Thursday, October 13, 2011

San Diego Part Zoo

 So this is post 2 from San Diego..pretty much the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park (formerly known as the Wildlife Park).  There are a lot of random animal photos, but I was dutifully testing out my new telephoto, so I hope I got some decent shots!  Trust me ..the best will be at the end. And i did get carpel tunnel while working on these ignore the random lack of caps..the pinky finger is bound up in an ace bandage.
First..the San Diego Zoo. We spent about 8 hours here..walking!  But it was worth the trip. What a fantastic zoo..and this is coming from a very picky zoo-goer!
We saw all creatures from the cute and fuzzy..
To the not so cute and fuzzy..
 Super cute and fuzzy (I have determined there are VERY few things cuter than a Koala sleeping)
To the cute but not so fuzzy..
In the enclosure above this miniature hippo were the crazy monkeys..they flipped around and bounced off the hippo's backs!

They had a great elephant enclosure...but you will be INUNDATED with elephant photos in a bit after the Safari all you get from the zoo is the fake on!
 And bears...lots of bears.  The panda
 and the polar bear munching on a carrot..
 When I Was a Young WART HOGGG.....(favorite movie reference)
After a long rest, we rented a car and head north to the Safari Park (about 40 minutes outside of San Diego).  It was well worth the trip!  The enclosures are massive and all the 'prey' are in this huge 'field' that you take a tram around.  Everywhere you look..antelope of all different shapes and sizes!
It was neat that they still practiced 'normal' behaviors b/c the 'predators' were enclosed around this park area..(photos soon).  So notice the 'prey circle' below..all of them are strategically facing another direction. We saw this throughout the park!
Even these little orange ones..AND you would think..hey dumbie..get off the green grass cuz the lion will eat you!  Well, i learned that Big cats can't distinguish the difference between orange and green (they lack one cone) these little guys are perfectly camouflaged.
 The giraffes were my favorite (another orange creature).  they were everywhere.
 This one reminded me of Henry..he was just rubbing his head on the tree..
We saw a few asses they typically do. ;-)
 Just a neat spot..
Once we were done with the tram, we were able to go to the Elephant enclosure.
 Huge enclosure AND a baby had been born the week before!  He was almost as cute as the sleeping Koalas!  230 pound one week old baby!
We watched the elephants for a LONG you blame us?
Three generations..Momma, her calf (1 year old) and the newborn.
They were doing some enrichment so they had hidden treats everywhere.  it was cool to watch them find everything..even without seeing..
At one point, the wobbly baby fell over.  She wallowed there a bit trying to get up..
After a few minutes..momma reached over and gave her a boost.  It was a definite 'aw' moment.
Magical location
So we then embarked to find the rest of the animals. there were far fewer animals here but they were a lot of fun to watch in more realistic habitats.
The gorillas were particularly interesting. This female lounged in the grass just like I do..except I typically do it clothed
 But she had not a care in the world, b/c this guy was keeping a careful watch..never quite scanning his environment.
 There were some great lookout areas.
Then the orangutangs.  They were funny. The big male wanted this burlap sack..and he carried it all the way up to his perch.
And covered himself up with was about to rain!
Then we found the lions...just lying around..on their favorite 4X4?
So cute and cuddly..just want to rub his nose...
 We came across some baby spring bucks playing in a little yard.  These little ones were have a great time!

 The parents were in another enclosure..looking all lovey dovey
 And favorite part of the whole trip..The cheetah run.  At 3:30 every day they run a cheetah down a 100 m track after a lure.  After watching many greyhounds do this, it was time to see the master.
my mom and I stationed ourselves along the rail..and casually noticed the VIP section..hmm..what is that?   Well for a can sit closer AND meet the cheetah. SOLD!
So..this is our VIP cheetah experience.
So she starts down the path...wait. That isn't a cheetah! is Yeti..her companion dog.  Cheetahs are apparently incredibly skiddish and big ninnies.  so they must have a friend do it first.. Yeti has grown up with she trusts her. they go everywhere Yeti runs it first.
Now it is the cheetah's turn. She actually runs the course twice with a long break in between.

 It thought it was cute how they even walked together
And then she came to visit us in this small enclosure. There were only 5 people so we had some great one on one time with her.  She enjoyed her blood popcicle while we learned about cheetahs.
 Just how close were we?  That toe is the lady sitting next to my mom.

 Then we took wasn't easy to get this shot..
 Everytime the cheetah looked any direction remotely close to my mom..she couldn't take her eyes off it it!
 But it gave me some time to try out my new 50mm lens too.  So beautiful!
So we left the Safari park and *surprise* i found a winery..Orfila was pretty good!
and finally we went to Coronada and had dinner looked at San Diego's skyline.  Love the city..had a great time!
 now back to greyhound adventures.


Greyhounds CAN Sit said...

Absolutely amazing! Wonderful photos and fancy getting up close and personal with a cheetah:) Not sure about the blood popsicle though! Aww the baby elephant is so cute and precious.

You sure did pack a lot into your time away:) Thank goodness for the new lens;) We probably got to see lots more photos.

houndstooth said...

I'd have paid for the Cheetah experience, too! How freaking cool is that? That zoo looks so much more exciting than the one we have here.

gyeong said...

You got some really cool shots. They are all so cute, I want to go scratch their ears. Except for maybe the vulture.

Michelle said...

That Cheetah experience was way cool! :)

greytblackdog said...

They should have a greyhound run first. Now that would be a display of grace, power and speed. Let's let Dana try it! :) Awesome pics. SDZ is on my bucket list too.

IHateToast said...

i can't get over how similar the cheetah and greyhound running gaits are.

when i read blogs, i tend to pick a photo or two to comment on--it keeps me focused and the comments relatively short. this was a very difficult post to do that on. one photo? i guess i'll pick the one that stunned me the most: the female gorilla's pose. that was so human like that i would have believed you if you said it was a person resting from dressing up as a gorilla. i am glad to hear that you chill that way WITH clothes on.