Tucson – February 2023 – Conflicted Visit to a Zoo

Anytime I visit a zoo I have conflicted feelings. On one hand the animals are beautiful, but on the other it is sad to see them caged up in less than natural settings. I understand it can be educational to children and others, but at what cost to the animals.

Setting aside these conflicts for a couple of hours I stopped by the Reid Park Zoo.

The zoo is fairly small by most standards, but is very popular. The walkways were crowded on this sunny Sunday afternoon.

One of the first stops was an enclosed aviary that you walked through.

Another building had some terrariums that housed reptiles.

The flamingo’s had a bit more space.

The peacock as well seemed to have room to roam.

The squirrel monkey with a solemn look.

A similar look from the ring tailed lemurs.

The larger mammals were the ones that seemed most out of place in their enclosures that were far too small.

Summed up best by this rhino. It is disappointing with all the open desert space (outside the city) that a new approach couldn’t be taken to provide wide open spaces for the animals, while still serving the educational and entertainment purposes of the zoo. Of course who has the money to make that happen?

Buenos Aires – February 2020 – Eco Park

From 1875 until 2016 there was a small zoo in the middle of Buenos Aires. With progress, the larger animals were relocated to nature reserves, and the area was turned into a park.

The park retains many of the old zoo buildings (some is less than pristine condition) as well as some of the small animal and birds, while being enhanced with a return of a more natural setting.

Also scattered throughout are many sculptures. Overall it is a pleasant setting to stroll around for a couple of hours.

A Milestone – Posting Number 1000

This photography blog started out as a way to share some photos with friends, but after a number of years it has reached a milestone – posting number 1000!

To celebrate I give you my favorite 40 photos of all time. (I tried to make it less but could not)

Scottsbluff, Nebraska

Milwaukee sunrise

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

Duluth, Minnesota thunderstorm

Yellowstone National Park – All Hail the Geyser Gods

Pagosa Springs, Colorado

Mendocino County, California

Cambridge, Ohio lumberjack contest

Cincinnati Renaissance Festival

Loudonville, Ohio – Native American Pow Wow

Alaska Peninsula

Columbus – Krampus


New York City subway art

Cincinnati – Rosie the Riveter Contest

Lanai, Hawaii – Cat Sanctuary

Haleakala National Park, Hawaii

Waimea Canyon Park, Kauai, Hawaii

Columbus – Krampus V2

Washington DC – Embassy Day

Houston – Lucky Land

Amarillo, Texas – Cadillac Ranch

Cleveland – Parade the Circle

Columbus Zoo


Olivos, Argentina

San Antonio De Areco, Argentina

Buenos Aires – Casa Rosada

Bariloche, Argentina

Buenos Aires – Retiro Train Station

Buenos Aires – Recoleta Cemetery

Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

La Leona, Argentina

El Calafate, Argentina

Buenos Aires – Palacio Barolo

Igauzu Falls, Argentina

Columbus – December 2018 – Zoo Wildlights

It’s December which means the annual Columbus Zoo ‘Wildlights’ is back.




We arrived early enough to check out the aquarium.








The penguin habitat was still open (it closed at 5).




They apparently were ready to go in for the night as they were honking very loud and often.




The Reptile Building was open. Most of them were very active.

















The ‘Farm’ was open as well, as it was inside of a barn.








Finally we passed a sleeping bear.




A quick stop by the historic carousel…








And it was sunset.




Time for the lights.












The lights are nice, but the animals are always the best part.






Cleveland – November 2018 – A Traditional Zoo

The Cleveland Metroparks is one of the best parks systems in the United States, circling Cleveland in what is known as the Emerald Necklance

One of their main features closer into the city is the Metroparks Zoo, only 5 miles from downtown Cleveland.

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While much smaller than the more famous Columbus Zoo, in my opinion it is nicer in that there is far less commercialization.

The Metroparks Zoo does have a number of themed exhibit areas including the Rain Forest.  This building, as the name indicates, brings together the plants and wildlife of the jungles.

This little guy is a Golden Lion Tamarin, a highly endangered animal from Brazil.

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The bird below is a Scarlet Ibis. The zoo found it was losing it’s natural color, until they added shrimp to it’s diet.

