April 7, 2012

An afternoon at the Zoo

My parents took the family to many zoos when I was young, from San Diego to the one in Boise, Idaho.   After I was grown, I visited various zoos, including some in Europe and others in Asia, occasionally and usually only as part of the sightseeing that many of us do when visiting new places.  Since I became a parent, zoo visits have become more frequent as our children, like most kids, really enjoy them.  Recently, we visited Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo and found it to be a terrific place to spend an afternoon.

It is not a particularly large zoo, nor is it very showy, but it is well-organized, very kid friendly, and not overly expensive, when compared to other area attractions.  One thing that struck me about the place, and you will see it in these pictures, is that many of the animals have a lot of personality!

Also, you can get amazingly close to many of them, which really enhances the experience!

The petting zoo in particular includes many common animals, and some not as much so, that seem to thrive on the human attention or at least do a good job of pretending for their human visitors!

These African Penguins looked like they were at a pool party, with the one in the middle one appearing to strike poses for me.

You are actually able to walk into the Wallaby area and view them with no screen, gate, or fence in between, though there is a member of the staff who keeps a watchful eye nearby.

The Koi were very large but you cannot tell from this picture because there is nothing to compare it to.  I liked this one because the color was so bright!

The Giraffes were very sweet and really enjoyed looking at us!

The Siamang Gibbons were interesting to see, though they were not as close as the other animals.

The Manatees were difficult to see clearly, and more so to photograph well, due to the thick glass and multiple tiny pieces of lettuce (their lunch apparently) that were floating in the water at the time.  Still, they are fascinating to watch and were a special treat for us to see since we have yet to view any in the wild.

This Bald Eagle was unexpected and reminded me why this noble bird of prey was selected to be the national animal as well as appear on the Great Seal of the United States.

This zoo, probably not unlike one located near you, is a wonderful place to visit that is easily forgotten about when thinking of reasonably priced things to do.  To me Zoos, regardless of where you are in life, are terrific places to reconnect with the natural world and forget about your personal challenges, at least for a few hours!


  1. Looks like a great family outing…I did have a thought re: why the Gibbons are kept at such a distance from the visitors. I imagine it is because they, like many other intelligent primates in zoos, have a habit or tendency to use their bodily fluids and solids as projectiles, which they launch at visitors with alarming accuracy…. very unhygienic, to say the least, and not conducive to return visits, either of which is undesirable to the zoo’s administrators, no doubt…. sad, but likely the case…. but, with a bit of foresight, no worries!…. Just a random thought…. thanks for the warm post….it took me back to my own outings at zoos with my family, before they were grown and gone….

    Comment by gigoid — April 7, 2012 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  2. I enjoy ‘going to the zoo’, too! Your photos are very nice and made ‘the visit to the zoo’… real. Special! Granny Gee

    Comment by grannyscolorful — April 7, 2012 @ 12:08 pm | Reply

  3. Love your photos and commentary! Nice to share these.

    Comment by Newfoundland Traveller — April 7, 2012 @ 1:02 pm | Reply

  4. Still love the zoo! It’s a great place to hang out!

    Comment by allthingsboys — April 7, 2012 @ 1:23 pm | Reply

  5. great pics, story, and i also love zoos

    Comment by terry1954 — April 7, 2012 @ 2:49 pm | Reply

  6. Always enjoy your posts and get a good feeling from them. Thanks Doc.

    Comment by madjamison — April 7, 2012 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

  7. Beautiful pictures, lovely words -capturing an approach to life.Thanks for posting

    Comment by prashantbhatt — April 7, 2012 @ 7:30 pm | Reply

  8. I haven’t been to a zoo in years! Thanks for stirring up some pleasant memories and for deciding to tag along with My Hmmm Collection.
    Happy Easter!

    Comment by isaiah43123 — April 7, 2012 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  9. Loved reading your post! Thanks!!!

    Comment by simonthongwh — April 7, 2012 @ 8:49 pm | Reply

  10. I have always frequented zoos all over the US as well. Wonderful blog 🙂 Nice photos

    Comment by thetumultuoustimes — April 7, 2012 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

  11. Good post! Thanks for reminding me of the times I took my children and then a grandchild to zoos.

    Comment by coastalcrone — April 7, 2012 @ 9:50 pm | Reply

  12. My daughter, grandson, and I have spent many hours/days at Brookfield Zoo. It is one of our favorite places to visit at any time of the year. Great pictures of your visit. 🙂

    Comment by bigsmileu1 — April 7, 2012 @ 11:24 pm | Reply

  13. Lively blog and cool pics! Thanks for viewing and following my blog.

    Comment by arganesh3 — April 7, 2012 @ 11:41 pm | Reply

  14. I like the pictures – especially the one of the Manatees. We have a small zoo here in Tbilisi. It’s great to be able to see unusual animals close up.

