We visited Banham Zoo today and found ourselves amazed and astonished and charmed by turns.
1. Douglas the Poitou donkey. He is as tall as a good-sized horse and covered in long shaggy fur. He looks like something out of a cave painting. He makes me think of extinct giant Ice Age versions of animals -- woolly mammoths, aurochs and deer with vast antlers.
2. The spider monkeys curl up their long limbs and somersault around their enclosure. Suddenly they spring open for a quick tussle among the rocks and then leap up the mesh walls, climbing higher and faster than seems wise or possible.
3. On a day when the biting East Anglian wind is racing across the fields to warm up in the new tropical house.
4. When they ask for volunteers I nudge Nick hard. He asked to hold aloft a cup of nectar. Two lorikeets in paintbox colours thrum across from the stage and perch on his hands for drink.