Wednesday, September 1, 2010

San Diego Zoo at Night

I went with my daughter and her two children to the San Diego Zoo tonight for a program called, Nighttime Zoo. Our main quest was an art show and a bird show that the children saw last week with their Dad and Mom.

When we arrived we were able to see the art show, called "Splash! Animals". The performers danced to music while painting a picture of an animal's face. During this process, as they are still painting, they encourage the children to guess what the animal is. The audience really enjoyed watching the performers and their talent.

Then we wandered through the zoo to see what we could see since it was beginning to get dark. First we checked out the Lost Forest and saw a large red Orangutan. I told the children that he looked like a judge sitting in court. Just then, he got up and went down into a cave, as though he heard my remarks. The children liked watching the young Orangutan swing from rope to rope. Then, off we went into the Parker Aviary followed by the Owens Aviary at my request. It was eerily quiet since most of the birds were probably sleeping, but we did see a lorikeet (a very colorful bird) enjoying its meal at a tray feeder. We stood just two or three feet away.

The next place we visited was the Asian Passage where we saw two Sun Bear cubs playing. Then, on to the Panda Exhibit, which is usually very crowded, but not tonight. It was like tiptoeing into a baby's room to check on him or her. The attendant spoke very softly and we watched as the largest Panda, in one area, and a baby, in a tree in another area, slept. A woman standing next to me lamented to her friend that the Pandas were not awake. Just then, a third Panda moved behind a large rock. He was sorting through some cut bamboo branches just like a picky eater. We quietly joked with the 3 year old that the Panda wasn't the only picky eater we knew.

At this point, we made our way to the bird show called, "SOAR: A Symphony in Flight." The show had different kinds of birds (some large, some exotic, and some comedic). This show was thoroughly enjoyable. I can see why the children, as well as my daughter, wanted to see it again. I was able to photograph the Owl as it landed on a perch near our seats.

The Nighttime Zoo will be ending on Sept. 6, but is well worth checking out next summer. I will definitely revisit. Exploring the zoo at night is fun.

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