    Comment by Bassas Blog — April 8, 2012 @ 2:17 am | Reply

  15. Looks like a zoo I’d enjoy. 🙂

    Comment by Dianda — April 8, 2012 @ 7:57 am | Reply

  16. I grew up near Lowry Park zoo, loved it as a child

    Comment by Patricia Black — April 8, 2012 @ 11:36 am | Reply

  17. Zoos are so much fun! We visit the one in Jacksonville often but it looks like a trip to the Tampa area maybe in store. I really enjoy your posts.

    Comment by pouringcandles — April 8, 2012 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  18. This is a wonderful post, and reminds me that I need to make a “bucket list” of zoos accessible to me here in Massachusetts and GO THERE with camera in hand – nice photos, and great commentary!

    PS, Thanks for stopping by my place. Readership has been dwindling as I spend more time photographing and less time blogging. Gotta step that aspect of it up, I guess… 🙂

    Comment by littlebangtheory — April 8, 2012 @ 7:07 pm | Reply

  19. You reminded me of my lifelong wish to work at a Zoo. Are you aware of the relatively new movie, “We bought a Zoo”? I think it based on a true story. It stars Matt Damon (I think that’s his name!).


    🙂 Thanks. Looking at your blog made me smile.

    Comment by hugr5 — April 9, 2012 @ 10:20 am | Reply

  20. I love zoos! My favorite is the National Zoo in DC because it’s in a park and when I lived there 15 years ago, there was no admittance fee. I used to jog through the zoo, stopping frequently to look at the different animals. Great post!

    Comment by KimchiandCollardGreens — April 9, 2012 @ 5:55 pm | Reply

  21. Hi! I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!

    Comment by allthingsboys — April 10, 2012 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  22. I lose myself in the San Diego Zoo or the Zoo’s Safari Park once a week. It’s my time away from the vulgarities of the human race.

    I used to go to the Lowry Zoo when I worked in Tampa back in 1994.

    Comment by Russel Ray Photos — April 10, 2012 @ 6:53 pm | Reply

  23. Thanks so much for sharing these photos!

    Comment by Sword-chinned bitch — April 11, 2012 @ 2:52 pm | Reply

  24. zoos are mankind’s gifts to parents… haha. i love zoos and how time seems to stop for everyone in the zoo 🙂

    Comment by cebuanakini — April 12, 2012 @ 9:18 am | Reply

  25. I miss the good old Zoo days! The only zoo we have now is a overgrown excuse for a public garden. And since I usually prefer animals to humans, I think relocation is the first plan I’ll carry out when I can afford it!!!

    Comment by addictedtoreel — April 13, 2012 @ 3:45 am | Reply

  26. Hi, thanks for this interesting blog post; and for subscribing to my blog!

    Comment by petrel41 — April 15, 2012 @ 12:17 pm | Reply

  27. Hey Anthony thanks for following my blog. Really appreciate it. Reading this post reminds me that its been at least 10 years since I last went to the zoo! Gosh. Its time to head back down and immerse myself in the sights and smells of the animal kingdom 🙂 cheers!

    Comment by Ng Zhi An — April 15, 2012 @ 9:34 pm | Reply

  28. Looks like some great photos of a great-looking zoo.

    BTW, thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to seeing your comments.

    Comment by Huffygirl — April 21, 2012 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  29. looks like a fun time!

    Comment by creditcardchurning — April 25, 2012 @ 11:20 pm | Reply

  30. Ahhhh! What a fun day!

    Comment by Jan Rörschåch — April 29, 2012 @ 11:57 am | Reply

  31. Age is never a factor when it comes to visiting Zoo 🙂 Lovely reading your post!

    Comment by Orchid — October 27, 2012 @ 2:47 am | Reply

  32. Were you allowed to pet the wallabys? They are so adorable. At my local zoo I was watching them with the zookeeper, they seemed very cuddly and not afraid of humans at all!

    Comment by seakist — November 4, 2012 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  33. I am HUGELY addicted to zoos! Now I will have to add this one to my list. One of my favs is the one in Seattle…love that the animals are in their natural environments. The Madrid zoo has an awesome layout–much like the world with animals assigned to different “continents.”

    Comment by facelikeafryingpan — November 4, 2012 @ 5:27 pm | Reply

  34. Loved the article…very nice !

    Comment by lalarukh36 — November 5, 2012 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  35. We used to live near the Lowry Park Zoo, but it’s been a few years since we last went. I’m actually accompanying my son’s class next week to the zoo where we live now! I’m flattered that you are following my blog, and am curious as to what led you to it and what was interesting to you! Keep writing!

    Comment by amphomma — November 9, 2012 @ 8:20 pm | Reply

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