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A Capybara. While he was in his controlled habitat here, we once had the opportunity to meet one up close in British Columbia. The Capybara is known as the world’s largest rodent, but they seem pretty cool to me.

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Bornean Orangutan. So much for that vegetarian diet keeping weight down – this guy can weigh over 300 pounds.

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The Emerald Tree Boa. 8 feet long with fang like teeth!

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We left the Rain Forest and headed up through the main section of the zoo, stopping to check out the elephants.

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Cleveland has some ravines, and the zoo is built in, and up above one. After the hike up the hill we made our way to the Primates, Cat & Aquatics indoor habitat (with some outdoor space as well).

The Mandrill below is a large monkey, weighing up to 80 pounds.

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One of the many Lemurs.

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This cat like animal is known as a Fossa, from Madagascar. Those in the animal business apparently debate if it is more like a mongoose or a cat.

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More Lemurs – the is time Ring Tailed. This is the most common Lemur.

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Another Lemur – I tried to have a staring contest, which I obviously lost.

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But it was time to move over to the Aquatic side of the house. Our first tank we came to gave us this great view!

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And more…

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We headed back down the hill to the African Savanna section for lions…

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And Zebras

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Our final section was the Wilderness Trek. As I always note on trips to the zoo, I am always torn by being in the presence of such great animals, and the fact that they are stuck in cages. But as with the Tamarin without some conservation some breeds would be totally lost.

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New Castle, PA – August 2018 – Living Treasures Wild Animal Park

Early on a Sunday morning we paid a visit to the Living Treasures Wild Animal Park. Located just east of New Castle, Pennsylvania this park has over 70 different animals.

Their claim to fame is you get to get up close to all of the animals, with opportunities to feed many of them carrots or peanuts you buy in the souvenir shop.

As with a zoo, I am always torn to visit places like this – it is great to see the animals but you feel bad for them in their cages. But alas – we went and had a nice time taking photos and feeding them carrots. Feel free to correct any misidentified animals (they do have a nice website with photos and profiles of all of their animals)

Green Winged Macaw

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Magellan Goose

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Egyptian Goose

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Ring Tailed Lemur

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American Alligators

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More Gators

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Scottish Highlander Cattle

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Cockatiel (I think)

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Prairie Dog

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African Crowned Crane

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Watusi Cattle

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A butterfly (not really part of the zoo – but it was so still on the dung pile it made a great photo)

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Cotton Top Tamarin

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Aldabra Tortoise

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The next two were in the petting zoo – I even took photos of the signs and deleted them. Feel free to update.

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Egyptian Fruit Bats. I took the photo and flipped it over to better see them.

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Chilean Flamingo

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The monkeys knew enough that when you put carrots in their bucket they pulled the chain to get them.

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Fallow deer

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Eurasian Eagle Owl

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You have to scratch where it itches. We had a good time at the park, but glad we were there just when they opened as by the time we left there were a number of people there and the animals I think had had enough carrots for the morning.

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Columbus – July 2018 – Testing the New Lens at the Zoo

Lens envy hit me enough I picked up a new Canon EF 100-400 F/4.5-5.6 lens. With an hour or so we buzzed through the zoo so I could play with my new toy.

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Taken through a dirty window. This new lens is much faster than what I had.

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Another taken through dirty windows.

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The 400mm is enough to pull in some shots.

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The clarity is so much better than my Tamron 150-600mm, although the 600mm does get some really distant shots this won’t.

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Wildebeests from about 100 yards.

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The zoo worker was enjoying feeding the giraffe.

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Vervet monkeys through more dirty glass.

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More shots through the same dirty glass (a recurring theme).

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Camels – finally a non obstructed shot.

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In the bird section.

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An eagle taken through the netting (shown as well).

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With that the last train out of the zoo was leaving. This new lens is great, I am looking forward to sharing better shots on this blog.

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Columbus – October 2017 – A Day at the Zoo

The Columbus Zoo was sponsoring a car show, which seems a bit strange, but then again they do commercialize a lot of things.

The cars were quite nice, and with the water park and other amusement rides providing interesting backgrounds, it was a good day for a car show. Plus there were animals later.

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