Image of an elephant at the Nashville Zoo by

Nashville Zoo – A Walk On The Wild Side

A Walk On The Wild Side At The Nashville Zoo

This weekend was a special treat for our family.  It was Veteran’s Day at the Nashville Zoo.  It is a day where the Nashville zoo lets active duty military and veterans and their whole family in to Walk on the Wild Side for free. We traveled there to enjoy the day as a family.  There were dads, moms, and children of all ages.  I saw grandmas and grandpas with walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. There was such excitement to see the creatures big and small.  It was the most crowded I have ever seen it, but it was fun nonetheless.

Birds Of A Feather At The Nashville Zoo


photo of a Hyacinth Macaw from the grasslands and forests of Brazil at the Nashville Zoo article by
photo of a Hyacinth Macaw from the grasslands and forests of Brazil at the Nashville Zoo

I am sick, but still, I enjoyed the day at the zoo as I always do.  I loved the elephants the most.  They remind me of my friends away in Africa, they remind me of everything that they gave up to go there and serve and how much that I miss them. 

This Hyacinth macaw (also simply called the blue macaw) 

is so gorgeous. The colors are just so vibrant.  Can you imagine a tree full of these gorgeous birds Hyacinth macaws are the largest of the macaws and the largest parrots. They live in Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. There are about 2500 to 5000 left in the wild so there are conservation efforts to protect the hyacinth macaw.  In the wild, their diet is almost completely of palm nuts. They hunt over grasslands and pastures for cattle dung and search the cow dung piles for these palm nuts that the fibrous outer parts which make them difficult for the bird to eat are gone and the nuts that the cows can’t eat are left behind. 

Image of a Clouded Leopard, Nashville Zoo, Walk on the Wild Side, (C)
Clouded Leopard

This cat was sleeping peacefully.  Clouded leopards are found in the Himalayan foothills and down into China. They have special paws that allow them to climb trees in the forests.  They are so beautiful! Clouded Leopards get between 21 and 50 pounds full-grown and live in the rainforests.  You can find them in Nepal, Bangladesh and eastern India, Indo-China, Borneo, and Sumatra. They live down in the mangrove swamps and up in the Himalayas as high up as nine thousand feet. They are carnivores and eat gibbons, small deer, wild boar, rodents, and birds. 

An Image of a Meerkat standing on its hind feet and looking off camera to the right. There is a sort of palm in the background. (C) Nashville Zoo
Meerkat at the Nashville Zoo
Meerkats are so much run to watch play. They are cute little things. There are always lots of children around this enclosure watching their funny antics.

Smiling With The Caiman At The Nashville Zoo

Image close up of a Caimans eye - Photo by (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls

This is a caiman and I thought that the eye looked like a marble.  Isn’t it pretty?  I think the detail of the skin is amazing in the photograph.  It just sat just skimming the surface of the water and stared at me while I took the picture.  I would not want to run into this in the wild at all.  Reminds me of my sister watching the “River Monster” tv show.  I think I shall never again go in a river just in case!  🙂

Caiman is a type of small crocodile. There are six species of caiman crocodile and they can live in freshwater, saltwater, lakes, wetlands, swamps, and slow-moving streams. They are found in the wild in eastern and central South America.  Caiman are not endangered. They are

Closeup Image of a Caiman Smile at the Nashville Zoo, (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls,

Here is a close-up of the toothy smile.  Say cheese!  That is an American thing I think.  For those of you not in the U.S., it is something your mother says when she is taking your picture to get you to smile I think that the idea is that when you say the “ee” part you smile and then mom gets a good picture.

No matter what, I would not want to get this close to this guy, how about you?  He looks pretty serious, even though he is smiling!


Image of a caiman at the Nashville Zoo. (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls, Nashville Zoo at Grassmere


Here is one last look at the caiman.  I just had to do this one. Look at those eyes and those big teeth.

Big Birds At The Nashville Zoo


Image of a Caribbean Flamingo, (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls, Nashville Zoo, Zoo at Grassmere

These flamingos were so pretty.  Mrs. Cottage said that when we were little she took us to Sea World for our first and second birthdays and that the flamingo was our favorite thing and we cried when we had to leave them.  

