Sunday, March 6, 2011

The benefits of membership at the LA Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo is located on the north side of Los Angeles, about 20 miles from Downey. If you get an annual membership, you get free entrance to the zoo for a year, plus a lot of other perks. One of the perks is early entrance to the zoo on select days during the year. Today was one of those days.

Aside from avoiding the crowds, the main advantage to entering early is that the animals are still eating breakfast and feeling frisky. Many of them are still enjoying their enrichment activities.

Lion and lioness
Both the lion and the lioness are quite old. The lion suffers from arthritis, which showed when he finally got up. Not only did he move stiffly, but he also acted like a grumpy old man as he chased the lioness away from her place in the sun.

Lion

Lioness

TigerTiger drinking

Gorilla
One of the female gorillas enjoyed her branch and leaf breakfast in the sun. There's only one male in a group of gorillas.

Young giraffe eating Giraffe necks
For giraffes, enrichment means a series of especially tasty leaves scattered on the rocks that surround their enclosure. This particular young female giraffe will be the next breeding female at the zoo. The gestation period for a giraffe is 15 months.

Elephant
The all-new Asian elephant exhibit is a little disappointing to me. The elephant enclosure is huge, as it should be. But even though you walk all the way around it as you view the other zoo exhibits, there are only a few viewing areas for the elephants.

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