Monday, May 10, 2010

San Diego Animal Park - Dec 2009

San Diego Animal Park is owned by the San Diego Zoo. It differs from traditional zoos in design. There are very few bars or cages here. Its a lot of wide open spaces where the animals can run semi-free in large natural habitats. For people who love photographing animals but hate the cages that ruin the photos - this is the place to be. My favorite places at the park were the Cheetah display and the Elephant display. The cheetahs had a fairly small habitat, but they posed beautifully and I could have stood there for half a day taking fantastic photos. The elephants on site were rescued from a kill-off from a preserve in Africa. Although they were on protected land previously, they were still fairly wild, so I imagine they appreciate the enormous habitat that was designed for them. They are also breeding like bunnies which (very difficult in captivity) tells me they are very happy here. I couldn't believe the number of baby elephants!

One of the other interesting activites was the African safari tram which takes you through a huge free-range area of herbivores. Giraffes, rhinos, antelope and a dozen other critters I can't remember the names of. I road the tram twice so I could get photos on both sides.

Also took a ride on the giant balloon which gives a very beautiful aerial view of the park. Although...for future reference, I highly suggest you skip the balloon on windy days. On the way down, the wind picked up quite a bit and we all got a little motion sickness.

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