Southern Gerenaks

Southern Gerenaks

My first visit to the world famous San Diego Zoo provided an opportunity to see some unique animals.  The Chacoan Peccary, for example, was identified in 1974 in Paraguay.  This ice age relic, similar but different from a pig, is related to the javalinas in Arizona.  The Southern Gerenaks, who live in an area from Somalia to Tanzania, posed as if kissing.  The Sichuan Takin from central China were a bit more active than many of the animals that were sleeping in a shady spot or standing against shaded, cooler walls.  Eastern Angola Colobus were among many types of monkeys.  There are a number of Red River Hogs.  The Masai Giraffes have a darker coloring than other giraffes.  With 40 koalas, it was possible to see one eating eucalpytus while the rest slept part of their twenty-two hours per day.  Because of the warm temperatures, many animals were sleeping including the polar bear and two pandas.  Elephant odyssey was featured as a newly opened exhibit.  Many exhibits are small, however, and need updating to provide animals more space in a more natural environment.  The mature vegetation throughout most parts of the zoo kept us fairly cool.  The place for gourmet dining is Albert’s, easily the best zoo food ever.  Our shaded alfresco table near the soothing sounds of a waterfall made for a memorable meal.  There are lots of trails, some with escalators to ease the climb up a hill.  We started with a bus tour, took advantage of the express buses, and rode on the aerial tram.

Vine Dancer

Vine Dancer

Before using the second day of our two day zoo pass, we visited the museum area of Balboa Park.  The pond in front of the Botanical Building has a dozen varieties of lilies. It is interesting to have so many museums located in one place.  We started our second day at the zoo later in the day thereby avoiding the hotter temperatures and larger crowds.  We were entertained by the Sea Lions Rock show in the Wegeworth Bowl.  This show features several birds as well as sea lions.  In the Vine & Vine Show two women on stilts covered in vines choreographed their movements using gymnastic techniques.  Although a handbill crawed for attention, his cage limit photography.  In one open air aviary, however, a blue crowned pigeon poised for a picture.  The San Diego Zoo covers a large area of Balboa Park and is worthy of its reputation as a world-class zoo.

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