San Diego Zoo Visit

Trip Report 20081029

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The Experience

One of the things that Kathleen and I have not done with any frequency is to do the "tourist thing" in our own town. San Diego has some world class tourist attractions (in addition to the beach) including the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park. After returning to town, we vowed to visit these attractions and take advantage of living in "America's Finest City".

The San Diego Zoo is in Balboa Park, right in the center of town. Since we are members of the Zoo, we get "free" access to the park, so we decided to check it out. On a previous trip, we saw the north side of the zoo, so on this visit we headed to the south side.

The photos below are what we saw.

Check out the colors on this lizard!

I am not sure what evolutionary benefit the colors serve, but they sure look good. Note the collar with flaps.

These two were checking out the tourists.

This lizard looks very similar to the blue and orange one above. I wonder if it is the same species of lizard and it can change colors like a chameleon.

Note the claws on this fellow.

There is a substantial population of peacocks at the zoo. They roam about with impunity. Note the tortoise in the lower left corner of the photo.

Does this fellow look familiar? A docent outside of the pen stated that this tortoise served as the model for the alien in "E.T". I think I can see the family resemblance.

Necking, tortoise style.

This fellow was going SO FAST that he was raising a cloud of dust.

This lizard had held still so long that there are spider webs on his snout. Notice the spines on his back.

Note the reflection of the trees in the eye of a gharial.

The snout of gharial is a gnarly affair, complete with nasty teeth and an interesting nose. The face that only a mother gharial could love.

Interesting horns and spines on this lizard.

There were only a few flowers in bloom and this was one of the nicer ones.

The park has a substantial population of flamingoes.

This flamingo was totally loopy. He stood like this for many minutes viewing the world from this upside down position.

Despite their bright colors, these birds look angry.

Getting the camera to focus through the fence was a challenge, but once I did it was worth the effort.

Junior keeps a close eye on the visitors watching him.

This gorilla ambled over to check out the crowd.

This gorilla was back in the brush when we arrived and he came out into the open.

This fellow looks like he has a broken tooth in the front.

This is one butt-ugly porcine. I think the name is a Bearded Pig. Whatever.

The San Diego Zoo is an interesting place, albeit a tad too commercial for me. Popcorn for $5, what do they think they are, the theatre? Costs for food and services notwithstanding, they are a world-class zoo and have facilities to match.

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