. They exhibit many characteristics of primates, including flat faces, enlarged brain sizes, grasping hands and feet, arms longer than legs, no tails, and broad chests. Male gibbons are just under 3 ft in height and weigh about 15 lb. 

Gibbons are famous for their agility in the forest tree-tops and are excellent arm-swingers. They are considered to be among the world's best acrobats! Gibbons have the longest arms (relative to body size) of all species of primates, enabling them to move hand over hand through the branches of the trees propelled only by their forelimbs. They have the ability to swing from tree to tree, distances of 50 ft, at speeds of up to 35 mph, while in trees over 200 ft above ground.   A major reason they are so much fun to watch.  Clearly they were Tarzan’s inspiration.

Today they are swinging all over.  This looks like so much fun.  Sure wish I could do it.




I only saw one female and assume she must be the matriarch.





The pictures really don’t do justice to their acrobatics.  If you’d like to see them playing around, here is a two minute video.  Watch as much or as little as you like at this link.

Walking on through Asia, I come to Mount Everest.  Here at Animal Kingdom it is the home of the the roller coaster Expedition Everest which is themed around the Yeti protecting the Forbidden Mountain next to Everest.   My stomach doesn’t approve of roller coasters so there are only outside photos without the sounds of all the screaming.


Where there is UP of course there must also be down.  


This is where the screaming happens.


Attention to detail is everywhere you look in every spot in all of Disney World.


This may be the greatest food truck I’ve ever seen and I don’t have any idea what they were serving.


The locals seems to have made themselves at home here as well.  A great egret perches on a pilar.


A tri-colored heron walks around the same area.

There was one thing I saw while here that made me sad.  Such young children with their faces glued to screens.   Is this the new passifier?  The first little guy has them both.  Sadly I could have taken many many more photographs just like these.



When David arrived the skies had turned a beautiful blue and the Tree of Life, which is magnificent, looked lovely in the background.  I’ve done previous posts with many details on the amazing wildlife on the trunk and roots of this tree at the center of Animal Kingdom.  This year we did not walk all around it but if you would like to see those previous details pictures just use the search box in the upper left of this post and put in Tree of Life.


For the afternoon, we did what David chose.  Thus I got to redo some things I’d done in the morning.  Of course one of those was visit the male tiger who this time was napping with his back to us.  But one of the keepers did have a tablet with a video of the cubs.  That was fun to watch.   On the way out of Asia, David stops at a water fountain to refill his water bottle.  He is very consciencious about how much water he drinks, very important for everyone but especially for those with heart conditions.


On our way out of Asia, we walked through the bird house again and saw some birds I’d missed this morning including this Fairy Bluebird. He sure doesn’t look like any of our little North American Bluebirds.   


Not sure I’ve ever seen a photographer with a tail but she sure was cute.

The Crested Wood Partridge looked pretty surprised when I first caught sight of him.


But apparently his eyes are always that big.   Nice hat!

My favorite of the afternoon was this pair of Victoria Crowned Pigeons.  They certainly do look regal.  They don’t keep those heads still long enough to get the both of them without any blur.


From there David wants to do the safari where we see the hippopotamus out of the water this time and napping.


We see giraffes several times on our trip. Never too many giraffes in my opinion.


Watusi cattle among the trees.


Think about how heavy those horns would be if they weren’t hollow.


Yellowstone is famous for its buffalo jams but here we have a wildebeast jam while we wait for them to cross the road.


Then we are part of a girraficjam.  Apparently this is quite common in the Harambe Wildlife Preserve.  Thus they have devised this special term for it.


If they approach the road, drivers stop.


But sometimes they don’t cross to the other side.


They just walk on down the road.


Sometimes right down the middle of the road.  Hey, it’s their place and we move along slowly behind them at a non harrasing distance.    OK by me.  I’ve never been in a Giraffe parade before.

The baby elephant is out this afternoon.  Great to see him.



Those trunks are sure handy for lots of things.


The king is still in charge.


It’s late afternoon when we leave the safari.  We stop in the center of Harambe at Mombasa Marketplace to watch Burudika a group of drummers, dancers and acrobats.  They put on quite a show.


Time to get on our way.  We have two monorails and a ferry to ride before we arrive home for dinner.

On our way back through the campground there are more over doer decorators.


Although the noise of being so close to the ferry dock is problematic for me, one advantage to being in loops so close to that area is that the horse drawn carriages and sleighs (yes sleighs with no snow), start from there and come along the campground loops.  This time of year we can hear their “sleigh bells” and tonight they are right behind us as we are walking home.   If you want to hear them too, here is a 5 second video – look quickly.



  1. I'm having serious WDW withdrawal symptoms after reading your blog. I can't get back there fast enough! ;c)

  2. Love the sound of the sleigh bells. Hmm, reminds me of a song.. :)

  3. Disney has done a fantastic job of creating a very natural looking home for all these special creatures. I hope they like their places too. ;)

  4. Thank you for adding the bat video - they're like little dogs playing. Fascinating to see them moving along the branch too. Hippos look so different and vulnerable out of the water. I agree the pigeons are wonderful. How fun to follow the giraffe leading the way :-) Wow, those huge decorations are a bit much! Even though they are small when out of air, they must have storage for so many.

  5. I really like the bat video. Looks to me like they're playing but who knows.

  6. Love the bats! Giraffic jam, haha! Looks like fun following the giraffe moseying down the road. The attention to detail at Disney is just amazing.

  7. Interesting to see the bats and Gibbons are much better climbers than us humans. So like a South African safari being stopped by girraficjams, lions, elephants and more. Overkill ornaments.

  8. Im with you I too like the Victoria Crowned Pigeons! Thank you also for taking me to the African Safari!

  9. The gibbons are very cool! Girafficjam - love it! Looks beautiful there...hopefully, the animals agree and enjoy their habitats. Those decorations at the end...too much! Enjoyed the sleigh bells :)

  10. The fairy bluebird is really pretty! Love the gibbons- the female is beautiful! I took a class about the evolution of dogs and they talked about bonobos. They are cooperative and get along with each other whereas chimpanzees are territorial and will kill each other. Fun to see the regal lion and hippo and giraffe. I also enjoyed the bat video. Glad you had such a great day there! xxxooo


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