Note:

This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Girls' Week: Day Three

Today was a trip to the zoo. The last time we went was about two years ago, during Spring Break. I remember it well because we were going to make a four-day weekend out of it but once we realized we were in a dry county, we got the hell out of dodge. My memory of that was Tim and I's journey to rehab.

BUT the zoo was amazing. I was pleasantly surprised the first time we went there and today, it is still an amazing experience.

I'm usually not a big zoo fan because it breaks my heart. I feel like one takes these poor animals out of their elements and puts them in a cage for our viewing purposes. An animal freak show, if you will.
But this zoo does not have that feeling. It's almost disney-worldesque: big safari-like area for the animals to roam free. And most of these animals can be viewed up close and personal. It's really a beautiful place, with nice trails to walk the entire zoo, which is quite expansive.
And I love that it is user-friendly: an accessible place -- ramps everywhere -- which accommodates 'regular' folk. Those with strollers and those who just don't want to take steps. Hey, it's part of my life to assess whether someone/something is making a good experience for all. And for me, if you make it accessible, it's gonna be good for everyone.

Okay, minor usability tangent there...

Back to the zoo: we started in Africa, as we did two years ago. This is wonderful because the first thing you come upon (besides the gift shops) are giraffes. Today, we came upon zebras and ostriches:

Then the giraffe:

Later, we got an awesome shot of this elephant, which was first submerged. Man how I wish I was able to get it coming out of the water...it was an incredible sight:

Here's a shot of the paths that take you through the zoo. These would make great jogging trails because they are wide and beautiful. Another accessibility note: these paths are wide, wide, wide. I don't care what you tell me, these paths were designed to accommodate wheelchairs, and then some, and for you and me without wheelchairs, comfort.

As we enter North America, we come upon bison. Here's a close-up:

And then a landscaped view of the whole brood:

Next, a great shot of an otter:

And a polar bear, who wouldn't get up for us...and who could blame him as it was HOT (but nice and windy) and not typical polar bear weather.

One may think it is cruel to have a polar bear at an NC Zoo, but the story behind them is that they were rescued:
From the NC Zoo site:
Wilhelm and Masha, were among six polar bears seized by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on November 5, 2002. The bears were confiscated from the Mexico-based Suarez Brother’s Circus for violations of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and were relocated to the North Carolina Zoo on November 19, 2002.

We were able to see CJ's favorite animal, Puffins, but my pictures did not turn out very well. But I got a great shot of this sea lion, basking in the sun:

We left the zoo at closing time, so we closed the bitch down without missing a beat.

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