This past Saturday I had the pleasure of returning to a place that I seriously grew up at…there is even a home movie of my 1st trip there to prove it!;) The Los Angeles Zoo held a special Twilight event which marked my return…in over SEVENTEEN years!!! It still had many of the features & areas I remember, along with some great enhancements.
We were treated to a Docent-guided tour led by the colorful, sassy & fun Phyllis (below)! She even began the evening by showing us all how to break the rules…’cause rules are meant to be broken, no??;) When a little girl inquired if we would see any alligators, Phyllis decided to do something NOT on the tour, & I am glad she is a rule breaker…in a good way! She took us to meet Reggie the Alligator & had us demonstrated that when we hold on or knock on the wooden rail to keep us between Reggie & his lake, that is how animals know that a predator or dinner is on the way.
Next up, we went across to see the meerkats & learn about mammals; like us, most mammals are warm-blooded….ever wonder how polar bears can manage in the freezing cold? Because they are hot-blooded mammals! These adorable lil meerkats were their usual cute selves & we particularly enjoyed this one below who sat on his perch the entire time we took pictures of him, then, even when we were LEAVING for the night, he still was right there!!
While The Children’s Zoo was closed since it was technically after hours, I still ran up to take a peek & I felt 5 again! I cannot wait to return to see what creatures are currently over there. A new must-see is their Merry-go-Round as you head to visit australian animals…including…the KOALAS! Who, just for the record, are not bears, but marsupials. What makes ‘em that? It is because when they are ready to prepare for birth, they make their way to Mama’s pouch…so, kangaroos, koalas & wallabies are some common marsupials….check out this koala who appeared to love the spotlight from all of us;)
The waterfall, complete with beautiful swans, were also a favorite attraction.
Next up we spent quite a long time at one of the zoo’s newest exhibits, The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles). They have not only the main exhibit, but also The Oak Woodland Pond upon your entrance which is reserved for the local wildlife neighbors among Griffith Park! If you are in search of lizards, snakes & scorpions (Oh my!) check out the Desert LAIR, then head over to Arroyo Lagarto (meaning ‘Lizard Stream’) to try to spot the tortoises…we had no luck! Then…last but not least….some friends that scared the $#!@ outta me a bit!!! Jean, another lovely Docent, explained to us all that the crocodile can do & that they are way more vicious than even SHARKS…to think, he looked very peaceful & chill hanging out in The Crocodile Swamp!;)
As we headed back down near the entrance, we were treated to food courtesy of Reggie’s Bistro, yum! I admit that I did not know there would be an abundance of food & ate beforehand, everything looked great & very family friendly; pizza, nuggets, fries! Inside for the adults, there was also wine which I DID have a cup or 2 of!;) (Perhaps I needed to calm down after learning how easily a crocodile can take you out…)
The LA Zoo is open everyday from 10a to 5p (Except Christmas….the giraffes need to open their gifts!) & keep in mind they begin tucking animals to bed at 4pm. Nearby is the beautiful landmark, Griffith Park, & Glendale is not far, either, with plenty of fun & shopping. I cannot wait to spend a whole day here! xo
(*All photography copyrighted & by Along Comes Mary. Please contact her for permission BEFORE using in your own media. Thank you!)