panthras, sci, ultraviolet and I strolled down the canal from Camden, which is a delightful way to approach the zoo: peacocks to the right, red river hogs to the left, coots on the water.
We checked out the African wild dogs first, since le_loup_peint would never have forgiven us otherwise. They were obligingly frisky in the bright cold weather, galloping up and down their enclosure, truffling after imaginary small rodents, shoving each other aside and yipping excitedly.
We saw the world's happiest okapi, meerkats on lookout and a positive shoal of otters (debated the collective noun for otters; it turns out, delightfully, to be a 'romp'). We witnessed a potto, which looks like an animated teddy bear, engage in a slow-motion battle of wits with its dinner, a large cricket.
ultraviolet's favourite was the giant anteater and its equally giant tail. Did you know they carry their babies on their backs until the baby is half the size of the adult?
The lion was roaring, set off by some small children who kept shouting "Lion King!!" at him, and his lioness was lying with an expression which we interpreted as 'Be quiet, dear, you're embarrassing me'.
There was only one thing I needed to make my day complete, and luckily the gift shop was able to supply it: a small cuddly meerkat.