Zoo Trip and Prairie Dog Love

July 23, 2006 | General | By: Mark VandeWettering

Yesterday the mercury crossed over 100 degrees here, so to stay out of the heat, we ended up going to the San Francisco Zoo. Mission mostly accomplished: the temperature was a balmy eighty degrees or so, and it was marvelous. I hadn’t been to the SF zoo since they completed their new Africa exhibit, so it was new to me and amazingly well done. Contrasting the new portions of the zoo with the older, more conventional designs really does show that we’ve come quite a ways in our attempt to bring more natural, stress free environments to our zoo animals.

But I get ahead of myself. When we arrived, it was obvious that many people had the same idea that we did: the parking lots were full. Nevertheless, I hopped out to get tickets while Carmen finished parking the car with the kids. The line was a couple of hundred yards long when I joined, and it looked like we might have a long way to go.

But I was to be entertained. A man and a woman and a young girl joined the line behind me. They, too, noticed the long line. But the man wasn’t quite as stoic as I in his acceptance of the long line. I (and everyone around me) was treated to a number of rather cranky statements:

“Oh my God, it’s going to take an hour to get in.”

“What time is it? If we don’t get in by two to see the lion feeding, the whole day will be a complete waste of time!”

“Why are those people just walking to the front of the line? It’s so unfair that people just cut into line! It’s not like most people will complain. I mean, if two big guys cut into line, and you are their with kids, what can you do?”

As it turned out, the 45 minute line took about ten minutes (they really did an awesome and efficient job of getting us in). Once we were in, despite the rather large crowds, the zoo itself didn’t feel overly crowded. I went around with the family and snapped some pictures, like this one of some prairie dogs.

Prairie Dogs Kissing

Just too cute. I’ll try to get more of my pictures up on a gallery soon.

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