San Diego Zoo Visit
tourist things in our hometown.
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Covid had finally taken
its toll on our collective patience and boredom overtook us.
We saw a report in the local newspaper that a new baby giraffe had
been born at the zoo so we assessed the risk of checking it out in
person. We discovered some restrictions, particularly with
respect to reservations and ticketing, but the zoo was, in fact,
open. So, we renewed our yearly passes and headed out.
The day was coolish and somewhat overcast, but both combined to
make a pleasant visit.
All the photos below were taken with my Sony A7R4 camera and Sony
100-400mm zoom lens. All images were shot in uncompressed
RAW format (at about 120mb per image). Digital images were
developed with Capture One and reduced to 1200x800 pixels for
inclusion in this page.
The photos below are
what we saw.
We had intended on seeing the baby giraffe but got our
navigation confused and ended up going past the Hamadryas baboon
enclosure. That turned out to be a good thing in the end,
because they provided some interesting entertainment.
Above, a deep grooming session is in progress.
As we left the upper viewing area we went past the baboon's
perimeter trail. The cool day caused the troop to do laps
of the large enclosure. This large male, looking like he
was fresh out of the salon, was leading the group.
This older male was close behind. This is one ugly mo-fo
right out of my worst nightmare with plenty of battle scars and
a receding hairline.
This female baboon was back in the pack.
Another salon-fresh male. Note the intensity in his eyes.
Next to the baboon enclosure was another set of monkeys called
Gelada and eat mostly grasses. This fellow has a face that
only a mother could love and appears to have been enjoying
himself (look closely).
Several females in the same Gelada enclosure. These have
This is a white-fronted bee-eater ready to enjoy lunch.
The bee-eaters stun the bee and remove the stinger before
This fellow flew down right next to me and lit on the hand
rail. He was not scared, so I am suspected that he wanted
a handout. Having none, he just ignored me but did stay
long enough to pose for this photo.
This weaver bird was doing home improvement.
Another colorful bird in the enclosure.
A nice water lily bloom in one of the ponds.
One of several monkey species in the exhibit. I was
surprised that the camera would focus through the mesh webbing
that was between myself and the monkey.
Nearby we spotted this conspiracy of Ring-Tailed Lemurs.
Yes, a group of lemurs is called "a conspiracy". Notice
how they are sitting; they appear to be huddling for warmth.
We watched the conspiracy move the location of their huddle from
the grass to a flat rock. One lemur left the first huddle
and the others followed within a few seconds.
In the next enclosure we spotted this pygmy crocodile.
We reached the bottom of the canyon and headed back up to the
mesa and passed this Andean Bear.
This North American Grizzly Bear was napping. Check out
I felt bad for this leopard: he was just pacing back and forth
along the fence line wearing a rut in the ground.
This is a Russian leopard and he, too, was pacing the perimeter
of his enclosure.
A vicious growl? No, a wide yawn. This fellow was
sacked out in his hammock fabricated out of woven fire hoses.
His cell-mate was sleeping with his tongue out.
When we hit the top of the canyon, we headed over to see the
giraffes and passed this animal equivalent of M-1 tank.
The rhino liked being stroked by the keeper but note the size of
the steel cables that are part of the enclosure. I doubt
that you would want to see him upset in the wild.
There were a number of giraffes in the enclosure, but no baby
was visible. Instead we got this fellow who was a mile
Completing that loop we passed a napping cheetah.
In the next enclosure was another pair of cheetahs, this one was
napping with his tongue out. What's up with that?
The other cheetah in that enclosure was basking in the somewhat
Meanwhile, in the koala enclosure it was feeding time.
When the keeper opened the door to the enclosure, this fellow
came right down. He knew that keeper meant dinner was
served. In addition to the natural diet, they are given
some kind of supplements served via syringe. She brought the
gruel in a paper cup and had to suck it into the syringe.
It was feeding time in the bird enclosure as well. This
kookaburra caught a small, snack-sized mouse.
I spotted this peacock running loose on the sidewalk near the
The expansive San Diego
zoo was more than our endurance would allow for a single
visit. Happily, we have a yearly pass and it is close to our
home, so we usually do it in parts. We'll return soon and
take another bite.
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