My sweetie and I went out to dinner tonight with some of his coworkers. It's a long story, but essentially we were meeting an executive from his company at the zoo. Neither of us was much looking forward to it, but my sweetie felt obligated. Then we arrived, and found ourselves here:
Dinner was in the zoo. To be specific: in the Jaguar Cove.
See Junior in the back there? Yeah, he's not thinking about dinner at all.
It turned out that the executive is on the board of the zoo, and tickets to this dinner were part of a charity auction of some kind. My sweetie's boss had bought the tickets, but in the end couldn't go, so he gave them to us. What we had feared was going to be a dinner all about work turned out a lot cooler. And the executive had all kinds of cool things to tell us about the zoo.
For example, Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is a breeding zoo. They have a female jaguar, too, but they're letting her and Junior acclimatize to each other slowly, so they're not kept in the same exhibit yet.
Having never been this close to a jaguar before, I was fascinated by his shape. Totally different from a tiger: much more muscular; the legs seem shorter, proportionately, and he's got big shoulders and a big head. While we were eating, several times he made a weird, kind of grunting, huffing sound, which I've seen described in books but never quite understood. Definitely would not want to run into one of these while hiking in the rainforest!
Afterwards, we went to see the flamingoes, who are a new exhibit in the zoo.
Did I mention the zoo was closed? So cool.