The San Diego Zoo isn't new, but this review of our family visit last Saturday is. And actually, the Elephant Odyssey exhibit that's there is a beautiful new addition, only a few months old. But I think, now that I've seen it in person, it's a bit overrated.
The 7-acre habitat is quite impressive. However, the way that it's designed does not allow for any kind of close-up encounters with the elephants. Not even nearby encounters! They were way off in the distance, and even if they wanted to come closer, they couldn't. Their enclosure, and the landscape within it, prevents them from doing so. There was an area where, thanks to fortunate timing, we were able to witness one of the pachyderms getting a bath in fairly close proximity. Well, a shower was more like it because the animal keeper was actually hosing it down. And, boy, did it like the attention! You could just tell he was loving it so much that it must've felt like a Burke Williams spa treatment!
And if you listened real closely, you could hear
him quietly singing this cute little song:
"A sprinkle a day helps keep the odor away...
Have you had your sprinkle today?"
Now, that's what I call service!
Among other animals featured in the same exhibit, and one of my favorites, is the capybara. I'm not real sure what it is about those guys... it has something to do with their cute, bloppy shape. They sorta remind me of Moomins, I guess. And they are certainly cute!
See, don't these two look similar?
Well, I think they do...
Speaking of cute, after we walked out of the Odyssey exhibit we came across the meerkats. I could sit and watch those little guys for hours! And they're just always so busy... I was particularly taken with the designated sentinel of the mob. He sat atop the highest rock formation attentively watching for predators, his tiny head twitching in every direction. I wish that we had spent more time at their enclosure.
I was glad to get this meerkat shot! His little
noggin was jerking all over the place, looking
for anything that might be a threat...
I felt this was an interesting shot, too, because it shows
some of their many digging holes. They were all very
busy scurrying around, or digging. Lots of digging.
Another of my favorite animals is the giraffe. They are so tall and graceful. I'm pretty sure I overheard a tour guide say that a newborn, on average, is about 6 ft. tall! Could you imagine if a human mother had to suffer such a burden? Of course, women are strong, and they would be able to endure it... The pattern on giraffe hides is beautiful, too. It's just those long, dark tongues that aren't. In fact, they're kinda gross! Oh, well. Nobody's perfect.
Tommy and me, posing in front of the giraffe enclosure.
"Where are the giraffes?", you say. Well, see, they're
not in the shot because Mom was taking the picture...
We also managed to see lots of different exotic birds, some bears (including polar), a monkey or two, snakes, a komodo dragon, a few tortoises, two rhinoceros, an anteater w/baby riding around on its back and a few other creatures I can't remember at the moment. Still, after being there for an entire day, we only managed to see about half of the zoo's inhabitants. We were there until almost 9 pm, too!
I feel bad that I don't remember the name of this
animal. It was some sort of hairy, piggish looking thing.
But how super cute are they, all cuddled-up together
like that, in a ditch?
Why, what do we have here? I don't believe it's
anything we've ever seen before! It appears to be
a tame creature, at least... Let's take a closer
look, shall we?
Yikes! Look out! Whatever it is, it's fierce and most
unpredictable! We must use extreme CAUTION...
It's real neat that they do the whole Nighttime Zoo thing in the Summertime, so you can see the nocturnal animals when they're awake and more active. The zoo itself is very pretty at night, with its lush landscaping of trees and plants dramatically illuminated. It was especially impressive from the vantage point of a Skyfari bucket. We rode one of those twice! Once during the day, and then again at night. Even the buckets were lit up all purty-like, in the dark.
It's a bit hard to tell because it's at night, but this
is Tommy & my mom in our Skyfari bucket as it
We all had a great time! It was a wonderful Saturday at the zoo, as well as an awesome birthday gift from my mom! If you've never been, I highly recommend a visit to the San Diego Zoo. But if you go, Mom says, "Don't forget the sun-block and comfortable walking shoes."