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Old 04-22-2013, 06:25 PM   #106
OhioStateBuckeye
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Originally Posted by PHXscuba View Post
Sorry that Anza-Borrego wasn't as awesome as Soarin makes it out to be. One big different between Joshua Tree and A-B is that Joshua Tree is a National Park and Anza-Borrego is a state park. I'm not sure about state parks in CA, but I know here in AZ they've had a lot of cutbacks of services and even temporarily closed a few.

Looking forward to the zoo. Baby panda, right?

PHXscuba
Hmm, you are right about the state vs. national park distinction.

Yes the baby panda and a lot of other super cute animals.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:28 PM   #107
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Its Baby Panda Time!!!



Brian at least changed his shirt but I was stuck in my sweatpants I had hiked in earlier. And I was dumb about my footwear, I decided to wear flip flops. My feet weren't hurting at the moment, but my feet had been hurting earlier from all the Disney running around, so it wasn't the best idea.


We went in about half an hour after it opened for the day (9:00 was the opening time), we were able to use my AAA card for a slight discount. I had read online that we needed to get to the baby panda right away or else the lines could get super long.

If you have never been there....the San Diego Zoo is just a series of giant hills. They have buses to cart you around that are included with your admission ticket, but geez. I come from Pittsburgh, which I thought was the hilliest place I'd seen. The San Diego zoo tops that.


Anyway, we made it to the panda exhibit and saw a huge temporary queue set up. Luckily, it was empty. So we'd beat the rush at least.

The first pandas in the exhibit were red pandas. I am pretty sure they are one of my favorite animals. And they are actually not closely related to regular pandas at all (weird, right?).

Awww he is hiding, but he is not really very good at it.







Next up we saw this guy in a cage all by himself:



I don't think he was the dad of the baby, but he might have been. I don't really have a clue.

OK, I'd like everyone to know that I am only going to show about 1/10th of the pictures I took of the baby panda. Your welcome.



And yeah...he actually was kind of sleeping in this box the whole time, so none of the pictures are earth shatteringly cute. Not at all like my favorite panda picture ever:



Or anywhere near this cute:



Back to the pandas that I actually did see:










I talked to the zookeeper a bit. She told me that the baby doesn't really have regular nap times, he just conks out wherever and whenever he wants. Looks like mom was taking advantage of this down time. She also told me they always get huge lines in the afternoon to see the baby.







After about 10 or 15 minutes we gave in an decided we weren't going to get to see the baby frolicking around, so we left and I found this amazing purse at the gift shop:



Don't judge.

I loved it.

After that we just kind of followed the paths and saw some animals:





Um...this bear was actually getting ready to poop over the side. He is not doing it yet in this picture, and I thought it was weird they went to the bathroom over the ledge.



Maybe they don't have a lot of space and don't want to go to the bathroom in their living rooms?

Look at those claws...



This otter was pretty playful, but he didn't go into the water.





This guy is gross. I share Indiana's views on snakes and think they are very reasonable views. I'm including the picture because someone has to like snakes.



I have a weird relationship with alligators and crocodiles. They scare me and I want them all dead, yet I have this sort of fascination with seeing them.


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Old 04-22-2013, 06:33 PM   #108
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Lions Tigers and Bears oh my!

Then Brian tried to find a hummingbird sanctuary he remembered from when he was younger (he used to live in San Bernardino). He thought this was it but it just had regular old run of the mill exotic birds. We never did find any hummingbirds.











At last we came to our senses and decided to get an early lunch. Yippee Hooray! (said in a Mugatu voice from Zoolander)



This was our special panda cup that we were supposed to get refills on all day but I threw away the receipt:



I love hot dogs. I used to have one for lunch every single day of the summer break when I was younger. And if I wasn't quite in the mood for a hot dog I'd just eat a hot dog bun with ketchup on it. Both my sisters can't stand the sight of ketchup. Wonder if its cause I overdid it just a tad.



The zoo actually had two meerkat exhibits. One was in the little kid area and you could get super close to them.










Then for my next group of pictures it looks like the camera kept focusing on the cage bars instead of the animal like this one:



We went into the insect house and I thought it was actually really neat.











