Sunday, June 10, 2007

More on the zoo and Mum

I thought I'd share a couple more photos from when I visited Bristol Zoo, this time of the penguins which have always been a bit of a favourite of mine (though where animals are concerned I have many!). The zoo has a dedicated area called Penguin Coast which mimics the penguin's habitat, down to a pebble beach, nesting areas and waves on their 'sea'. Visitors walk along a planked walkway above the beach and also can walk through transparent tubes under the water to see the penguins swimming, which is always wonderful to see. They turn from slightly comical birds to graceful creatures underwater, diving and swooping through the water with agility.


When people think of penguins they usually think of the Antarctic, of snow and ice and cold but the penguins at the zoo are African Penguins. They come from the beaches of the Southern most parts of Africa and are threatened in the wild. As with the lemurs, Bristol Zoo is heavily involved in conservation work.


Also at the zoo is a Pygmy Hippopotamus (photo below) which are also found in Africa, but in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Their habitat is fresh water and tropical rain forest and once again the zoo had done wonders in making the hippo feel at home. The pygmy hippo is much smaller than the common hippo. Like it's larger relative, the nose and ears can be closed under water which is an adaptation to aquatic life. The skin is hairless and sensitive to the sun, but is kept supple and moisturised by a fluid that oozes from glands all over the skin, hence the hippo looks shiny in the photo. Most of the day is spent resting in ponds swamps and rivers to keep the skin supple. Now, doesn't that sound like a nice way to spend your time? This animal is also threatened in the wild with only 2000-3000 remaining in the wild, with the main reason being logging destroying it's habitat.

On a completely different note, I went to see my mother and it was the brightest I had seen her yet. This new consultant has changed her meds and has changed her management of her diabetes and it has had such an immediate and positive affect. I am really happy that this is the case but part of me is really very angry that my mother had been left until things got so bad. There seems to be an awful lot of apathy in our health service at the moment. I am not sating that all doctors are bad because they clearly aren't but I think that some care more than others. For example, my mother has found it impossible so she had been spending all night sat on the edge of the bed, in too much discomfort to sleep. One of the nurses noticed and bought her a wedge to put under the mattress at her feet end. My mum said it was the first good nights sleep she had had in a couple of weeks. This is the difference that caring makes!

Unfortunately her legs looked awful. They are so swollen and sore. She has to lie in bed while they are slathered in thick gunk to try and treat it. In her arm she has an antibiotic IV drip. They have drawn around the red area and it doesn't seem to be responding. However, I am hopeful that this new doctor will help. Fingers crossed! Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers. It is nice to know that my mother is in your thoughts.

18 comments:

Moogie said...

Oooh, I have been loving your posts about the zoo. I too am fascinated by Penguins. The funny thing is, I just saw Surf's Up yesterday with my youngest and some friends. Hope you have a wonderful evening!

diyadear said...

nice pics from the zoo.. n gr8 news abt ur mom too.. i am happy my worries did t last even a single post.(just here after reading ur prev post) good.. stay happy n tc..

kenju said...

Maybe this will be the start of an upturn for your mother. I hope so.

Melody said...

Oh yes. A little caring goes a long way. Here's hoping she is on the mend for good...

I too, love penguins. In fact, they are my favourite of all animals/birds. When in Scotland I made sure I went to the Edinburgh zoo to see the world's largest display of Emperor and King Penguins. It was wonderful and I was in my element... Thanks for sharing your piccies...

misti said...

Very nice pics, penguins are my favorites too. Hope your mom gets well soon, i agree, love and care are the greatest medicines. Take care :)

mar said...

Penguins are such adorable creatures!!
Hope your mom gets well soon. My father is diabetic (treated with pills) but wasn't watching his diet...just like a little kid hiding to get goodies. It made such a difference when he (finally) understood it does matter! it took two angry daughters, though...

Anna said...

These are great of the zoo...I love the hippo sunbathing! :) Hope that you are well there!

caramaena said...

great pics!

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Bev Sykes said...

I loved the penguin photos. I remember seeing penguins in the San Francisco zoo who were in a pen that said they were having a time-out for bad behavior.

(Hi from Michele's site!)

JAM said...

I'm glad that your mother is getting a bit more attentive care. I hope she continues to improve.

I love the pics of the penquins and the hippo. Very nice. It's been years since I went to a zoo, and then they were still mostly in small cages. Not a pleasant thing to view, and I can imagine it wasn't a pleasant place for the animals to live. At least most zoos have been building areas similar to the various animal's natural habitats.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

First---those pictures are soooo dear...I love Penguins...and that dear one looks so much like the Penguin I hsd as a little child....(I still have it B-K...I should email you a picture of it....)
And that Hippo----So Very Very Sweet! I love that Zoo! And that they try to make the animals so much 'at home', plus there dedivation to conservation...Wonderful, indeed...

Second---I am glad to hear your Mom's spirits are better and that this doctor is "on the case"....I pray with you that these Anybiotics begin to work and help her legs....! The Healthcare system here isn't what it should be either...True 'Care' is hard to come by.

utenzi said...

Good luck to your mom, Bob-kat. It's hard to watch a loved one with a long lingering problem -- especially when there's little you can do.

Little Miss Muffet said...

Lovely pics again! and i'm so glad ur mom is doing better :)

rashbre said...

Good to hear your mother is improving. I guess they have to find the right level of medication.

Best wishes from rashbre central to her.

And as for penguins...The Allow penguins for pets group on facebook has me as a member. Not to ACTUALLY have a pet penguin, but to express the general wonderfulness of them.

rashbre

rashbre said...

the shopping penguin

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Just checking in to say that I hope your Mom is feeling a bit better, dear B-K....And hope you are doing okay, too!

Niall said...

I'm hoping that your Mum will recover quickly and that she'll soon be home. I originally trained as a nurse back in the 1980's..and know the difference the 'little' things make to a person..there is such a focus on management and accountability..costing..etc that sometimes these days the 'real' caring nurses are tied up with other stuff. I've noticed morale in the NHS decrease in a very real way since the days when I trained.Staff genuinely want to do the hands on real nursing. There will be those who realy care on your Mother's ward..lets hope they're able to do just that!

Shephard said...

Bob-kat, holding good thoughts for you mom. Sounds like she is in good hands now.

I love penguins, and that encounter sounds better than any I've seen.
And your photo of the pygmy hippo is the best photo of a pygmy hippo I've ever seen. Priceless.

~S