a trip to the san diego zoo

by Stacy

My husband and I are now members of the San Diego Zoo!

We’re trying to visit the sites of San Diego. First off, it’s a fun way to spend time together and learn more about our new home. Second, it’s good for my husband to be able to tell hotel guests about the area which means he should know something about it. Third, it gives me something to do! And as an added bonus, it gives me an excuse to play with my camera.

After our day at the Birch Aquarium, we decided to tackle the 100-acres of famed zoological park. The symbol of the park? You know it:

panda eating bamboo

We became members not just to support the zoo, but also because of its benefits. For barely more than two single-day tickets would have cost, we now have unlimited zoo admission for a year, unlimited admission to the Wild Animal Park just north of where we live, several guest passes and discount coupons, and bragging rights. Not bad! There’s even a sale for $10 off memberships right now. Such a deal!

There were a number of school groups there, and an impressive number of families. Don’t kids go to school anymore? Sheesh. But I can’t imagine how crowded it gets on weekends. It wasn’t bad though and I was happy to be able to get a few nice camera shots. This guy was an early favorite:

pensive orangutan

That face!

I can’t help but love me some big cats. How silently they move, how crazy strong they are, and how fun they are to compare to my housekitties. The zoo definitely met my big cat needs.



… and tigers…


… and more tigers…


… and bears. But no good photos. And not a leopard, but a jaguar!


Nice kitties.

There were tons of birds, with various aviaries that we walked through. The colors were amazing! The photos, not so much. Then we had a near-brush with some feisty red parrot things and I got a little nervous. These shiny wood ducks were more my speed:

wood ducks

Much better than the native birds to the area, the California condor:

california condor

This is an adult; you can tell because of his wrinkly pink bald head. You can tell the punky emo teenage ones by their black hair and reluctance to bathe:

bathtime for condors

Ahh, anthropomorphism, how I love thee. Ok, enough birds! How about some camels?

bactrian camel

Bactrian camels have two humps. Dromedary camels have one. If your sister’s name is Alice (or Alys), do not, if you value your life, sing about how many humps that camel has. You’ve been warned.

This camel was creeping me out enough by getting within spitting distance (ha!) of us, but then–

what sound does a camel make?

— he made NOISE. That was weird. I don’t think I had ever considered what noise a camel makes, let alone heard it. Yikes.

The zoo is a little like the Louvre: you can’t possibly see everything in one visit, so you can either hit the highlights, or just decide what to skip and come back. How nice that we’re members and can go back for free!

like a monkey in a cage

There are lots of other great exhibits (this De Brazza’s geunon charmed me), and I even have some other photos that I like (hairy-snouted wombat? what?), but we will go back another time. Next week we’re going to try and get to the Wild Animal Park. It’s supposed to be fantastic, too.

I’ll be sure to take my camera along again.

red flower

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