So they had all the leaf cutter ants set up so you could watch them takes the leaves below ground. They also had dung beetles and all these really well camoflauged bugs and they had a beehive that was in clear plastic. The bees had a pipe to go outside, so you could see them come in and build the honey coves. The zoo keeper inside told us the queen had to be locked up in a separate area where a keeper could know where she was at all times. I guess if the queen got loose it could be a really big disaster. They have to keep them locked up separate because there are only like 10 in the US and the government needs to know where they all are at any given time.

Our 8 GB memory card finally filled up when we were in the bug house...and of course our back up card didn't work at all. Not sure what was going on with that, we had a bunch we had to leave behind at home because they gave an error with my camera too. They had all been used in the camera before so not sure what was wrong with them. We had to go to the gift shop and buy a whole brand new card.

And the first picture I took with the new memory card was...



Ducks, of course.

Then we went on the sky ride. It was included with our tickets and was a neat way to go from the front of the park to the back.











Very pretty:

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Old 04-22-2013, 06:36 PM   #109
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The Antelope Slope!!

Then we went on what I fondly called the antelope slope. Look! Its our standing friends from the Safari Park last year!


















Next up was a pretty sweet exhibit.



Can you guys tell what that is?!



Yep, the polar bears!! (funny story, when I was posting this to the DIS and editing it, I had originally put pandas instead of polar bears).

Here are the 3 bears that live here:







It was a pretty hot day, in the 80s. The water looked really good. Besides the fact there were huge polar bears swimming in it, that is.







I never really noticed how long polar bear necks are:





I guess we were in the arctic area because next we saw some adorable reindeer! I love how compact they look.












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Old 04-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #110
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I see a lot of ducks, but no Donald

This zoo is infested with ducks...











I particularly like the black and white. His name is Puma.




Zebras!!





I forget what kind of animal this is, but I like it. It has a non-conventional body shape.



Looks kind of hyenaish instead of fox or dog.



The lions were so awesome. There was a zookeeper there and she said she had just given them a treat. It was kind of like a blood popsicle because of the hot weather.







There were a few lionesses in there too.





I don't know what animal this is but he is very handsome:



Next it was time for the elephant trail!!



I really don't know what is going on with that buddaish looking elephant statue. He looks pretty funny so I wanted to include him in my report.

They had all sorts of elephant art:







Direwolves were real!! Game of Thrones woooooooo



Finally here are the real live elephants.

A keeper put some sort of cucumber snack on this elephant's head. She was supposed to use her trunk to retrieve the treat but she was having none of it. After repeated urging from the keeper to get her treat, she turned tail and hightailed it outta there with the snack still on her head.



If an elephant doesn't wanna participate, it doesn't participate.



This elephant, however, was participating. He was getting a pedicure and he would obediantly offer his feet up to the zookeeper.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:03 AM   #111
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I don't know what animal this is but he is very handsome:
Long time lurker saying hi and I'm pretty sure the animal is a capybara.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:27 PM   #112
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I always like seeing the polar bears. We don't have any at the Phoenix Zoo -- probably too hot.

The baby panda is adorable. They had a little one when we were there (Oct. 2008?) And the red pandas are cute too. I love the color and texture of their fur.

Yep, that's a capybara ... world's largest rodent. And that zoo is ALL hill.

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Old 04-25-2013, 06:19 AM   #113
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Long time lurker saying hi and I'm pretty sure the animal is a capybara.
Well he is a good looking, shiny animal hahaha. Thanks for coming out of lurkdom! You should comment more I like to talk.

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I always like seeing the polar bears. We don't have any at the Phoenix Zoo -- probably too hot.

The baby panda is adorable. They had a little one when we were there (Oct. 2008?) And the red pandas are cute too. I love the color and texture of their fur.

Yep, that's a capybara ... world's largest rodent. And that zoo is ALL hill.

PHXscuba

We have 2 at the Columbus zoo. They have a pretty cool set up there so you can watch the bears in the water. Usually one of the bears likes to go up to the highest point and jump into the water and run around again.

I really do think I like the red pandas best.

I am originally from Pittsburgh so I thought I knew what a hilly zoo would be like. I really had no idea.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:26 AM   #114
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Disney had flamingos pegged

Cool bird:





These guys were just kinda hanging out.

