I picked Sydney up from school a couple of days a week and we'd often pop into the zoo just to see one or two exhibits and share an order of french fries or an ice cream cone.We drive by the zoo nearly every day so it was fun to stop and do a farewell look around. After Church we stopped on the way home. We started with the monkeys and gibbons....lots of tables set up telling about water reclamation, pollution, energy saving plans, activities and fun for kids. It had rained in the early morning, but the skies had cleared and the place was filling up. When we got to the bear exhibit we were surprised at how different it looked. Oh, it was now a habitat for South American wild dogs. They were kind of cute and very active.
Next stop, past the Fairy House was an entirely new exhibit to us. The American Bald Eagle now has a friend and lives among the trees!
On the other side of the exhibit was a Spotted Owl and on the ground beneath porcupines now live. Very well done exhibits. The eagles and the owl are rescue birds who could no longer live in the wild so their life at the zoo is the best of both worlds for them. They live as nearly a normal life as they can and we get to observe them up close.
I had heard much about the zoo's second Otter exhibit and I was quite impressed. It is large with a natural-looking stream running through it, many trees and boulders to climb on and hide amongst. Their pool is large and very deep with many things to play with in the water.
One of the best surprises is a tube you can walk/crawl through their pond and they swim over and under. They seem to like to look at the people as much as we like to watch them play.We wound around in the mighty redwoods and saw the yaks, the caveys and the screamers. Then onto every one's favorites, the flamingos! They are so pretty and were all up, active and eating something from the muck of their pond which I noticed a new stream and waterfall supplying moving water.
We hit the jackpot when we got to the Red Panda area. All three were up close and active. Lunch of bamboo was served in the trees and Mama, Papa and baby (now 2 years old) were happily munching away. We learned that baby is growing up and showing behaviors (anger towards mother among other things) that she needs to establish her own new space. She will be moved out soon to another zoo and Mama & Papa will soon make room for a new arrival.
Of course we visited the barnyard, the aviary and more. Each area with memories.....in the 45 years we've lived here Sequoia Park Zoo has come so far! The habitats for the animals are now very large and natural. It is no wonder that this little zoo wins awards. They have a lot to show the big zoos.