I have a love-hate relationship with zoos.
While it’s great that I get to see the animals up close, it’s not good to keep them fenced up in cages either. They should be roaming free; wild and happy. But then again, habitat destruction and the eradication of various species is so common that people have started justifying the actions of ‘protecting’ animals by keeping them in zoos, where they are safe, well-fed and cared for.
Is life worth living behind bars?
Not everything is bad about zoos though. I think it’s a great place to take young children, to educate the next generation about the importance of caring for the environment, lest these amazing creatures become extinct in our time. People learn from seeing, observing and experiencing much better than from reading about tigers in a text book.
Anyway, we visited the Los Angeles Zoo during our stay in the city. Founded in 1966 and sprawled across 54 acres of land, the place is pretty old. And huge. Allocate at least a day if you’re planning to visit while in LA.
Palm trees! Why am I not surprised? Palm trees are everywhere in LA.
Just at the entrance is a large tank with a resident manatee. They look fat and tubby but are super graceful and fast swimmers. I can see why sailors (who were probably dehydrated/famished/hallucinating while on dangerous journeys) would mistake them for being mermaids.
“Reggie” – a gator that became a media sensation after irresponsible owners let him off in a lake in Cali. He was captured after two years of eluding the authorities, and became an unofficial zoo mascot. They even have an eatery in the zoo named after him.
Bad composition photo lol.
It was a weekday and there were lots of elementary kids running about on school trips. We (evilly) nicknamed them little zombies because they seemed to go to each exhibit in droves, screaming. I applaud teachers the world over – how do you guys handle it?
Also within the zoo is a botanical garden with lovely roses.
“Some day, I shall gaze at the sun from the vast fields of Africa instead of this small excuse of a ‘habitat’.”
Well, a meerkat can dream.
Flamingoes. The ones here have a healthy colour – bright pink/orange. I’ve been to a lake in Putrajaya back in Malaysia where they kept flamingoes, and their colours were pale and sickly-looking.
An indoor area with small animals like reptiles and frogs.
We had to wait for the horde…I mean, the school kids to pass through the area before we could take pictures and look at the animals.
All the way from Down Under, the Kangaroo…
And fluffy koala bears.
Bougainvilleas in bloom.
Mountain goats. They made a hill-like structure to simulate their natural habitat.
It is hard to see stripey zebras behind foliage. #theoryproven
A type of African gazelle which can stand on its hind legs to eat high shoots and leaves. We waited for a long time but they didnt do it ._.
Okapi – a shy animal that looks like a cross between a tapir and a zebra.
They also have large animals like hippos, rhinos, giraffes and Asian elephants.
The zoo is relatively well kept on the most part, but it is old and needs upgrading. I had a nice time exploring the place and there is lots of greenery even when you’re not looking at the animals.
5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, United States
10am to 5pm (daily)