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At the Zoo...

April 2007: A visit to the San Diego Zoo

The flamingoes are the first to greet you at the San Diego Zoo. They make quite a ruckus, and have an intricate social fabric that I couldn't penetrate in my brief visit.
Now that's a happy hippo!
Who said warthogs aren't beauties?
Snow Leopard
This snow leopard seemed particularly healthy, and I believe was the mother of a cub in the same enclosure. I have mixed feelings about seeing such amazing animals cooped-up for our viewing pleasure. I wish we could just leave them be free in the wild. However, with ever-vanishing habitats and a human population that's likely to grow through the middle of the coming century, it's good that there is at least some final repository of species.
Too Big
The elephants have a large area to roam about...
Feeding Time
Perhaps my favorite part of the zoo was the hummingbird aviary. The birds seemed happy and friendly (I got attacked by a bird in another aviary!). It's tucked-away a bit, and consequently not overly crowded (at least during this visit).
Although this is a hummingbird, many of the birds in the aviary were other small colorful birds - many of them nectar feeders.
Colorful Lizard
I'm not sure what species this lizard is, but I couldn't have decorated him any more flamboyantly if I'd had a can of paint.

June 2003: A visit to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle

While a volunteer looked on, taking notes, this gorilla gently played with her baby and occasionally barfed up some brown goo and re-ate it. Apparently, if you're a gorilla, that's not so disgusting.
The big attraction at the zoo was a pair of tiger cubs. The keepers only let the cubs outside from 10am to 2pm. They stalked each other and pounced on their mother. They were only 6 months old, but already about a third the size of their huge mother.
Hoo hoo Hoo, whooop, whooop!!!
Anybody who lives within 3 miles of the Woodland Park Zoo has heard this guy. Yup, he's one of the culprits, a siamang. They inflate their throats and let out a raucous chorus of whoops so loud it seems there's a slice of Sumatran jungle transplanted into the middle of Seattle. Two of them were whooping it up in grand style while I was there. I'm not certain, but they looked rather proud of their vocal abilities.
Peregrine Falcon
This peregrine falcon waited patiently on its perch while a couple handlers talked to the crowd about some different birds of prey.
There's a greenhouse in the zoo filled with butterflies. It was overcast and cool the day I was there, and most of the butterflies clung to the walls with their wings closed. But, a butterfly doesn't have to do any tricks to earn attention.
These kangaroos looked my way for a few moments before bounding into the bushes.

Various times: The Oregon Zoo in Portland

The meerkat owes much of its popularity to nature shows on TV. Don't they just look cute but mischievous?
The zoo has a neat exhibit which is an outdoor aviary filled with lorikeets. For $1, you can buy a small cup of apple juice, which the lorikeets happily slurp up... much to the delight of easily amused zoo patrons like myself.
Seems every zoo nowadays has peacocks roaming the premesis.
Lunch Break
Life at the zoo is pretty rough sometimes.
Polar Bear
I couldn't tell if this guy was bored, or just tired.

Where is it?

The Woodland Park Zoo is located in Woodland Park in Seattle, WA. The Oregon Zoo is located in Washington Park in Portland, OR. Can you guess where the San Diego Zoo is located?

Before you go...
Try to avoid weekdays during the school year, and weekends all year long. I think the best time to visit a zoo is in the early morning during an early summer day when the zoo babies are still young and the bulk of the visitors aren't.

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