Friday, February 13, 2015

wild things

Living in San Diego, families with young children tend to be regulars at the zoo. And by the zoo, of course, I mean the World Famous San Diego Zoo. We had a family membership for many years. It's reasonably priced, close by, and the parking is free so there was nothing stopping us from dropping in for an hour or a minute or an afternoon whenever we felt like it. We haven't renewed the membership in many years, the kids are busy with other stuff and are satisfied to visit once or twice a year when visitors come to town or with a school field trip.

My kids are animal lovers, though, and my boy in particular has been asking for a zoo day since winter break. I love it there, so immediately agreed and then hopped online to grab tickets. $48. Yes, it's a reasonably priced 'amusement park', but dude. Really? Considering the fact that they classify a human at the ripe old age of 12 to be an adult, we're looking at $200 for a family outing. What do we look like, the Pope? I started trolling ebay.

I didn't find the worldfamoussandiegoZOO, but I also had an eye out for the zoo's distant north county relative, the artist formerly known as the Wild Animal Park, now named San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and we had the distinct pleasure of visiting last weekend on the World's Most Perfect Day.

It's about a 30 minute drive, and we arrived for the second half of a lovely Saturday. We opted to pocket the maps and just meander a bit, each of us had something we wanted to see and we found our way around.

Uncle Merv won't bore you with a bunch of animal pics, but you guys? The baby gorilla? I called and called and called to it but it wouldn't hop into my backpack.

The park is cool because the animals aren't in traditional cage-like enclosures. They just sort of hang out in these vast, open spaces with likeminded creatures while the humans muck about in pseudo safari gear.

I think the high point for all of us was the late afternoon tram ride trough the African plains. The light was beautiful and the mood was light, and all of God's little creatures came out to be seen.

See that girl with her head in the feeder? That's Nola. She is a northern white rhino.

Nola is critically endangered. There are five northern white rhinos remaining on the planet earth, and none have been successfully bred. Five. So it's Nola and four others. Forever. As the guide pointed out, my kids' kids will never see a Northern White Rhino.

Rock on with your bad self, Nola.

Rock on with your bad self, safari zoo park.

Oh, one more thing. For Ellie:



MB said...

Gorgeous! And it looks sooooo warm!! xo

Beth said...

Wow, these gorgeous photos of these gorgeous animals remind me that it's been waaay to long since we'be been up there.

Feel as though we have to go visit Nola ASAP. And did you say baby gorilla??? Swoon.

Hope your boy loved it! (You and C-dog too of course.)


BreezieGirl said...

Pretty!!!!! My coworker used to work there. She did small tours and we were actually just talking about Nola recently. Aw, Nola!

Me, You, or Ellie said...


I'm a sap, I know, but THE WHITE RHINOS! Oh my GOD I love Nola. I really want to find a mate for that fine girl. And, well, a better feeding station.

Maybe I can just bring her here? I think she'd like it here. Maybe we can find a fine white rhino stud dude here -- there's *got* to be one in New London.

Oh, and one more thing.


Love. Desperately.