June 03, 2009


Kris had a business conference and we all got to stay at the lovely Green Bough just outside Chester.

The next morning, I visited the Chester Zoo while Kris worked. Chester has a small but highly regarded zoo. I splurged on the monorail to get an overview and then hurried over to the Komodo Dragon lecture. The Chester Zoo is famous for Flora who, through parthenogenesis, gave birth to 8(?) live babies without any help from or contact with Norman. The Chester Zoo kept one of the babies and gave the rest to other zoos.

I have seen Komodo Dragons (the largest of all reptiles) wandering through grassy patches in Bangkok outside the King's palace (Komodo Dragons are not native to Thailand). They looked large (the ones I saw were smaller than their 10-foot, 300-pound potential) but slow and I wasn't too concerned. But, after the Chester Zoo informational talk, I know I should be very afraid - there have been 8 official human deaths by Komodo Dragon. Komodo Dragons have 40-50 types of bacteria in their mouths. They kill by taking a little nip and then waiting for their prey to die of blood poisoning within a few days. Sometimes they pursue their prey but often they go back to sleep until they "smell death" (with their tongues), slowly rise and find their prey.

The next day I walked to Chester which has been described as a "Second Rate York" and I have to agree as far as the cathedral, roman ruins, and city walls are concerned. However, Chester seemed to be a shopping mecca - the streets were jammed with shoppers and it was only a Wednesday. Weekends must be a nightmare.

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