I've always loved zoos. When I was a little girl, it was quite a distance, but a couple times a year we would go to the Burnet Park Zoo in Syracuse, NY and spend the day looking at the variety of animals. They have a world famous elephant breeding program and usually have a baby elephant to visit.
When I lived in Myrtle Beach I would go to the zoo located in Brookgreen Gardens. It is a small zoo that kept only species native to the area.
A friend and I visited the Cincinnati Zoo and enjoyed it a lot, especially the penguin display.
When we lived in Maryland we were lucky to have two major zoos. The Baltimore Zoo had new twin tiger cubs when we were there. The National Zoo in Washington DC is magnificent. It's almost impossible to see it all in one day. It's a part of the Smithsonian and is well worth a visit.
About ten years ago Rob and I had the opportunity to go to San Diego. The one thing we both wanted to see was the Zoo . As soon as we had checked into the hotel, we headed for the zoo. I'm sorry to say we were disappointed. There were long lines at each display and often we had to view the animals thru a small window. At almost every animal display there was a gift shop. We felt we had seen more gift shops than animals. We were glad we had gone, but probably wouldn't go back again.
Now we live just two miles from Dickerson Park Zoo. It's a small zoo, but we're members and stroll thru the grounds several times a year. Spring is my favorite time to visit, as there are lots of baby animals then.
A week ago we had ice and snow on the ground, but yesterday the temps were in the mid-sixties, so we went to the zoo.
There are lots of sculptures around the park. This one is just inside the entrance.
Once inside we were met by the official greeters. They are very tame and very noisy and will escort visitors around the park hoping for a handout.
The two varieties of greeters are the geese, both white and Canadian, and the peacocks.
There is a small train that chugs around the lake.
The hippo is usually in his pool, but decided to enjoy the warmth and the mud.
Another sculpture announces the lions.
When we first moved here there was a pair of elderly lions. The male was in poor health and died. The zoo obtained a young male and made the mistake of putting him with the old lioness. One day he killed her. I see that we now have a new younger lioness to keep him company.
There is a nursery building, but there were no babies on display yet. Next door are the storks getting ready for deliveries.
This zoo has a very successful giraffe breeding program. We usually get to see two or three baby giraffes each year. During the warmer months we can feed the giraffes,too.
There appear to be at least nine giraffes here now. Some will be sent to other zoos soon.
These are bongos.
The ostriches were resting. One bit me once while I was feeding them.
The cheetahs were napping together. Last year they produced a litter of five.
One of the coyotes was pacing.
This zoo has had a problem with their baby elephants. Four babies have died recently from a herpes infection that kills baby elephants when they are between one and two years old.
They have suspended their breeding program temporarily.
There is a new tiger display.
One tiger was confined to the building and this one was sleeping behind this log.
These pieces of art are scattered all over the park.
One puma was standing guard.
The other puma came to check us out.
The river otters are some of the most popular animals.
One of the pair stayed in the den, but this one was happy to follow us around and pose for pictures.
Last year this pair had six pups. Once they left the nursery they played in the water and chased each other around all day. They drew big crowds.
The kangaroos are always resting in their area. We almost never see them moving around.
This Capuchin monkey was walking along with us.
Most of the Flamingos were sleeping on one leg with their heads tucked under their wings.
I know there is controversy about zoos, but without them I would never have had the opportunity to see this variety of animals without traveling around the world. I will always enjoy spending a day at the zoo.