Saturday, January 09, 2010

San Diego

We’re spending a week in San Diego, CA, which is fine since the weather here is perfect. Low 70s during the day, 50s at night, and the only clouds we’ve seen come around just to enhance the sunsets. We spent most of yesterday at the San Diego Zoo, which may be one of the top zoos in the country (sorry Bronx). The climate here is ideal for all sorts of plant life, and the zoo is landscaped like a tropical paradise. In fact, Penny said it reminds her of Hawaii. However, I don’t recall seeing life-size elephant topiaries in Hawaii.DSC_0002

One other less fortunate feature of the zoo is the price of admission, but it seems to work for them since the place was mobbed. This is the zoo that is always sending animals to the late-night television programs, which may be a reason it is so successful.

The big draw this week was the initial display of the new panda baby, but the line was so long, we didn’t bother to visit. However, the adult pandas were available for photo ops, so we took advantage of that exhibit. DSC_0011 Even adult pandas are adorable, and I think all we would have seen of the baby would have been a little sleeping pile of black and white fur. The pandas eat a specific variety of bamboo, which grows easily in San Diego. The zoo is a strong promoter of efforts to save threatened and endangered species, and it was sad to see some animals on display that no longer exist in the wild. I believe there are still a few free pandas in China, but if there are, they are very few.

Although some animal activists would probably frown on zoo animals being trained as performers, the San Diego Zoo has a really neat free-flight show with a variety of birds. I was so amazed by the performance by an owl, a hawk, chickens, parrots, ibises, and assorted other fowl, I didn’t DSC_0037 take any pictures until the final act when the parrots were hanging out on their perches. As I mentioned, all of the birds were completely free and performing uncaged in an open-air amphitheater. We had a giant owl fly within inches of our heads – same with a small Harris Hawk, and other avian performers. The chickens didn’t do much flying, but provided comic relief.


The San Diego Zoo, because their favorite type of eucalyptus is common in the area, has more koala bears than any place outside of Australia. The koalas used to be the most popular animals at the zoo, but the pandas have taken over the top spot. As far as I can tell, the koalas don’t seem to mind. I guess sitting around all day munching eucalyptus helps keep them mellow.


Post a Comment

<< Home