Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Zoo


If you know me, then you know that I adore zoos. Hmm, scratch that. I love good zoos. Zoos that have strong rehabilitation efforts, endangered species breeding programs, cutting-edge habitat enclosures. San Diego, Seattle, Bronx, Berlin, Belize - all great zoos. 

Ethical quandaries aside, I love seeing the animals. I spent twenty minutes watching this guy today:

320 pounds, 31 years old. He was watching me back. Obviously. 

I always felt a little odd going to the zoo by myself but it was really not a bad solution: few people want to spend hours engrossed in the lives of a gorilla family. But on weekdays, among the hordes of stroller-pushing moms and nannies, I always felt strange wandering around by myself. 

Now that I have the bambino though, it’s perfect. No longer am I the lurker at the back of the gorilla exhibit with the camera. I am now equipped with the perfect accessory: a child! One that sleeps [for now] while I wander. Hallelujah! 

Had I realized the benefits of such an accomplice, I would have had a kid ages ago. 

Eh, maybe not. But still, it’s nice to not be the odd man out at the zoo anymore. Plus, the cost of admission is still the same as kids up until the age of three are free. 

 My favorite time to visit the zoo is in the winter, on a Monday morning, preferably on a day that is brisk and damp. There are fewer people, the temperate animals are more active, and the tropical ones are usually congregated near their heated rocks and lamps (which are convenient to the viewing areas, typically). You also have a good chance of finding free parking along the street. It’s a win-win. 

If you get too cold then you can always pop into the steamy rainforest exhibit [my all-time favorite]. 
I really hope Ben likes zoos, seeing as he’ll likely be spending a great deal of his formative years visiting them. Poor kid. 


  1. You're learning quickly. Not only does a child provide you with an "appropriate companion" but you get to experience it all over again for the first time through their eyes. It's a win-win situation and oh, so much fun!

  2. All kids like the zoo. A zoo pass is a VERY good investment. ;) The OKC zoo is very nice if you ever want to visit.

  3. This blogger used to work at (drumroll)... the San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park! (now dubbed the Safari Park) I fed giraffes on my lunch break and stared down rhinos. No joke. And once, I got bit by a duck, on my neck. The hickey jokes followed me around for awhile...

  4. I didn't know that!!! The one place we never got to go when we lived in Orange County. That is so awesome...