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.