Myself, Darren, Micheál and a few other selected Internet types got the opportunity to tour Dublin Zoo after hours last week. Led by Ciaran MacMahon, Dublin Zoo’s head keeper, we kicked off the tour by visiting the Asian lions, Suri and Sita. Suri took a particular interest in Darren and he probably would have been on the menu but for the glass separating them. Asian lions are critically endangered with only 400 remaining in the wild and entire population can be found in one place – the Gir Forest in India. From there we wandered over to the sea lion enclosure where the keepers introduced us to Flo. They described how the zoo’s harem are Californian Sea Lions whose main predator is the killer whale.
We had been briefed at the start of the tour that the planned trip to see the elephants couldn’t go ahead as mating was in progress. However, with the light fading (steady), we were lead around to their enclosure where we introduced to two of the younger females, Anak and Asha. Ciaran briefed us on how their keepers never come in contact with the elephants. This is to ensure their social structures aren’t affected and leads to a more natural environment for them. From there we retired back to Haughton House for tea and finger food. Yet another brilliant experience at the zoo. Thanks to Ciaran, Anto, Nigel and all at Pembroke PR and Dublin Zoo.