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Visiting a real life bear at the L.A. Zoo in honor of Disneynature Bears – in theaters April 18, 2014

 

DisneyNature Bears Poster

This Friday the newest film from Disneynature called Bears opens in theaters across the country. I was excited to have the opportunity to screen the film a few weeks ago. The film opens in theaters April 18, 2014.

I love bears. I think they are beautiful creatures. They look very cuddly. I just want to snuggle up with one. Of course I can’t really do that. I don’t think the bear would be too happy about it. LOL.

I love animals. I have been an animal lover all my life. Bears are one of my favorite animals (in the top 10).

We have a small zoo near where we live. They have a couple of bears that live there that are indigenous to our area. The zoo is located in Bear Mountain State Park (NY). This year to celebrate Earth Day (April 26th) they are inviting people to visit the park and make treats to give to the resident bears.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

One would think the park was named because of the area bears that call it home. The are was actually named Bear Mountain because the profile of the mountain resembles a bear lying down (so I’ve read). There are bears that live there and in our area. In fact my daughter and I saw a small bear strolling along side the road when we were leaving the bank – a 1/2 mile from our home. The bears like to feed in the dumpster at the nearby dumpster. Bear sightings are not uncommon around here since we live on the edge of the park land. My husband even saw a bear one day on his way to work.

I’ve also been an ambassador for the Bronx Zoo (NY) for the past few years. They are one of the best zoos in the US. They have Polar Bears there too.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

When I was out in Los Angeles a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to screen the Disneynature film Bears. It’s the story of a mother bear named Sky and her two cubs, Scout and Amber.

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life  Adventure Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two  impressionable young cubs, Amber and Scout, are taught life’s most important  lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their  journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bear family emerges from  hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as  the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of  avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must  work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while  staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present  wolf. Bears captures the fast-moving action and suspense of  life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska!  Directed  by Alastair Fothergill (Earth, African Cats and  Chimpanzee) and Keith Scholey (African Cats), and narrated by  John C. Reilly.

After we screened the film we had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Los Angeles Zoo to check out a real bear. I love bears. I love animals. I love zoos. Needless to say I was thrilled.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA. It’s open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (they start to put the animals away for the night around 4:00 PM). One day I’ll need to look into RV rental Las Angeles, so I can visit the zoo again with my family.

I’ve been to the Bronx Zoo here in NY many times. The animal enclosures are huge and sometimes it’s hard to see the animals. At the L.A. Zoo the animal enclosures are smaller which allows you to really get close to the animals (a safe distance of course). I liked being able to get close to the animals. Los Angeles Zoo

Here are some fun facts about the L.A. Zoo.

The  Los Angeles Zoo was the fourth zoo to serve the city.

The Los Angeles Zoo opened in November 28, 1966. Among the animals at the Zoo on opening  day was American alligator Methuselah, who passed away in 2010.

The world’s first gorilla baby delivered by Caesarian section was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 1977. He weighed in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces and was named Caesar.

In 1981 the L.A. Zoo become a partner in the California Condor Recovery Program, helping to  bring this majestic bird back from the brink of extinction.

A donation from Alice C. Tyler funds a new Meerkat exhibit which would later provide inspiration for the animators of Disney’s The Lion King.

Our first stop on our zoo visit was the California Condor Rescue center. This special center not only provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about these magnificent endangered birds but it is also a fun interactive play area for children.

Much work is being done by the zoo to help repopulate the California Condor. Many of these birds have died over the years due to garbage that people carelessly toss on the side of the road and in the woods. The birds will eat just about anything and have consumed things such as buttons, bottle caps and screws. Many of these items are poisonous or end up getting stuck on their insides, killing the birds.

California Condor

X-ray of a California Condor

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Look at all the garbage tossed aside by humans that get ingested by the Condors. I see bottle caps, screws and what looks like glass.

The California Condor is the largest bird in North America. It’s wing span can reach up to 9 feet!

At one point there are around 20 California Condors left. Thanks go conservation efforts there are now over 400 California Condors, 200+ are freely flying around California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.

The zoo was kind enough to bring out one of their California Condors, Dolly, for us to meet in person. Isn’t she beautiful.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Dolly the California Condor

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the L.A. Zoo make sure to stop by the California Condor exhibit. The play area features places where kids can climb and crawl under things. It’s set up to mimic the Condor’s natural environment. There is also a medical area where children can examine and care for Condor’s (plush, stuffed animals), complete with medical scrubs, stethoscopes and X-rays.

Condor Rescue Zone

There are a lot of wonderful animals to be seen at the L.A. Zoo including Koalas, Giraffes, Chimpanzees, Okapi, Lemurs, a Rhino and more.

Here are just a few of the animals we had the opportunity to check out while at the zoo.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Masai Giraffe

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Happy Chimpanzee

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Baby Masai Giraffe

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Hippopotamus

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Giant Otter – They can grow to be five feet!

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimerly V. (She Scribes)

Flamingos. The gray ones are babies. Do you know how Flamingos get their pink color?

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Meerkat

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Alligator – I don’t want to get too close to him!

We also had the chance to meet Randa the Indian Rhinoceros. The zoo spell’s it Randa but it sounds like Rhonda.

