Melissa & Geoff  · · ·  "If you don't have time to do right, when will you have time to do it over again?"
November 20, 2009 : San Diego Zoo

Arriving at the San Diego Zoo
Preparing to release the parrots...
And there they go!
First stop, the reptile house, and this amazing green beauty.
An interesting-looking lizard
One big snake!
We took a short bus tour around the park to get oriented. First stop, the hippos.
Adorable monkeys
Some sweet African gazelles. I love the one on his hind legs in the back there.
It was interesting to see the keepers interacting with the animals.
A rare buffalo-type animal from China.
And again.
I think these guys were also from China.
The elephant enclosure makes even the 'behind the scenes' sections viewable to the public. Here the keepers are working to train the elephants.
Fantastic bull elephant. Apparently they had to saw his tusks off so he'd fit in the moving container used to bring him here!
The California condor enclosure. The zoo was instrumental in saving the species from extinction.
A meerkat colony. Adorable.
A wild dog.
Sleeping hyenas.
And an equally tired rhinoceros.
Feeding time for the giraffes.
And again.
And again.
Koalas! I've never seen so many in one place before!
I think this is a grizzly bear.
All the koalas were sleeping soundly.
Some Bactrian camels happily foaming at the mouth.
I think he likes me. ;-)
A young California condor enjoying a piece of liver. Mmmmm.
A pronghorn antelope. No deer to play with.
Our friend the bull elephant again.
He looks quite happy that he's found something to eat.
I wish I could remember the name of these guys. Very cute.
A jaguar.
Such a beautiful animal.
Up close with a snoozing king of the jungle.
Back to the interesting Chinese...whatever it is.
Ah ha! It's a takin!
I love these little antelopes.
Zebras (yes, I'm stating the obvious).
A kind of vulture.
Our first encounter with some red river hogs.
I love their tufty ears!
Good thing we didn't have to go all the way to Gambia to see them.
The monkey exhibits were amazing.
You could see most of the enclosures from two or three different levels.
Very up close with a snoozing hippo!
I think he knows this is his best side...
Yup. He knows.
Can't remember what these guys are called either. But they're big. And stripey.
Geoff ventures into the jungle.
As impressive as the animals is the zoo's collection of exotic plants, including a huge stand of bamboo.
An amazing tail on this bird!
There's a tiger perched up there.
A slightly better view.
And coming around the corner is a better view into the tiger enclosure, where this young tiger was having a drink.
There were about five guys with professional-looking cameras beside themselves at their good fortune.
And I think he knew he was the most photogenic creature.
He was practically posing for us. Too bad our camera didn't get a sharper image.
A tapir. I had no idea they were so big (more small bear sized than pig sized).
And they came in a matching set.
An impressive male baboon up from his nap.
Look up. Look waaaay up!
Yay! A sign! Now we know what we're looking at!
Black mangabeys are very fond of being groomed.
Maybe a little too fond!
An amazing cluster of orchids.
And once again no name for these.
But we have two pictures of them.
Two lovely little parrots.
Melissa just walkin' through the jungle...
...still walkin'.
Not walkin'. Just standin'.
A beautiful day to be at the zoo.
And not at all crowded, which was awesome.
Not sure what those are up there...
The hyenas woke up! Sort of...
Another type of hyena, I think.
The keepers in the singing dogs' enclosure. They can't bark, so they yelp and howl and sing.
The keepers were socializing with the puppies, becasue they're tame enough to be used in zoo outreach and education programs. And they're adorable.
A snow leopard.
His tail was absolutely gorgeous.
Inches away from a black panther.
Amazing to be so close!
We took in the Take Flight bird show.
Whooo'd have thought you could train an owl?
The birds flew out over the audience - on the right you can see the wing tip of one...
A parrot singing "Old MacDonald"
And a super smart African raven accepted donations at the end.
He'd take the bills and put them in the donation box!
So cute I had to make another donation.
Back to the rhinos, who had woken up.
Looking for dinner, I think.
A giant anteater. A definite favorite!
The young giraffes enjoying an afternoon snack.
Very much enjoying their hay.
And again.
They made it look so good that mom had to come over and try it.
Dad's not so bothered. Maybe he already ate.
In the parking lot at the end of the day was a scene from "The Birds."
They were everywhere!
Random picture of Melissa in the parking lot. :-)