You Belong In a Zoo!

Kongo is fortunate to live in San Diego, California.  Not only is the weather about as close to perfect as you can get (average temperature is 72 degrees) but the city is graced with mountains, canyons, spectacular beaches, and world class attractions like the San Diego Zoo.  As a member of the Zoological Society of San Diego Kongo can visit his friends at the  zoo anytime he wants so today he headed out to see what was happening with his cousins and animal friends.

The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park in the center of San Diego with easy access from Interstate 5 and California 163 freeways.  It’s open every day of the year, including holidays.  The Zoo always opens at 9 AM but closes at different times throughout the year.  Check the website for details.  The best time to see the animals active is early in the morning or evening.

The first thing you see when you enter the zoo is its famous flamingo exhibit.  At this time of year the birds are particularly colorful.

Naturally the monkeys are one of Kongo’s favorite zoo attractions.  The photography here is a bit tricky because all the monkeys are behind glass or wire mesh cages that makes focusing a challenge.  Despite the technical difficulties, Kongo was able to get some good shots of his cousins.

A Black Mangabey Monkey
Black Mangabey -- I loved the bright brown eyes
Tufted Capuchin

I had spied a large male Mandrill eating with his back to me and I was waiting patiently for him to turn around because they have such colorful faces when all of a sudden this little Tufted Capuchin scampered right in front of me so I snapped a couple of great pics of him.  I never did get a shot of the Mandrill.

Tufted Capuchin  

Kongo’s cousins, the Chimpanzees, were particularly expressive today.  The have a wistful, “what am I doing here” look about them that made me sad that they were in a zoo instead of roaming forests in the Congo.  On the other hand, they sure are interesting to watch.

At the hippo pool I caught this infant and its mother basking in the sun.  Usually they are always underwater.

It’s hard to get anywhere in the zoo without going through an aviary.  Kongo is an avid bird watcher and has pursued everything from blue-footed boobies in the Galapagos to wood ducks in Rhode Island marshes.  The zoo makes it easy to see a lot of birds.

A Collared Lory eating.
Who says you can't wear pink and purple together?
An African Spoonbill eating breakfast
West African Longtailed Hornbill

Kongo never passes up a zoo.  Travel safe.  Have fun.

3 thoughts on “You Belong In a Zoo!

  1. I especially love the first photo in this post. And I agree that chimps, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans shouldn’t be in zoos. They are smart enough and self-aware enough to understand they’re in a prison. But I still love photographing them.

  2. Growing up in Southern California, the San Diego Zoo was the only one I visited for years, and is still the standard I measure other zoos against. It is wonderful!

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