The San Diego Zoo is around a hundred acres of thousands of animals ranging from birds, monkeys, gorillas, lions,tigers, and bears (oh my!), and I walked every acre of it! This place was so fasinating with all its different species that you just couldn't help but keep coming back to this place to enjoy the atmosphere and animals.
Warning: I suggest if you decide to go to the San Diego Zoo do not, I repeat, do not walk this whole thing. I found this out on our third day here when my girl and I decided that since we were done walking around, we should take the bus tour. They gave us the same warning, and believe me I wish I had listen. The reason for this is because it's hilly as hell. Some of these slopes were like walking down or up a mountain, yet the walkways were nice so as to not do as much damage to your legs. We went when it opened at 9 am, and we would walk until we got some food and then continue until we were close to dropping (somewhere between 1 pm or 3 pm). So we would get at least a good 5 hours of walking in, along with a ride on the sky safari a couple times. So seriously: get your ass on the bus as soon as possible, or else you'll be walking until your legs feel like someone gave them a deep tissue massage with some bamboo caning.
Big kitty (AKA Mountain Leopard) taken through a small cage open
These lovely animals were amazing to see in person. To play it safe they also had another warning regarding not putting your fingers in the cage, as these animals do bite. My thoughts on that are, NO SH*T! The sign, of course, cleverly has a finger with a band aid, when you know they really mean a boneless finger because the big cuddly kitty ripped off its flesh from bone. So remember, kiddies: these animals, although they seem cuddly-wuddly, aren't.
I was very shocked that the panda isn't as friendly as it it looks. Apparently the panda above, which is female, is all good just with its baby and herself and not the baby daddy. The zoo worker that was telling us about the pandas said that the mother panda does her talking to the baby daddy through the bars, and its gestures were in the sense asking if the baby was his. This made the mother livid, and if the bars were not there the San Diego Zoo would have to explain to China why the momma panda ripped papa panda bear a new one and killed him Jerry Springer-styled. That's how serious it is with the pandas wanting to be on their own.
This is why there is so very few pandas in the world. The zoo is borrowing these pandas from China for the low, low price of $1,000,000 per panda per year, which made my jaw drop. I really can't think of pandas being cute and cuddly anymore after that bit of education, but believe what you will. The place that we were viewing the pandas were another section that we had to go to instead of the usual spot, since the actual panda trek exhibit area was under serious construction. Of course I was hearing all this in the background while looking at these animals, but with my thinking that means good things. This non-profit zoo is making bank to make things even better for the animals. They are also doing construction on the outback section for the koala bears, (which aren't really bears, they're marsupials).
Another cool thing that my girl and I did was decide to go the other way from where we started day one, and we lucked out and ended up in the Galapagos tortoise feeding area. One of these tortoises was around when Abraham Lincoln was still alive. That's right: one of these buggers is 150 years old! I really was blown away that something could live such a long life without a care in the world. Hell, they can last a couple weeks without actually eating, which is why the bloody pirates and sailors that traveled to the Galapagos would bring a couple on to their boats and turn them into literal turtle soup or sandwiches. These tortoises were close to extinction, but thanks to the San Diego Zoo they were able to help out the species to come back a wee bit. They have helped bring back a lot of animals from complete obliteration from this planet, actually!
As I said earlier we got lucky to see them eating food, but with the other animals I can say about 80% of them are out in their confined space. Some of the animals are nocturnal, and they say it's better to look for them at 4 or 5 pm in the evening since that's when they are usual awake. The only issue with that is the zoo closes at 6 pm, so choose wisely whether or not you want to stay the whole day. You have to figure out when you want to go. With that said I have to say you have to figure out where to go to get the hell away from the bloody school groups. I suggest if you're going to the San Diego Zoo I would say go to there at the start of the week. Save Sea World for a rainy day if at all possible! I say this because my girl and I went three days, and on the first two days we didn't deal with the big crowds of people or the school groups. It was mainly just the college students being dragged around by their professor explaining about stuff as the douchebags of the class make fun of monkeys (when they are ones themselves). When Friday came around that's when a lot of the grade school groups came in and, of course, it sucked big time because the chauffeur leads the group to take up the whole path so you can't get by if you're behind them and you can't get by them when they are heading your way. Yet again that's why people suck!
However if you ignore the people and the little kids running around or standing in place, then you can really take in the atmosphere for the animals and actually enjoy your time with your significant other. You can even smile about being able to have a beer out in the park while walking around. If you have the money and the time for vacation I highly suggest going to the San Diego Zoo because it is really worth it. It is an adventure within itself.
I give the San Diego Zoo a 4.4 out of 5.
- If you're looking for a walking workout, this is the place
- Buses and Sky Safari are provided (depending on what tickets/passes you buy)
- Food is pretty good
- Being to be able to take in the atmosphere and animals, along with plenty photo-ops
- Having a beer in hand walking around
- If you're fat, not the place you want to walk
- Legs will be beaten up from all the walking
- Price for food not so good
- Some of the animals didn't want to come out
- Almost stepping on little children