One of the measures we are taking to save money is forgoing any week-long vacations this year. We bought a pass at our local nature center that will get us into many zoos this year for free or nearly free. Some grandparents were in town this past week. We decided to go to our first zoo of the year with them. The day was a bit gray, but the weather held out for us.
We had never been to the Knoxville Zoo. It is a mixture of old cages and new lovely habitats. It appears to be a zoo in transition. The zoo was a nice size, not too small and not too big. It had all of the popular animals people go to zoos to see. My favorite are the giraffes. I don't really think of a place as a zoo if it doesn't have at least one giraffe. LOL! The giraffe exhibit was nice (but old and up against the highway), with three giraffes. My Father, a professional photographer, got a much better shot than I. However, here is my favorite shot from my photo taking.
My oldest son loves the elephants. One of the elephants loved him, too, and came right up for a photo shot.
We also saw bears, prairie dogs, rhinos, a variety of birds, red pandas, African wild dogs, and monkeys, to name a few. I do like being able to see the animals and that was easy to do at this zoo. Some zoos work so hard on making great habitats for the animals that the patrons can't see the animals. I think there needs to be a balance there. My kids will grow up wanting to help preserve the welfare of wild animals -- if they can see them and develop an affection for them.
The kids really liked the hands-on activities scattered around the zoo. There was a carousel, jeeps to crawl on, and lots of small activities to help you understand about the animals (such as how long is your arm span in comparison to a condor's wing).
It was a fun day overall! Here is proof that my father and I were both there behind our cameras! Like father, like daughter. LOL!