San Diego Zoo

Henry and I went to the zoo today! We left at about 10:40 and zipped down there — almost no traffic, amazingly — and got there are 11:20 or so. First we walked through the reptile house and visited the komodo dragon (Henry’s favorite today!) and then through the lovely new monkey exhibit, which was built last year to replace the ancient monkey house. It’s one of those beautiful modern exhibits, with two levels of walkways between large airy mesh enclosures, so you can see what’s going on at the top of the forest as well as the bottom. It feels lush and spacious, and the monkeys have huge natural-looking homes filled with live trees, branches, climbing ropes, hiding places, rock pools, etc. We spent a long time watching a family of Wolf’s Guenons. The little one was performing amazing feats of acrobatics while the mother worked and worked to try to crack open a walnut. After about 20 minutes it slipped out of her hands (or maybe she dropped it in disgust) and the father sprinted for it and grabbed it. He took it away to the top of a tree and eventually got it open. They were wonderful to watch.

We wandered through the new exhibit and reached the Gorillas, and spent a lot of time there. Saw two gorilla moms with little infants riding on their backs :) Then down to the bonobos, and then Chloe called (we’d invited them to come and meet us) and we headed back to the beginning of the monkey trail to meet them. Meanwhile they headed down a different trail to the gorillas to meet us :) But we finally met up, and walked all the way back through the monkeys, taking the lower trail this time and encountering lots of interesting wild pigs on the forest floor. Then we popped back to visit the kkomodo dragon again, then took the Sky Buckets over to the polar bears. We watched them for ages. One was rolling around, and the other was chewing on carrots. Arctic carrots, I guess.

Then we went down the hill and past the raptors to the pandas, and watched the 15-month-old cub cavorting with his mom. Because the pandas are so rare and secial, they have a zookeeper sitting near them all the time. She fills the crowd in on their personalities, histories, behaviour and other interesting facts. Neat.

And then we headed home at about 3 to try to beat the rush-hour traffic. It was slow for a while but wasn’t all THAT bad.

So tired now, so tired. But it was worth it! We had a perfect day :) And I have a tub of Trader Joe’s Pfeffernuesse here that needs my attention.

Whoa, I just noticed that our Zoo has little guided-tour podcasts for some of their exhibits! Each episode tells about one of the animals or plants. Check out this link to the podcast for Monkey Trails! http://www.sandiegozoo.org/podcast/monkey_trails/monkey_trails.xml

You can paste that link into your podcatcher and learn about our Flamingo Lagoon, Mandrills, Wolf’s Guenons, Wild Pigs, Bog Garden, and more! So cool. We’ll load some guided tours into our ipods for our next visit! Here’s their main podcast page: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/podcast/

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