Since we had gone to one of the country’s best aquariums I thought I should go to one of its best zoos. I ended up at the San Diego Zoo. It was already 1PM. I had read somewhere it closed at 9PM so we were good. We parked and went in. It was $40 admission, per person, to get into this place so it better be good!
The place was absolutely clogged with children and strollers. I have to wonder why parents with children young enough to be in strollers, and no older children, would even bother bringing them to the zoo. They’re not going to remember it! But anyways, I was off to see the reptiles and the bugs first because it’s just rude not to remember the little guys. I was rewarded by seeing a number of baby Komodo dragons. They had lots of cute little lizards, even a gila monster, who may or may not have been venomous – several signs nearby contradicted each other on the subject.
Most of the reptiles I’d already seen at that pet store in Houston… The bug house was next. They had cockroaches, a disturbing amount of assassin bugs, I imagine with most unemployed, a windowed bee hive, and some diving beetles, nothing fantastic. I was only impressed by their leaf cutter ant colony. You could see them finding their leaves, cutting them up, dragging them underground, chewing them up into pulp, and growing fungus with them to eat. It was neat. One wonders where you even get such a large leaf cutter ant colony, complete with every type of occupational ant, meaning there must have been a queen in there somewhere… perhaps the one wearing a feather boa.
After a brief hello to the amphibians I was finally off to see something with warm blood. To the mammals!
One of the first things I saw was a fossa, an animal so weird that I was probably the only non-zookeeper to know what the hell it was. It was sleeping on a branch, its lovely chocolate paw pads dangling in mid air. I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled to be on my way to see the tapirs. I’d wanted to see them when I was twelve at the National Zoo. I walked five miles around the park and came to their exhibit almost last only to find they’d been loaned out to another zoo for the summer. It was time to make up for that! And boy did I! They had the biggest tapir there, just wiggling its weird nose and sitting there in the sun. He was so cute and weird! Later on I’d see another tapir laying against the plexiglass, literally an inch away from me. It was awesome. I would have been happy with just these but they also had okapis, animals I’d never heard of (and that’s amazing as I know a LOT of obscure animals) all the usual crowd pullers, and monkeys galore. There were monkeys everywhere. I could care less. I’ve seen enough of the buggars, though I did like their ring tailed lemur male who was running around his cage anxiously meowing, yeah, I said meowing. Apparently they meow like wee kittens. It was adorable.
I passed by an Asian Leopard Cat enclosure and man, now I know why my Bengal cat (a house cat Asian leopard cat hybrid) smells so bad. That exhibit alone smelled worse than the whole zoo combined. After this I met a pissy mongoose. Now mongeese eat cobras for breakfast, they’re not an animal you want to be on the wrong side of. This one noted the camera was right against the bars of its cage and it charged, hissing violently and baring its teeth. It nearly grabbed the lens cap with its paws. It was a quick little beastie!
I was really hungry so I decided to get something to eat before checking out the last leg of the zoo. Though it was supper time all the little cafes were closed or closing. Annoyed I left to check out the walk-through aviary, the big one, as I’d already been through the hummingbird aviary and the budgie aviary. It was very neat and had all sorts of African pigeons and weird birds. Then a keeper showed up and told us she was supposed to lock up half an hour ago and I shouldn’t be here. So I left… and when I reached the main paths I realized the whole zoo was empty. A single gorilla watched me, obviously having waited to go indoors he probably was watching me thinking, “Every day there is at least one group of these fools.” It was creepy, like something out of a horror movie, no one was anywhere. When I got closer to the exit I started seeing more weary travelers, all with similar expressions. I found the Jeep really easy after this! It was sitting cold and lonely in the parking lot wondering where on earth I’d went to.
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