San Diego Zoo

If you read this blog regularly you know I’m a sucker for zoos.  I don’t know what it is about them but I just love them.  This year alone I’ve been to Lowry Park Zoo (Tampa, FL), Pittsburgh Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, San Diego Zoo, and my hometown Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY!

red panda

So I was thrilled when on a break from a conference in San Diego I was able to visit the San Diego Zoo.  Even though we could only spend an afternoon and this zoo is enormous I was still getting a chance to visit what is reportedly one of the best zoos in the country.

jaguar

And I was not disappointed!!!  There were many animals I had never even heard of as well as animals I rarely get a chance to see – such as koalas!!

The funny thing about zoos though – pictures can be really hit and miss.  Sometimes I come home from a zoo trip with oodles of fabulous shots.  And sometimes not so much.  It depends on so many things: crowds, outdoor temps since animals are generally more active when it’s cooler.  But then if it’s overcast I have to use a slower shutter speed and it’s not as though I can tell the elephant to hold still…….

snow leopard

The day we visited the San Diego Zoo was extremely hot – especially by San Diego standards.  And it was very bright – leading to a lot of dappled shots that we overexposed in spots, underexposed in others.   I took more than 300 shots in that brief afternoon and I’m sharing my seven (ONLY SEVEN) favorite shots!!  We barely got a glimpse of the Giant Panda before he decided to go back into his air conditioned comfort and all my polar bear shots are blurry (like I said – they won’t sit still)!

Possibly a Guenon – not sure on this one

And then there’s the cages and/or glass enclosures that are a constant challenge to shoot through……

Orangutan

But every so often – especially in the hot weather we were experiencing – an animal will pose ever-so-nicely for me!  Actually he’s probably just too hot to move – but I like thinking he sat still just for me!

Tufted Capuchin – this guy just makes me think of the flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz

I would’ve loved to have spent the entire day exploring the San Diego Zoo – four hours was not enough.  Even though the group I was with – we motored and did a fine job of getting to all the exhibits we deemed as high priority and truthfully we got around to a lot of spots in our four hours.  It was an amazing afternoon!

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