Randa is the second oldest Rhino in captivity (she’s in her mid-40’s). The unique thing about Randa is that she had cancer. The cancer was located under her horn. The zoo had to remove her horn to get to the cancer that was underneath it. They successfully removed the cancer and after many weeks of chemotherapy Randa was cancer free (yeah!).

The zoo had to adapt a machine used on humans to work with Randa so she could get the treatment that she needed.

Her keeper told us that Rhinos like to rub their horns no things. Since Rando no longer had a horn, all she had left was a bit hole in her nose. They had to constantly put new bandages on it because she kept opening it up and it was getting infected. To combat the infection the zoo put MAGGOTS in her wound! Ewww!!! Maggots actually help to heal wounds a lot faster. Doctors around the world use maggot therapy to treat patients. Thank goodness my doctor doesn’t do that. Gross!

I’m glad that Randa is doing OK these days.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Randa the Rhino at the Los Angeles Zoo

The zoo also has a beautiful carousel that features many of the animals found at the zoo.

One odd carousel character that stands out is the Dung Beetle. The carousel has one along with a pile of dung (aka – poop!) that you can sit in and ride around in the carousel. LOL!

Dung Beetle Carousel Seat.

Dung Beetle Carousel Seat.

LA Zoo Carousel

BEAUTIFUL carousel creatures.

The zoo visit would not be complete without stopping by the Bear exhibit. The L.A. Zoo has a Black Bear on exhibit. His name is Ranger.

Here are some interesting facts about Black Bears.

American black bears are the smallest and most prevalent of the bears native to North America.

American black bears live in various   forests throughout North America and are found in 41 of the 50 United States.

Black Bears mostly occupy temperate forests but can also be found in swampy or mountainous forested areas.

Black Bears eat grasses, fruits, berries, nuts, insects, human foods, and occasionally small vertebrates.

They can weight from 150-600 pounds.

Male bears are 25% larger than female bears.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Black Bear at the L.A. Zoo – Doesn’t he look soft and cuddly?

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

So beautiful!

For more interesting information about bears you can download a FREE educational guide from the Disneynature website. The guide is 93 pages long! It’s not only great for educators but also parents and people who are interested in learning more about Bears.

You can find the guide at Nature.Disney.com. Scroll down about half way and you’ll see the guide along with several other guides you might be interested in.

Also on the Disneynature site you’ll find videos, photo gallery, information about Bears and other Disneynature films and more.

The bears featured in the Disneynature film Bears are brown bears, but the information found in the guide covers pretty much anything and everything you’d want to know about these beautiful creatures.

Disneynature Bears opens on Friday, April 18, 2014. If you see the film during opening week (April 18 – 24, 2014),  Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fun, will make a  donation to the National Park  Foundation to help protect our national parks and the wildlife that calls them home. That means bears, like the beautiful black bear at the L.A. Zoo and bears like Sky, Amber and Scout (featured in the film) will be protected, as well as other wildlife.

If you would like to learn more about Disneynature and the film Bears you can check out their Facebook and Twitter pages. They can even be found on Pinterest. The official hashtags are #DisneynatureBears and #MeetTheCubs.

The Disney Store is also contributing to the National Park Foundation. For every plush from the DisneyNature Bear film that is purchased, $1.00 will be donated to the National Park Foundation (campaign ends May 11, 2014). You can find the plush bears here – Amber and Scout.

I have one of the plush toys (Amber). I took her to the L.A. Zoo with me. She “photo bombed” a few of my photos, as well as happily posed for others. Here are some fun photos from the day.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber rescued me from a Rattlesnake at the California Condor Rescue area. No worries… it’s not a REAL snake. I wouldn’t put Amber I danger.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber reading up on Vultures and Condors at the California Condor Rescue Center.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber “monkeying around” while I tried to take a picture of a Chimpanzee.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Whose the real bear in this picture?

DODOcase was kind enough give the bloggers on our trip lovely iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5/5S cases. These are limited edition cases that you an purchase from their site. They each feature a custom Bears design in honor of the film.

DODOcase is donating 20% of the sale of these cases to the National Parks Foundation. This is just one more way you can help save bears like Sky, Amber and Scout and many other wildlife creatures.

To learn more visit www.DODOcase.com.

DODOcase

To learn other ways you can help the Nation Park Foundation visit www.NationalParks.org.

For more information about the L.A. Zoo or to connect with them via social media, here are some helpful links for you.

Official website: www.LAZoo.org.

FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest. The official hashtag is #LAZoo.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber at the L.A. Zoo

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. My travel expenses were covered.

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.

Comments

  1. Dorothy Teel says

    How neat is that zoo in Los Angeles, I found it fascinating that the condors eat so much junk and I have seen them live in California and when we went to the Grand Canyon, they are beautiful and the people who are working to save the Condors need a big pat on their backs. I love with carousel especially the dung beetle now that is very unusual. I love Disney animal nature movies, I bet this one Bears is also great.

  2. Mary Happymommy says

    Wow, these photos are amazing. I love going to the zoo, except for the crowds.

  3. Nancy Loring says

    I have just started to see the trailers for this movie and it really does look cute.