Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 29/03/2011

Fickle Fossa


It’s not exactly the Fossa that is fickle, more likely me. I had planned to post a photo of a tiger today, the one that’s on Flickr but when I looked back it it was rather ordinary and not much in the way of Art.

The Fossa is an odd creature, both to look at as well as it’s taxonomic classification. Listening to the various people viewing the creature, most were confused as to what type of animal it was, some thought a dog, other guesses included a relative of the cat family and there was even a couple of suggestions that it was related to an otter. None of these are correct though cat does come close to one train of thought, as there is some suggestion that it is related to a civet (don’t ask it for a coffee though) but current thinking has it classified closer to the mongoose family. Either which way, it’s certainly an odd creature, and not one I can feel particularly fond of as one of it’s main prey back on it’s Madagascan homeland is.. yep, you’ve guessed it…. Lemurs. As with most people, I find lemurs bewitching, especially the Sifikas, so I can’t really find empathy with a creature that preys on them (mind you I do like them a bit.. well, may be a bit more than a bit).

Interestingly the Fossa’s enclosure was right next to the Lemur enclosure though a brick wall separated the two cages. However the Fossa can’t help but hear the Black and White Ruffed Lemurs when they call – in fact the whole zoo can hear them so vocal are they, plus it must be able to smell them being so close. Really it’s the ultimate enrichment program the Fossa can hope for.

This was the image that I waited 30 minutes for; whilst the animal followed a distinct number of well worn paths, it didn’t always work in my favour whether the light was different or it changed at the last minute from the image in my head I want to capture. So as people came and went I stood patiently biding my time, and I’m glad I did, sure I’d prefer it the animal had been over slightly but I’m afraid generally they haven’t read the script and don’t know their lines even when prompted so you have to take what you can get.

You’re wondering about yesterday’s musical clue? You’re not? Was it too easy? Or not interesting? Well, I’m jolly well going to tell you anyway. Posting the picture of the Tiger as I was, I was going to use the title of Belle and Sebastian‘s debut album… Tigermilk and which featured the very lovely The State That I’m In.

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