Due to weather, we had a quick layover in Kenai. After loading up the rental car, we checked the temperature gauge, which registered 8 degrees. We checked in Big Mama at her hotel and commandeered her room to put on our long underwear. With an hour of daylight left, we headed to the Anchorage Zoo. Along with two other people, we entered a winter wonderland. Snow packed paths and covered signs made it difficult to get around, but Brad and I were overjoyed to not have stroller slamming into us as we navigated the poorly designed map.
Our first stop was the series of tanks that hold seals, otters, and polar bears.
Onto land mammals: lamas, camels, musk oxen, wolves, and yak. There was an elevated platform that allowed us to peer down into the wolf compound and the amur tiger compound. The pack of wolves reminded us of Tok, and the four year old male tigers are new to the zoo and their keepers. Their keeper, a gregarious transplanted New Englander, showed us how he continues to bond with the tigers who had female handlers in their former home. He uses a bottle filled with heavy whipped cream to sooth the beasts and gain their trust.
This same handler showed us the way to the converted elephant house that now holds two abandoned brown bear cubs. As the cubs snoozed, we learned about their trip to their new home, which is a stopover for their permanent home in Memphis, TN.
The sun set, we stopped in to see the lynx and snow leopards and hurried to the car.