Z is for the Zoo

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Finally, today is the last day of the A to Z Challenge April 2016! So, for my final post of this series, Z is for the Zoo. As a child, I loved animals as much as I loved dinosaurs, and so my other favorite place to visit along with natural history museums was the zoo. For many people, this is the best chance to get up close and personal with wild animals.

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo, in the state of California in the US, hosts over 3,700 animals and has a breeding program that is successfully increasing the numbers of many endangered species, including the famous Giant Pandas. The zoo opened in 1916, and it has been dedicated to providing quality care and quality of life for the animals housed there. A day pass for an adult is $50, and $40 for a child, but the experience is well worth the ticket price. If you ever find yourself in San Diego, the world-famous zoo is not to be missed.

The best times to visit are mid-morning and early evening, especially in the summer. The animals are fed close to these times, and it’s cooler than midday, so the animals are often more active. The crowds are also smaller in the early part of the day, because many people don’t arrive when the park first opens. Summers are humid, which can make the midday uncomfortable, and more crowded, but any time of the year is a great time for the zoo because San Diego’s climate is mild year-round. If you try to see the whole zoo in only one day, you will be exhausted (I’ve tried it), so it’s best to plan out your day if you only have a short time.

Koala - San Diego Zoo

Koala – photo by kei

Lioness - San Diego Zoo

Napping lioness – photo by kei

Lion - San Diego Zoo

A lion looks up from his nap – photo by kei

Okapi - San Diego Zoo

Okapi (related to the giraffe) – photo by kei

Giant Panda - San Diego Zoo

Giant Panda – photo by kei

Ueno Zoo

Compared to the San Diego Zoo, the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo, Japan, is much smaller. It is easily accessible by train, and is close to many museums and a garden. Admission is ¥600 for adults (16+), ¥200 for students, and free for children under 12. Although it is smaller, it still houses over 3,000 animals. Founded in 1882, it is the oldest zoo in Japan. The Ueno Zoo also participates in animal breeding programs and exchange programs with other international zoos (including the San Diego Zoo).

Bird Island - Ueno Zoo

Bird Island with Tokyo in the background – photo by kei

Porcupine - Ueno Zoo

Porcupine napping in a tree – photo by kei

Rhinos - Ueno Zoo

Rhinos – photo by kei

Oklahoma City Zoo

The last zoo I will introduce is the Oklahoma City Zoo, in the state of Oklahoma in the US, which is home to over 1,900 animals. The zoo has operated since 1904 and is a smaller zoo like the Ueno Zoo. The gorilla/ape exhibit, the big cat exhibits, and the elephant enclosure are the biggest attractions. General admission for adults is $8, and seniors and children can enter for $5. The Oklahoma City Zoo participates in numerous conservation programs.

Peacock - Oklahoma City Zoo

White peacock perched on a tree – photo by kei

Gorilla - Oklahoma City Zoo

Gorilla – photo by kei

Thanks for following me through the April A to Z Challenge! And congratulations to everyone who has survived the daily posting this month!

What is your favorite zoo to visit? What about your favorite animal? Let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Z is for the Zoo

    • It does seem like you could just reach out and pet them. It’s interesting to remember that all that is separating you from their huge teeth is a pane of glass… ^^

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      • hcyip

        Yes, it does seem like that. It is mindboggling how strong that glass must be for people’s safety to be reliant only on it.

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  1. I’ve never been to the San Diego Zoo, but I’ve wanted to go there for awhile now. When I was a kid, we always went to our zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo, for field trips. I’m not much of a crowd person (or a fan of the heat) so it makes sense to go early in the day or early evening hours. My favorite animal is the koala bear. For marine mammals, my favorite is the dolphin. ~Meg Writer‘s Crossings

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    • I’ve never been to the Philadelphia Zoo, but I loved being able to go to the zoo on field trips! The San Diego Zoo has a new exhibit called Koalifornia, which is an expanded koala exhibit. If you get the chance, you should visit!

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