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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

San Diego Zoo

Our second full day was spent at the Zoo.  

As my Birthday present, Virginia and I went on an early morning tour to visit the pandas, then we were able to feed the giraffes and get a back stage to the elephants.  Our tour guide was great and we saw a lot of other animals along our tour route.  
 Lots of flamingos
 Sleeping brown bears from Idaho
 Pandas!
 Mama and her son in separate areas.


They are given about 3 times as much bamboo as they need because they never know what section of the bamboo they will be hungry for at any given time.

 They go limp if they fall to protect from injury
 These two may head back to China even though the cub was born here in the states.  All the pandas are on loan for research.


After a bit more touring about, our guide took us over to the giraffes to see if we could feed them.

They didn't really have a two headed giraffe, but this photo looks like one!


 That face!

 They have the softest tongues





They have a lot of large cats in the zoo, including 5 that have companion dogs.
 The dogs are rescues from different shelters in the area that are paired with a cat.
The dogs get to come out and are friendly with everyone, but the cats only bond with 1 of the dogs.

Big Hippos!






 They host elephants that are hitting their retirement age.

They change up their pens with different enrichment activities to keep them busy and happy.
The ground is tilled constantly to make sure it is soft to ease their joints.
 They also spend a lot of time on foot care for the elephants
 We were taken back to where they prep their food and have their care items.  They will give them Gatorade to supplement their diets when needed.  They have also learned that they LOVE raisins.  They will treat them with only 5 for things like putting their foot through the bars for foot care or stepping on the scale once a week.  When it's hot, they will freeze different fruits and veggies into ice blocks, hiding the 5 raisins in the pan before freezing.

The boys, Keith and Judy happened to be at the elephants when we came out, so since the tour was almost over I oped to stay there so I didn't have to try and find them again.

We spent some more time exploring then having a bite to eat before hitting the trails again.




 That would be his lunch.




 Koala's sleep most of the time.

 They have two spots for flamingos.  This smaller bunch are ambassadors that get to be used when they have animal encounter tours.


More giant Koi


They have lots of different types of primates

 Oh Mama, we've all been there.

They also have a lot of large atrium to visit with birds and plants











Mini hippos




















This is a sun bear from China, the real life Pooh bear that gathers honey from the hives.
 Back to the pandas for one more visit.

 Balancing bear