Before meeting up with my friend Angelica and her two daughters, I walked around taking pictures at the San Diego Zoo listening to my Photo Tunes playlist on my iPod. First ran into my friend Rick, the Zoo’s ambassador, and we talked about his upcoming Today Show appearance and about the Gibbon Conservation Center emails I sent him.
Since it was still so close to opening, I headed down towards the Malayan Tigers and Hippos, first stopping briefly at the Johnston’s Crocodiles. I got lucky with the tigers being active, but very unlucky with the quality of the photos. Kind of the same story with the hippos. Making my way further into the Zoo I got a funny sleeping picture of Gao Gao, the male Giant Panda. The Grevy’s Zebras were busy eating, as were all the Southern Gerenuks and Lesser Kudus. No luck with the Polar Bears, who were sleeping behind a hill.
I rode the Skyfari back towards the entrance to meet the girls. They hadn’t arrived yet so I hopped over to the Orangutans who almost never disappoint. This time it was eight year-old Cinta who gave me some good material to shoot. Also got to squeeze in some Armadillo Girdled Lizards and a Henkel’s Leaf-tailed Gecko.
Met up with the girls and we headed straight for the Children’s Zoo to see the Meerkats before entering the Bug House. There I got shots of a giant New Guinea Stick Insect that a keeper was handling, as well as a Giant Katydid and a few others whose pictures did not come out very well. Then it was time for some hands-on fun at the Petting Zoo.
Following that we stopped so the kids, bizarrely enough, could get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny…four days after Easter. Then it was off to lunch, with Angelica and I getting sandwiches at The Sandwich Company, and the girls getting a hot dog and pizza at the Lagoon Terrace right next door. After lunch we stopped briefly inside one of the stores to see what the kids might like to get later.
Then it was time to finally see some big animals, including the rhinos, giraffes and Bactrian Camels. After that we spent some time at Elephant Odyssey checking out the Elephants, Guanacos and Capybaras. We tried the Polar Bears again but they weren’t very active. We walked passed the long line at the Giant Pandas and through the exit door they got to see Gao Gao eating.
Last stop before leaving was to see the Lowland Gorillas and the Orangutans.
It may have been my eighth visit just this year, but I had a really fun time experiencing it through the eyes of young children.
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