Ha ha… well I didn’t cry this time, we are all grown up but I do appreciate their amazing beauty.

Image of two Flamingo at the Nashville Zoo (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls,

The word flamingo comes from the Portuguese or Spanish word falameng which means flame-colored. I can see that looking at this beautiful bird, can’t you?

Flamingos turn pink because of a diet rich in beta-carotene (yes, like in carrots). They get it not from carrots like we do but from plankton and crustaceans in their diet.  They get up to five feet tall and weigh up to eight pounds and can fly despite their size.  They are social animals that live in families of hundreds or thousands of birds.

These beautiful birds can fly up to fifteen thousand feet up in the air and can fly sixty kilometers per hour. What an amazing bird!


Hangin’ With The Big Apes


This next lady below is a gibbon.  It was climbing and swinging on all of the trees.  Her baby was up at the top of the trees about 70′ up in the air.  I couldn’t get a good picture of the baby.  But she wanted her picture taken, or at least it seemed that way to me.

Image of a Gibbon at the Nashville Zoo by

The Gibbon are from the rain forest of South East Asia and they spend most of their lives up in the branches of the trees. They can catch speeds of up to thirty five miles per hour as they fly from branch to branch and can go up to fifty feet between branches. 

Gibbons live up to 40 years and weigh in up to 20 pounds. Gibbon can leap up to 25 feet. 

They can be found in cream color, brown and black.  They are one of the few primates that mate for life. 

Gibbons are one of the most threatened primates on the earth.

Image of a Snowy Owl, Nashville Zoo, (C) Rosevine Cottage Girls
This gorgeous bird is a snowy owl.  Found in arctic regions in the treeless tundra. They are colored for camouflage in their snowy homes.
The male snowy owl is more white than the female of the species. The female is never white but browner with some white markings. 
They eat rodents, birds, and fish. They have an excellent sense of sight but also hearing so they can hear their prey under the snow. 
Image of an Alpaca At the Nashville Zoo by
This next picture needs no explanation.  I thought he was quite nice to let me snap his photo while he had his lunch.
The alpaca is a very useful animal due to the fiber from its fur. The Incas domesticated alpaca some six thousand years ago and used the fiber to make clothes for their royalty.  The wool of the alpaca is waterproof so it makes wonderful outerwear. 


Image of a turtle at the Nashville Zoo by

The Nashville Zoo also has these amazing creatures. The Galapagos Tortoise is a very large tortoise. The Galapagos Islands are named for these creatures. The name Galapagos is old Spanish word for tortoise. The Galapagos tortoises are very large creatures, the males weigh over 500 pounds with the females about 250 pounds and up to five feet tall making them 13th largest reptile alive today. They can live for over 50 years but are on the endangered list. These creatures like warm temperatures of eighty to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  They eat grasses, vegetables, leafy greens, etc.


Hopping On The Wild Side At The Nashville Zoo


Image of a kangaroo at the Nashville zoo by


I love how the Nashville Zoo has this interactive section to experience the kangaroo there. I thought it was lovely of this guy (above) to let me snap a photo of him while he ate his lunch.

Next, we have some kangaroo that they said will come up and let you touch them but we came at nap time so they were not in a cuddly mood (sadly) as I would have so loved to hold or touch one. 🙂  This reminded me of our friends in Australia and made us smile. **Hello friends**

Closeup image of a kangaroo at the Nashville zoo by the


Close up image of lizards sitting on rocks by


The Nashville Zoo also has an amazing building that houses lizards, snakes, and insects. I really had a good time checking all of these creatures out. These guys well, girls, um creatures are the rhinoceros iguana.  They get their name from the bumps on their snout like a rhinoceros. They are bigger on the male than the female. I just had to get their pictures.  See how they pose for the camera.  Divas all the way.  Just kidding, I have no clue but they didn’t bite me while I looked at them so we are all good.  These Iguanas are located on the Island of Hispanola. They like dry rocky habitats and can live up to twenty years.  They are on the endangered species list.  Their diet consists of fruit and other vegetation. The females will dig a hole to lay her eggs and incubate them there but she does not provide any care for them after they are hatched. 


