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Thursday, March 12, 2009

San Antonio Zoo Report: Nice Monkey...

On Monday, I took the day off from work and due to the good weather (overcast - not rainy but no fireball in the sky to make life miserable), my wife wanted to use the buy one - get one free coupon she had for the San Antonio Zoo. We haven't been in years and there has been a lot of upgrades and improvements to the facilities.

I'll spare you a full, cage by cage accounting of every bird, reptile, sloth, and zebra we encountered and simply give you a brief recap, along with a polite invitation to head over to the Flickr Page for all the pictures I took during the trip.

And the first thing you might note over there was the first thing we encountered on our way in. What with spring break in full swing, the zoo was totally packed. We ended up having to park about half a mile away on the other side of the Japanese Tea Gardens next to Augie's.
As I was looking for a spot, I noticed this guy taking pictures of his incredibly hot Ford Mustang. It was black, had nice rims and was seriously shiny. Then, some strange chick in a bikini shows up and starts getting her ass prints all over the hood of the car. Thankfully, the guy caught her on film to help with the prosecution. But just in case his camera jammed, I went ahead and got some evidence. You never know; Crime Stoppers may have a reward for help in arresting the inconsiderate gal.

And speaking of parking. As we drove past the main parking lot, my wife mentioned to me that there were available slots because there were cars leaving. Yet, the police officer pointed to the Lot Full sign and wouldn't let us in.
Well apparently, a guy in a Mercedes was giving the officer a hard time about the fact that, if people are leaving the lot, it must be freeing up slots - simple math, right? And the officer apparently agreed and let them in. Figures.In spite of being really crowded, we did not have to wait in a long line to get in. And once inside, it occurred to us that we were the only adults there without a gaggle of little kids with us. Ha Ha!We went around and saw the usual sights. I'm often depressed at the zoo. I know that many of the animals (like these bald eagles that had been shot and cannot fly) survive only because they are cared for in captivity, but still, I think of how lonely it must be to be stuck in a small space and have to be the target of screaming little kids all day long, with their ear-piercing screams and constant thumping on glass and cages. And again, I realized we were at the zoo with out kids and looked at the other stressed out parents and thought, Ha Ha!One of the new features is a a butterfly haven where for some reason, you pay an extra dollar to go inside a sealed off building full of a bunch of butterflies. I know, you have to be thinking that it can't be good to have a bunch of screaming little kids running around in a place where the animals can't escape. But in fairness, a lady gives you a little list of rules on the way in and two little girls that walked in with us were explicitly told that if they screamed even once, the zoo keeper would come and get them, and their parents would never see or hear of them again. That was comforting. For me, anyway.In all seriousness though, we have been to the SA Zoo many times over the years and really, I always had hoped that maybe some rich billionaire would buy up a huge parcel of acreage and put together a really awesome zoo facility. Or maybe even add a full zoo to Sea World. I just always thought that the zoo in San Antonio, being built inside a quarry and really limited in real estate, created too small of an environment to do justice for the animals there. Having seen places like Busch Gardens, I see what the free enterprise system can do, but when a zoo is dependent upon donations and few tax dollars, it seems to suffer.Having said that, I am happy to report that I think our zoo has improved dramatically since the last time I was there. There is serious construction underway to build some sort of African experience (the animals, not the killing) and I also noted staff everywhere, cleaning up crap and also talking with visitors explaining things. I was very pleased.

On a final note, before you push the play button, I should tell you that no visit to the zoo is complete without seeing the monkeys toss fecal matter at one another (or at the people gawking). But if you can't witness that good time, there is always a chance that you will see something extraordinary. I walked up with the camera rolling and had to fight may way through a pack of teenage girls squealing with disgust (or was it amazement) as one little friend put on a show.

I know. Good times.


Anonymous said...

Eva says:)

Really The monkey video.... You is sick sir ...I am not even going to watch. Only a man would like this better than the hot car :)

Patrick said...

Great story...needed a laugh. Silly parents and their silly ideas of family fun. HAHA. I love animals. Not literally, but I would watch a discovery documentary over reality TV any day. I know what you mean about how depressing the SA zoo is. I have never been to any other, so to me they are all sad. That being said, the hippos are the exception. Seeing them up close is amazing. Try to catch them at feeding (whole watermelons!).

Albatross said...

Count me in as loving black Mustangs. And whatever accessories they come with!

Oh, and you can't go wrong with a good monkey video.

Lynne said...

We took our herd on Tuesday and gave our $5 donation to the School Marching Band (I hope) to park at the stadium. You were lucky to get a spot by Augies!
We can't wait until they finish the train depot by the new Witte parking garage - the base and a ramp are there now.

Joy said...

Great commentary from a kidless perspective. Wish I were there. But what "Buy one get one" coupon?? Please share info!

Dave said...

But what "Buy one get one" coupon?? Please share info!
Actually, we received the buy one get one when we attended the SA Rodeo. I'm sure they have similar promotions all the time.

About Your Host

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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