Happy new month! It’s February, the month of love and all over the world, the focus has moved from our Herculean and sometimes plain unrealistic resolutions to Valentine’s Day, and all the activity (or drama) it brings. What are your plans?

I love the caption!

Before I veer off point, on the 1st of February 2010 I was in Abuja, working for the BBC World Service trust and I remember attending a praise service at Winners’ Chapel Durunmi before rushing to catch my flight en route Bayelsa State on assignment.

This year, I’m in Birmingham studying Social Media, and no I didn’t attend a praise service this morning. Matter of fact, it would have been a regular, uneventful Tuesday except that I bought return tickets to Warrington Quay (pronounced ‘key’ – I found out today).

So why did I buy the tickets? A colleague of mine graciously offered to ‘show me England’ so this is the first of many days in different cities. The destination for today however, is Chester Zoo, and then a little tour of the city. Forgive me in advance, there are loads of pictures in this one!

I was up  at 6am, ready to leave at 6.45am, and I must thank my newest friend, Tomi, for insisting I wear the white sweater, it looked lovely sha! I caught the 7.20am train and soon after I settles in with my mocha and bagel (thank you McDonald’s), I noticed two kids making out a couple seats away from me. I say kids because even with the makeup, both kids didn’t look a day over 15, and I wondered where their parent’s were and where they were going so early in the morning. Then I wondered (as I always do) what the motivation for the public display of affection was. I’m not talking hugs or pecks on the cheeks, it was more like fondling, a very active Saliva Exchange Program, and more! At that time of the morning? At their ages? And the gentleman in the seat in front of me who kept farting didn’t help my state of mind!

God being merciful, I got into Warrington safely (phew), met up with Andy, and we drove to Chester; beautiful sights, lovely conversation, Lagbaja in the background, bright sunny day, what else could I ask for? Andy......trying to take a picture, he got his picture taken!

Fast forward to the magnificent elephants at the zoo. Last time I was in a zoo it was June 2010, the Limbe Wildlife Conservatory in Cameroon. That’s (in my words), an orphanage where animals rescued from poachers, extreme conditions, and ailing parents are nursed/raised. It’s a really beautiful place, you can see pictures from my visit here: Limbe Wildlife Center. For all of that, they didn’t have elephants!

They are so huddled together Andy thinks they could pass for a boy band! I'm thinking JLS.....

Do you know how to tell if an elephant is preggers?  From their poop! Their keepers take several samples of their poop and can tell from the amount of hormones in it if the elephant is horny, pregnant or about to give birth! Just from their poop! That’s jut amazing!

This one was eating twigs, that's not even a proper meal!

From there we went into the butterfly world and believe me I’ve never seen so many butterflies at the same time! They all looked gorgeous, but for some silly reason, I couldn’t get any of them to perch on my hand!
Next we saw the ‘lazy giraffes’, they are so tall! I know you must be thinking, “duh, they’re giraffes” but you know what? That’s how I felt so whateverrrrr! Also, I can bet one of them was fluttering their eyelids at me!

Moving on, I felt the spirit of the jaguar! I was awed watching the jaguar move around in its recreated home. I was just awed……that’s all I’ll say about that… 

Lazy Jaguar!

At the Realm of the Apes (the biggest orangutan enclosure in Europe), I saw a baby! Of course I meant an ape; from the time I brought out my phone to take a picture of it, it wouldn’t stop looking at me! And don’t even say what you’re thinking!

Outside the Realm of the Apes!

Baby kept looking at me!

We saw a couple  snakes too, and a big funny type of lizard that was shedding its skin and then we were off to see the penguins.

Happy Feet anyone?

Flamingos are just beautiful, and looking at all the animals I just think God is amazing. Walahi He is!

A ha! How could I forget? So we saw a tiger tearing at flesh (it was lunch time), and while we were trying to get a good shot of it some school girls amble to where we were and were talking, giggling, and (in my opinion) trying to get the tigers attention (Olorun maje)!

Good afternoon your highness?

I ignored them till one of them said

School Girl 1: what’s the tiger eating?

School Girl 2: it is eating meat

School Girl 1: oh really?

And I turned around, looked at her, and thought, “no darling, it’s eating cheerios”! With all the bone cracking sounds?

Anyways, so we moved on and saw some ostriches but I’m sure the ones at Abuja’s Wonderland Amusement Park are bigger, cleaner, and more healthy looking. I was so disappointed in the one I saw I didn’t take a picture!

We saw Red Pandas too, show offs! They are really cute though, and I love the varying degrees of brown they wear as skin.

Little cute things......

