I had not been to the zoo in ages, but a friend came to town and it seemed like a good excuse to go. It was a rainy kind of day, cool and breezy, just about the most perfect zoo day ever. The animals were out and active well into the afternoon hours. Of course, I forgot my camera, so I didn’t get a picture of the flamingo egg (huge) on top of a mud nest, or a picture of the day-old gazelle, or a picture of the 4-month old giraffe. Oh well. Some days are like that.
Getting the one-year membership is the way to go if you live here in town. You can bring a guest for free with one of the coupons they give you. Bus tours are 2 for 1, and the Skyfari is free. I don’t know of any other place that has a running sky-tram. The one at Disneyland is long-gone. I like the Skyfari, though getting on and off is heat-pounding. Just close your eyes and leap. The basket swings for awhile but eventually stops. The view from above is great, too. You can see all of Balboa Park and all the way downtown.
About the best part of the day was seeing the cheetah with her dog. The zoo has paired cheetahs with dog companions to help the cheetahs relax and adapt to crowds. While we were there, a zookeeper came out to play fetch with the dog in the cheetah/dog habitat. The cheetah seemed interested in the ball at first, then went for the dog. But, I suppose since the dog and cheetah were buddies, the cheetah only half-heartedly clawed at him. Then the zookeeper put both the cheetah and the dog on leash and walked both out of the habitat and down the road to a show. A woman at one point crouched down to get a picture of the cheetah, and was immediately descended upon by zookeeper security, who warned her not to make herself small around the cheetah. She must have looked delicious, because the cheetah craned her neck to get a better look at the crouching woman. The dog was completely oblivious, just happy to be going for a walk.
If I were a cheetah, I would enjoy having a dog for a pet.