Image of a Meerkat at the Nashville Zoo, by Rosevine Cottage Girls
Meerkat on patrol.

Another meerkat!

Image of two Saddle Billed Stork at the Nashville Zoo By
Saddle Billed Stork

These are some Saddle Billed Stork at the Nashville Zoo.  So, if you see one on your roof with a package… well, you will be able to spot them.  The saddle-billed stork makes the Sahara in Africa their home. They are the tallest stork in the world. They get fifty-nine inches tall and have an over 8-foot wingspan.  The males can get up to 16 pounds the female a little lighter at fifteen and a half pounds.

The females of this bird have yellow eyes where the males will have brown ones. 

The females will lay three eggs at each breeding time and she and the male will both incubate them from 30 to 35 days. The chicks will be covered in downy white feathers and the parents will feed them up to around one hundred days. The young will live with their parents for several years.



Image of a Cougar, Walk on the Wild Side by Rosevine Cottage Girls, Nashville Zoo

This cougar was at the top of the cliff on the rocks sleeping.  Shhhhh, don’t wake it. It gets grumpy when you wake it. This cougar exibit at the Nashville Zoo is pretty interesting. It is hard to see the big cats as they always tend to be sleeping when we come but it is pretty. Cougars, also called mountain lions or pumas get about three feet tall at the shoulder when fully grown and are 5 to 9 feet from head to tail. That is a big cat. They can not roar like a lion but do purr like a house cat. They can live for twelve years in the wild but up to twenty in captivity. These cats can really run! At top speed these creatures run up to fifty miles per hour.  I would not want to be running from this beautiful cat. They can jump eighteen feet into the air and horizontally up to 40 feet.  They are native to North America, Central America and South America. 

Sleeping Tiger At The Nashville Zoo


The Nashville Zoo also offers an exhibit featuring  Tigers. This is the best photo I could manage of this tiger.   Tigers get up to 540 pounds and up to 10 feet long. They are amazingly beautiful creatures. 

Image of a sleeping tiger at the Nashville Zoo by


Walking Down Under At The Nashville Zoo

Image of a cassowary at the Nashville zoo by the


This bird is a cassowary.  It comes from Northern Australia and New Guinea and they are currently endangered. It has a funny horn-like thing on the head and beautiful coloring. They live up to 40 years. These are flightless birds and they live in rain forests.  The male cassowaries are the ones who incubate the chicks and raise the chicks. I liked the way it looked.  These birds can cause serious injury or even death to humans and dogs and are often called the world’s most dangerous bird.  They are related to the ostrich, emu, and kiwi.

Photo of fall leaves in yellow and orange by the

The day was beautiful and in the sixties.  The leaves were all shades of beautiful, and we couldn’t get enough of the beauty!

Just Kidding Around At The Nashville Zoo 


Image of a dwarf nigerian goat with brown, black spots on a white goat by

This little goat was so adorable.  It looked like it belonged at the cottage and needed to come home with me. This is a cute Nigerian Dwarf that they have in the petting zoo for you to love on and feed.

For more information on goats check out this great sister site of ours I Dream Of Goats



Walking With The Elephants In The Nashville Zoo


Close up image of the profile of an elephants head by

At the time of the writing of this article the Nashville Zoo also had African Elephants. This was just an amazing experience and was my favorite part of the day.  I just love these guys.  So amazing, so powerful! I love to just stand and watch them grazing and interacting with one another. 

African Elephants are the largest land mammals that are alive today.

The elephant’s sense of smell is said to be four times of that of a bloodhound and one hundred sixty times that of a human. 

Elephants live fifty to seventy years.

Elephant herds are led by the older cows.

Image of an elephant walking at the Nashville zoo


It was swinging his trunk back and forth, like it was waving.  The light was beautiful and soft and the breeze was blowing.  Such a beautiful animal and a great day!


Image of a green, brown and white duck with his bill tucked under its wing byt the

This guy looks ready for a nice nap.  I am ready for one too!
Until our next adventure… good


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