The parrots were gorgeous too, so much color!

Absolutely gorgeous!

Still on birds, I HATE bats! #thatisall

We saw cheetahs too, that picture reminded me of the parts of Lion King with Mufasa and then Simba on Pride Rock. Nice…..

*now singing, it's the circle of life*

There’s not much to say about the lions because they didn’t do anything other than mope, the male was falling in and out of sleep, and the female was just staring.

Sleeping at 1pm? Shame for me

So much for being lions; whatever happened to a little activity?

Not very clear but you should get the idea!

The animal above is called a tapir. They are special in the sense that urine is as important to them as poop is to elephants. Using the Jacobson’s organ in their mouths, they can tell from urine whether their females are ready to mate. They also use their urine as a tracking tool in the forests to tell if their mates have passed a particular area. Funny but their urine is also used as a defense mechanism. When a tapir is scared (or angry), it will pee, and the urine travels for metres. And even though their urine isn’t poisonous, it stinks to high heavens!

By the way, I learnt something today. Chester is an old Roman town, as evidenced by it’s name.

Feeding a statue a snickers bar in the Roman gardens in the zoo!

One way to tell which towns/cities in the UK were built by the Romans is they end in either chester, cester, or caster. Examples would be Lancaster, Manchester, Leicester, get the drift? Thank me later!

Ok, so that’s it from the spirit of the jaguar, also known as the Chester Zoological Gardens! We’re off, next stop? Chester City, and Jabula!

P:S – all the pictures from the Zoo are here: The Zoo and more….some of the animals were not striking enough for this chronicle!

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Comments
  1. Tomexy says:

    Oh boy! I already feel like I was there with you. Now let’s go to the things that cracked me up big time …. hahahaha (I laugh in advance):
    1. The JLS Elephants – bwa-ha-h-a-ha-a!
    2.”No darling, it’s cherios” hahahaha… though u never said those words out, I can picture them tumbling from your mouth and the innocent look on ur face.
    *sigh* – I have waited long for this – let me read again . Byeeee.

    Like

  2. Nas says:

    i honestly can’t stop laughing, as 4 d lions, guess they where not tht imprsd lol, thse kids need a good spanking; as for d guy……lol, he has his own issues lol. thank you very much for inviting me to the Zoo, had loads of fun nd tons of laugh. where r we going to next?

    Like

    • Glad you had fun Nasiru, it is for people like you I write! Next we’re going into Chester city, and then we’re going to have a ‘native’ dinner! Details here first thing tomorrow morning!

      Like

  3. Andy says:

    Really enjoyed reading your account of the visit to the zoo but can’t help thinking you missed a few details out and I’m not sure whether I should mention them, but I guess we should leave it up to your readers.
    So Fairy Godsister readers, if you would like to know how successful Chioma was with the primate challenge (which takes monkeys 15 seconds to complete), how she completely reinvented a method with which to categorize the various creatures we saw, how brave she was in the butterfly house and bat cave, and how she wasn’t scared at all while looking at tiny creatures behind plate glass (honest), then let me know as a comment and if there’s is an interest, I’ll spill the beans (bribery also helps – I accept sweets, Nigerian Guinness and Gordon Spark)!
    Also, in her next installment, I hope she beguiles you all with tales of her navigation skills – they are truly outstanding (if your definition of outstanding is taking you in completely the wrong direction lol)

    Like

  4. You look like you had fun. Wish I did this when I was inn Chester rather than strut around town looking for NEXT clearance and other bargain buys.lol

    Good for you.

    Take care.

    Like

    • Tomexy says:

      @notmadeblackwoman : don’t feel too bad… searching for NEXT clearance stores has very STRONG advantages too lol

      Like

    • My dear, I’m sure I will dedicate a whole day to the NEXT clearance (you know how long it takes us ladies to shop, especially when it is cheap) so don’t feel bad! And yes I had loads of fun!

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      • Andy says:

        I was intending to take Chioma to the Next clearance store at Cheshire Oaks, but we ran into a problem. Chioma convinced me she knew the way back to the car, but by the time she asked me to take over (to #cough# ‘prove I knew the way back’ #cough#), it was dark and all the shops had closed …… for Christmas! lol

        Like

      • That’s a lie Andy and you know it! I just needed you to show you knew the way back too! I’m not going to approve your comments anymore!

        Like

  5. BEZ says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha!!!! Andy is a funny dude, Chioma, loved the write up to bits, silly school girls and JLS!! Buahahahaha.. Thanks Andy for letting us into the “BackStory” ‘Nigerian Guinness and Gordon Spark’, LOL! Who drinks Gordon SparkS? ( Yeah, Notice the ‘S’?)lol

    Like

    • Bez ignore Andy, imagine him asking for bribes? And I’m sure he’s noticed the ‘s’ too! Thanks for dropping by Bez, means a lot!

