Visiting the National Zoo

May 17, 2010

The concept of a zoo is fantastic. I love the idea of a place that brings together humans and animals for the sake of education and entertainment. However, I can’t help but feel a little sad when I see animals in confinement.

Saturday after I visited Huntley Meadows, the lady and I went to the National Zoo in Washington DC. I haven’t been to a zoo in a number of years and there were some animals that I was hoping to see.

While I know this isn’t a typical post, I figured it was relevant enough since they are wild animals, despite the fact that they’re in an unnatural setting.

If you visit the National Zoo, I think you’ll be pleased to find that there’s no admission fee. However, be aware that there is a high price for food, beverages and parking.

Our visit on Saturday was a pretty short scan of a few key areas – namely the pandas and the gorillas.

The first stop of the day was the cheetah exhibit.

As he sat in a small grassy field, the crowds snapped photos as it gazed off into the distance, distracted by the occasional bird.

The outdoor section of the panda exhibit is impressive, but they were nowhere to be found. Instead, we discovered the two bears indoors, lounging around under ugly florescent lights. Hopefully next time I can see them outside.

The elephant house is currently being renovated, but we could see them from a distance.

After a short walk where we saw several more cat species and otters, we arrived at the gorilla habitat.

Signs advise guests how to view the creatures. They recommend (among other things) moving slowly, not staring them down, and keeping a low voice.

None of those things seemed to be observed. I felt bad for the gorillas, but was glad to see them while we did. There was even a mother and baby in the group.

Next time, we’ll return when we can spend more than a few hours exploring. This zoo can easily consume a full day.

When was the last time you went to the zoo? Where was it?

4 Responses to “Visiting the National Zoo”

  1. Caroline Says:

    Jeez Evan, I was at the zoo on Saturday! What time did u go?

  2. Evan Dyson Says:

    I think it was about 2:30 or 3 until closing.

  3. Caroline Says:

    Ah, l had already left by then, darn

  4. Renee Says:

    I totally agree with your first paragraph. I think zoos & aquariums are important and have their role, but they make me sad, too.

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