Bird looks a bit cuckoo hahaha. You will receive 0 apologies from me for bad jokes/puns.




This next part was really cool. We were on this steep incline part of the path where a lot of the big cats are kept. I am trying desperately to come up with a punny name for this, like my above antelope slope, but I am failing. Sorry.

Anyway, it must have been getting close to feeding time or something because most of the cats were super close, like this leopard:



The black panther was stalking back and forth:



Then he conked out right in front of us:



Look at these giant feet!



I see you up in that tree...



Now it turns out at this moment his keeper was walking up the hill way out of sight. He must have heard him or smelled him because he jumped right down and started pacing.





We know this because 2 minutes later the keeper comes walking into sight and goes inside to check on something.



I thought the keeper was actually in the pen with them, but I think there was another fence in between him and them (hopefully).

Then we saw the lion's friend!!





When I was in South Africa, the Lion King had just come out over there so one of our native guides called warthogs 'the lion's friend'. I also love warthogs. They are so hideously cute and funny looking. I love their dainty paws and how they hold their tails straight up. I got a stuffed animal warthog from Africa (if that doesn't prove my love, dunno what does).

At this point it was late afternoon, super hot, my feet were killing me and we still had a long way to go, so we finally hopped on one of the double decker buses.



We kind of did this loop around some animals:







When we were midway through our loop, a woman dropped her camera off the bus. Her male companion took a flying leap off the bus to retrieve it. The bus driver then spent the last few moments of the drive commenting on random people jumping off buses, and to make it worse the guy jumped back on the bus with the retrieved camera, only to have the bus come to a stop a few seconds later. Very weird.

Anyway, we were off the bus and we saw the flamingos!!

I usually don't like flamingos, I always thought they were boring.

Then we saw this delightful fellow doing a happy dance.



If you want to know what he looks like, search on youtube for 'happy duck dancing for food'. The flamingo was eating something on the ground, and he would quickly pound his feet on the ground in this little dance. It was so adorable. Brian couldn't get his phone started up quick enough to get it on camera, because....I kid you not. This bully:



Marched on over and made the happy flamingo stop. Thats right, Disney totally has it right in their flamingo short on the new Fantasia movie. They are snooty animals, and don't like others to be different and have a good time.

Don't believe these guys are absolute snoots? Just look at em



Walkin around with their noses up in the air. What a bunch of snooty mcsnootersons.



Snoots. I felt so bad for the poor dancing flamingo. I bet he is never allowed to have any fun.

Then we saw these guys:



And then the cuteness level shot through the roof. I probably took 100 pictures (literally) of these next 2 animals and I still can't get over the cuteness...
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #115
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We love big cats around our house and it makes me happy when they are up and around at the zoo, not just conked out in a corner. I got to hold a baby panther in a Mexican zoo a few years ago and came thisclose to trying to smuggle it home in my luggage (you shoulda seen my dog sniffing me later that day ... confused!) That was the same zoo where I saw a male lion RUN across his cage and roar -- they never do that!

The flamingo interaction sounds amazing -- you can never tell what you'll come across. I still remember trying to tactfully explain mating turtles to my kids (just imagine the shells clacking )

PHXscuba

p.s. Waiting on the cuteness!!
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:03 PM   #116
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We love big cats around our house and it makes me happy when they are up and around at the zoo, not just conked out in a corner. I got to hold a baby panther in a Mexican zoo a few years ago and came thisclose to trying to smuggle it home in my luggage (you shoulda seen my dog sniffing me later that day ... confused!) That was the same zoo where I saw a male lion RUN across his cage and roar -- they never do that!

The flamingo interaction sounds amazing -- you can never tell what you'll come across. I still remember trying to tactfully explain mating turtles to my kids (just imagine the shells clacking )

PHXscuba

p.s. Waiting on the cuteness!!
I am very jealous you got to hold a baby panther. You totally should have hid it under your shirt. Lol.

I agree, I don't think anyone sees male lions in action much, they let all the females do the hunting. Lazy. Reminds me of something.

