22.04.2008 - 22.04.2008 19 °C
Hanging onto the hire car while in San Diego has been really good advice that I picked up, probably a forum somewhere. San Diego is a big city and so much easier to explore and get to places without taking hours on public transport. We've discovered that public transport is quite expensive x 5 people and it is really worthwhile weighing up the pros and cons, depending on where you are and for how long when deciding on whether you will need a car or not.
After a long day walking around the Zoo and SeaWorld it was very nice to get back in the car and let Wayne chauffeur home the weary travellers without sitting on crowded buses that take hours battling the peak hour traffic.
We'd picked up some information about the zoo and been warned about the very steep paths. A day at SD zoo needs some planning! It is an enormous park and even includes a Skyfari aerial tram to get you to the far side so you can then walk mostly down hill back to the entrance. Our city pass included tickets for both the Skyfari and the Bus tour which was a bonus so we boarded the gondola and soared above the trees towards the Polar Bear Plunge.
Unfortunately, our timing here again was all wrong. Polar bears obviously like to sleep a lot and enjoy the sun, they weren't moving off their rock!
With such a big zoo we had no intention of trying to get to every exhibit but rather the animals we don't often get to see in Perth. Of course the panda was high on our list as was the grizzly bear.
The gorillas were being very aloof and mysterious. As we arrived , 3 of them were sitting with their back to the glass with an occasional turn of their head to see who was watching.
The group of gorillas also included a 39 year old silver back who was very impressive. When he moved, everyone got out of his way!
This orangutan appealed to us and was enjoying having his photo taken, even prettied up his hair to join in. Can you spot the difference between the four of them? Which one doesn't belong?
We made it around to the panda bear enclosure and were excited to be able to see the new panda baby called Zhen Zhen. She is 10 months old and only been on show to the public for the last month. Her favourite spot is perched up high in the tree but "mum" graced us with her presence. She woke up from her slumber to come and sit in front of us, methodically breaking apart some bamboo stalks. What beautiful, serene animals. They appear to be so docile.
Our final must see, (we saw heaps of other animals but won't bore you with all their details) was the grizzly enclosure. I can remember back to when Perth zoo had a grizzly in the horrible concrete boxes so it was more pleasing to see this enclosure, while not huge it was stimulating and the two 16 month old bear cubs were enjoying each others' company playing chasey and wrestling.
Another animal which I thought were just way too cute were the pygmy hippo. They looked like toys so just had to put in this photo too.
I was impressed with this lion because as I called to her, she looked up!
The kids have been spotting all the school buses around the area as what is recognisable from movies so when this one was parked at the zoo carpark we just had to have another photo.