Monday, January 11, 2010

It's All Happening at the Zoo

Taking the double-decker bus is a great way to plan what you want to see at the zoo.
The Skyfari gives you a wonderful overview of the entire zoo.
Birds swooping over our heads at the Take Flight show.
The crow happily accepts donations.
The tar pit exhibit is excellent.
Up close and personal with the hippo.

We have moved on from LA and for the next week will be staying at the Santa Fe RV Park in San Diego. We worked on updating the blog and did some chores the first couple of days. The "chores" included taking advantage of the warm temps with a dip in the pool and hot tub. Ah, Life is Good!! High on the list of San Diego things to do was the world famous zoo. It did not disappoint. We started with a narrated tour aboard one of the double-decker buses that hit all the highlights and made recommendations for further exploration. This is a good way to start since the zoo is huge and nearly impossible to cover entirely in one day. We then walked through several areas including Lost Forest, Panda Canyon, Asian Passage, Africa Rocks, Outback and Urban Jungle to get a closer look at the animals. There are also the options of the Skyfari Aerial Tram or on and off buses that stop at key locations. There were so many animals and we can't remember which is which but we have an uncaptioned web album with a few pics here.

There are several animal encounter shows throughout the day and we really loved the one with the birds, Take Flight which featured birds zooming directly over our heads. They had a crow trained to collect donations which are used, in part, for the California Condor recovery program that was started here. We loved seeing these giants in the wild at the Grand Canyon that are a result of this program. Another interesting exhibit is a life size model of a tar pit like the one we saw at La Brea in LA that cycles through the goo stuff receding to reveal the fossils and then fills up to repeat the process. This gave us a better understanding of what they were doing at La Brea. The close encounter with the hippos when they are in the water and only three inches away is a neat happening. It is hard to pick a favorite animal but who can resist the cuddly pandas and koalas, the fierce stare of the big cats, the beauty of the birds, the gracefulness of the giraffes or the playfulness of the monkeys and meerkats. There is something about a zoo that makes you feel like a kid again and this was a great visit.

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