Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I went to the zoo this afternoon and before I left I had an odd experience. Ok before I get into that I'll explain why I was at the zoo in the first place because it's sort of important. The reason that I was at the zoo was that for my animal behavior class was going to observe animals and since captive animals is one class of animals that we're supposed to observe this works out well. On with the story, I finished my observation and had about fifteen minutes before the zoo closed so decided to explore and look and some of the animals that are indigones to the US. Anyway I stopped at the mountian lion display because one of them was fairly close to the edge of the cage. When I was watching the mountian lion it of course was watching me since we were standing relatively close to each other. Over the course of the five minutes or so the mountian lion seemed to take a serious interest in me or a scent I picked up over the course of the day. I moved along the display to see if it was me it seemed to have taken an interest in or the deer that was kadicorner to it's display. It was me. I made a game out of testing this. What I did was I walked one way and than the other way. It followed both ways. I repeated this whole process a few times I even threw in a variant I started walking one way one time about a minute into this little game and stopped and went the oppasite way instead. The mountian lion fell for it.What made this experience a little odder was that the mountian lion was doing what appeared to be a Flehmen response.
If it weren't for the Flehmen response the whole situation would have just been kind of weird and really amusing but with it and not knowing for sure how exactly to interprit the behavior the situation was really weird and amusing. Since the response took place that's why I said that I must have picked up a scent that the mountian lion found interesting. The only scents that I can think of that the mountian lion could have possible have found interesting was that my class got a fairly close look at a couple of the tigers. Also we got a fairly close look at some Asian elephants. I'm talking possibely a closer look than most people are likly to get. Now obviously we wern't in the cages with these animals but close enough. We got so close to the tigers that I was standing about a little over three feet from the cage. Ok maybe a little further since that was a rough estimate, and don't complain saying that you want a better estimate since you aren't going to get it.