      Like

    • Andy says:

      Hi Bez. Obviously, the missing ‘s’ was deliberate …. honest! Firstly, I am not a big drinker, so one bottle would suffice (hence the missing ‘s’ which I thought Non-Nigerian readers might think meant plural bottles) and secondly, it was very late and I was under orders to comment before I could go to bed. In fact, I was so sleepy that I actually mis-typed our author’s title as ‘Dairy Gidsister’ and though I toyed with the idea of leaving that as it was, thought I was in enough trouble already so had better change it!

      Like

  6. Vito says:

    Very interesting packed with lessons about the animals. And how about I thank you now for the lesson on cities built by the Romans? Glad you are having fun.

    Like

  7. Hot Mama says:

    Am ashamed to say this is the first time I have bothered to read anyone’s blog…. What???? Don’t have that look on your face.

    Thanks for the heads up “Lil Fairy”. It sounds like you are having loads of fun (Am jealous!). Does Andy want bottled or canned “Nigerian” Guinness?

    Like

    • Andy says:

      Canned please. Wouldn’t want the bottles to be damaged in transit 🙂

      Like

    • Big Fairy are you for real! First time? The look is already plastered on my face! I’m having fun, the type you had when you went to America! I miss you jor! And I think Andy will prefer cans (his comment said as much), even though I’m surprised you’re selling out on me!

      Like

      • Hot Mama says:

        Wharreverrrr! You have spoken to the “blog novice” who ceased to exist once the guru (in case you are wondering…. aka me!) started typing another comment (hehehe)…. now you may hold your peace.

        I miss you too love. I go to make sure your desk is dusted and seat warm for your return (lol). My trip doesn’t even come close thanks to the damned blizzard that kept us indoors for 3+ days out of my 7 day visit…. God dey.

        Like

      • Big Fairy, so you’re now a blog guru because you posted a second comment on your Lil Fairy’s blog? The first blog you’ve ever been on? I agree! Keep my seat warm for me, I’ll be back soon, and we can rock on as we always do!

        Like

  8. Leslie says:

    Good stuff,
    Really interesting read, Digest style. A good exposure to a typical european zoo, still the irony of it all tickles me ( and the FGS knows why).

    I’m also not surprised at Andrew’s comments on Chioma’s excellent navigational skills- if i can say a thing or two about that!

    Another entertaining and informative piece from the FGS ( we’ve come to expect no less :-))

    ( you’d think after the Benin saga you’ll get over your “thing” for bats…hehehehe)

    Write more,

    Ciao bella!

    Like

    • Leslie, you ruined what would have been a very encouraging and beautifully written comment by agreeing to whatever untruths Andrew has conjured! That said, thank you for stopping by, it’s been a while, and I’m glad you liked it…
      Plus, the irony is amazing, you’d have laughed your head off at the origins of the animals!

      Like

    • Andy says:

      I discovered that the ‘thing for bats’ also extends to butterflies! lol

      Like

  9. Leslie says:

    P.s: If I had to choose between the spirit of the Jaguar and the spirit of Ecstasy, I think I know where my loyalty lies…just saying.

    Like

  10. Banks says:

    Now I’m having a hard time deciding which is more entertaining…the post or the comments. But that’s probably the whole point of it anyway.

    Like

  11. chinedu says:

    Keeps getting better. Learnt something today bout the roman built cities as per their names. Had no idea before. beautiful writing as usual. Almost felt that i was there. Five points!!!!

    Like

  12. Nas says:

    Andy i’m very much in d details of the backstory. Lol FGS let him spill the beans if only to show how us lowly mortals can be entertained by lies.

    Like

  13. Andy Watt says:

    @FGS I’m looking for the ‘hidden threat’ but I just can’t see it! Therefore I’ll have to assume there isn’t one 😉

    @Nas – I can only ‘entertain by lies’ if they are lies. I mean, wouldn’t it be wonderful if I had video evidence? [Hides under the table with his hard hat on]

    Like

  14. […] Comments dj marv on ON TO THE NEXT ONE!Andy Watt on SPIRIT OF THE JAGUARfairygodsister on SPIRIT OF THE JAGUARNas on SPIRIT OF THE JAGUARfairygodsister on […]

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  15. hajo says:

    A fun read. great animals. and nice pixtures too. do keep the pictures coming. u have ignited a thirst for travel in me.

    Like

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