On Polar Bears, Pandas, and a Pachyderm Panorama

Fact 1: I have been living in Southern California for 5 years now.

Fact 2: It had in fact been over 20 years since I have been to the San Diego Zoo… until the other weekend…that is.

I’d love to list for you all the changes over the past 20 years… but the truth is all I can remember is what I have seen in a hand full of pictures… and let’s face it that place is so big we could take 10 trips and still not see everything.

We did take the bus tour which is really good for making note of places you want to go later in your visit.  Though it felt a little like an advertisement for everything you can spend money on in the zoo. We also took the sky tram over the park.  The big reason for that besides saying we did it was to get from the reptile house to the “Polar Bear Plunge”.  The polar bear area is a great area plenty of activities for younger kids, a very well designed viewing area, and a lot of information about the bears and their habitat.

From there it was on to the Elephant Odyssey which starts with an re-creation of a tar pit dig. Since we had just recently been to the La Brea Tar Pits the boys were excited to engage with the zoo staff there and share the wealth of knowledge they have on all things Tar Pit… they also got their pictures taken with the Smilodon Skull.  This area is also well designed from a play/learn/observe standpoint.  Even the adults were climbing on the prehistoric animal replicas.  Just a side note even though it is called the Elephant Odyssey, this is where you want to be to see the Lions , jaguar, dung beetles, and California Condors.

Next we visited the meerkats (my oldest’s favorite animal)  on our way to the Panda exhibit.  We were pretty lucky too, because we got there just as one of the pandas woke up and started moving about her area, turns out she might be pregnant which the Zoo staff is pretty excited about. This one is a high traffic area and more likely than not you will see sleeping Pandas… just so you know.

Needless to say by this point the parents were whooped so it was time to head home… but not before we signed up for a membership…

yeah we’ll be back!


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