Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer zoo day

A forecast of 100-plus degrees won't make Graham and me heat hostages. Thanks to the recent "Zoopendous" deal ($10 admission vs. $20), we planned a Phoenix Zoo trip for last weekend.

It was originally a bicycle outing, so we unmounted our rides from Jeep's bike rack and walked them over to the zoo entrance. I quickly noticed the no-bikes sign. We inquired about it at the ticket booth and a worker replied that the zoo no longer allows bikes because "it became a safety issue." The news was a disappointment, but we didn't let that ruin our day.

The animals are more active in the morning before the day starts to heat up.  Well, maybe not all the animals are up and moving. ...

The monkeys, however, were curious and friendly. A couple even came over to the glass to say hello.

This monkey was eating a bird!

The orangutan exhibit, "People of the Forest," is one of my favorites.

Among my favorite animals we spotted were the burrowing owl and the desert tortoise.

The burrowing owl looks bigger than it actually was in this photo. It was too shy to come out of this log.

The tortoise was busy munching on its lettuce breakfast.
We even took a trip to South America.

The heat means the zoo isn't as crowded during the summer. Zoo hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

We stopped by the sting-ray experience to pet the soft, quick-moving water animals. It's $3 or $2 for Phoenix Zoo members. You can also feed them for a few extra dollars.

Check out some of the other animals up and about:

There are exotic and colorful birds to see, too.

This one reminds me of the movie "Black Swan." It must be the eyes.

In addition to not allowing bikes anymore, the entrance of the zoo has changed since I last visited. There's now a native-species exhibit on the right that includes a black vulture and turkey vulture and TV screen to the left (but it wasn't on). I'm interested to see what other changes come about on my next visit.