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.
Part 2 of our day at the Zoo was to see the actual animals.
South African Penguin
A Young Cheetah
A cheetah in full stride
The National Aviary is located on the north side of Pittsburgh. It is the largest aviary in the country, as well as being non profit, so the U.S. government honored it by naming it the ‘National Aviary’.
There are more than 150 different types of birds in the aviary, all living in a nice environment for being captive.
If you want to see the animals active at the zoo, mid afternoon on a warm summer day is not the time to go. It was clearly nap time…. (those that were awake were very docile)
The Cincinnati Zoo is the 2nd oldest zoo in America, starting just 14 months after the Philadelphia Zoo in 1875. It is situated on only 66 acres in a residential area just north of downtown. Officially known as a Zoo and Arboretum, April is billed as ‘the Zoo in Bloom’. Unfortunately most of the tulips and other spring flowers had already bloomed, then hit with a frost so there was little color on them.
Still this zoo has great landscaping with large areas of bamboo, thousands of trees and other nicely placed shrubs and plants.
Having gone to to photo the mix of flowers and animals, it ended up being focused on the animals. As with most zoos, many of the animals have a sad look when you are able to focus closely on them.
While this could be their normal look in the wild, it seems to accent their life in the zoo. I realize zoos do a great job in animal conservation but it is always sad to see them in their enclosed spaces. Still in my opinion the Cincinnati Zoo is much better than the Columbus Zoo with the landscaping and relative lack of advertising, especially given their tight quarters in the city,
While the flowers failed to provide a color show, the animals didn’t disappoint with their displays.
The Columbus Zoo has a tradition of having a free admission day on Presidents Day (February 20th this year – thank you George Washington). With the unusually warm weather continuing, about 30 degrees above normal (65 f – 18 c) the Zoo set a 1 day all time attendance record of over 41,000 people.
Even with the warm weather, many of the animals native to Africa and other tropical climates are still in their indoor settings. Still, despite the crowded conditions, there were enough animals out to make the day worthwhile (hey it’s free).
I do always feel bad they are caged in, which is why I really like the approach of ‘The Wilds’ preserve in Eastern Ohio where they are in open ranges, as opposed to a traditional zoo.
Each Christmas season the Columbus Zoo has a lighting display called ‘Wild Lights‘. Having never been there, we decided to check it out. Unfortunately we decided to go on a night where you had free admission with canned food, and most of Columbus made the same decision.
The lighting displays were ok, most seemed the same, and it was insanely packed with strollers. I always hope to have a good time at the Zoo and always seem to come home disappointed.
Having said that, here are the highlights of the lights.