That is super funny about the turtles...turtles must be quite amorous because we saw it too. Brian had to take a video, then these other 4 college age guys started running up and videoed it too. Boys.


Oh don't worry, the cuteness is coming. And I have plenty of pictures.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:13 PM   #117
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ZOMG so much cuteness!!!

Its a zebra and donkey that live together and love each other!!!!!







Here they are kissing:



And hugging:



I love love love these two.







And here is a youtube link to a video Brian took of them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbDSUNiGhto

I've always heard most zebras are mean, but when we got back home we found out that this one is super nice and you can take special tours and pet this one. That is probably why she was so close to us, she wanted petted. I would have loved to have obliged, but I didn't wanna get kicked out of the zoo.





Reluctantly we said goodbye

We walked by the giraffes, I think this picture looks 3D in a weird way:













Sleepy rhinos.



Oh this orangutan is so classic:



Then we had a snack break and got some dip n dots!! Ice cream of the future!



Even though I swear it has been the ice cream of the future for about 20 years now. You'd think it'd catch up to the future eventually.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:19 PM   #118
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The hills defeat us.

Then we looked at an awful lot of birds because Brian loves them:













We were both getting near the end of our stamina (I'm joking, we'd reached that back around lunch, we were continuing purely on awesome animal hopes), so we decided we just had a few more to see then we could go and check into the new hotel for a break.








Haha okapis playing peek a boo









...why is this turtles neck so unnaturally long...it really creeps me out




Then we decided to make monkeys of ourselves:





I bet this guy thought we are bananas:



We passed by some more snoots mcgoots:



I could feel them judging me as we quickly walked by.



The zoo has some awesome looking plants too, not just animals.



What are you smiling about, Mr. alligator? You make me nervous.




I believe at this point we really wanted to see the tigers and we ran all over and then they weren't even out I think at this point it was 4 and the zoo closed in an hour and we had had enough.





Goodbye zoo!!






All in all I thought the zoo was much better than the safari park. Even if you think I posted a ton of pictures of different animals, I didn't even post half my pictures, and I'm sure we missed a lot of animals. It is definitely a full day, maybe even 2. There were lots of play areas for little kids and shows, so they'd definitely be entertained. All the hills do make it kind of exhausting, but there are free buses and the sky ride thingie.

All in all I'd highly recommend it.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:00 PM   #119
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I too like the zoo better than the safari park, especially now that they changed the safari park to upsell everything.

Totes cute donkey and zebra. I love it when they let different animals live together, just like they would do in the wild.

My best San Diego Zoo story was when DS was 3. I asked him before we went in what animal he wanted to see most (figuring he'd say a giraffe or elephant). He said he wanted to see a horse. Uh-oh ... no farm area at this zoo. I gently told him that we probably wouldn't see a horse and tried to get him excited about the "amazing" animals he would see. Wouldn't you know it, about an hour later we turned a corner, and there was a keeper, leading a miniature horse by the reins. She stopped and let DS pet it. I have never been so happy to be wrong!

I am thinking we might go to San Diego this fall if I can squeeze it in. SoCal has so much to do that we'll never run out of great places to go!

PHXscuba
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Old 05-03-2013, 07:30 PM   #120
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I too like the zoo better than the safari park, especially now that they changed the safari park to upsell everything.

Totes cute donkey and zebra. I love it when they let different animals live together, just like they would do in the wild.

My best San Diego Zoo story was when DS was 3. I asked him before we went in what animal he wanted to see most (figuring he'd say a giraffe or elephant). He said he wanted to see a horse. Uh-oh ... no farm area at this zoo. I gently told him that we probably wouldn't see a horse and tried to get him excited about the "amazing" animals he would see. Wouldn't you know it, about an hour later we turned a corner, and there was a keeper, leading a miniature horse by the reins. She stopped and let DS pet it. I have never been so happy to be wrong!

I am thinking we might go to San Diego this fall if I can squeeze it in. SoCal has so much to do that we'll never run out of great places to go!

PHXscuba

Mini horses are another of my fav all time animals. I'm glad he got to see one. Funny when things like that work out

We never seem to have enough time in San Diego. This was our second time there and my first time seeing Balboa park, I probably could have spent another full day at all the museums.
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