Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I went to the Cincinnati Zoo, which I’m fortunate to have a world renowned zoo right in my backyard (not literally, but it’s a 30-minute drive at best). Every holiday season, they have their Festival of Lights show and that is exactly what it sounds like, but I’ve been there and done that a few times. My objective was to see the animals, so I reserved my spot (reservations are mandatory due to COVID-19, which included wearing a mask of course!) for the afternoon. Whew, I love animals! I love seeing them. I get giggly and giddy like I’m a kid again. Since the last few times I’ve been to the zoo was primarily for the light show, it’s been a while since I’ve have the chance to take my time and see the animals in the daylight.
Here are my random takeaways from my first zoo visit in quite a few years:
- I would love if after the pandemic cleared, we could keep the crowd restrictions in place. It was downright delightful to walk through the zoo with hardly anyone around. Not only did that give me ample opportunity to clearly see the animals, but in general, as someone who doesn’t like big crowds, I enjoy that vibe more.
- The reptile house always seem to be the most popular attraction when I go to the zoo besides may Fiona, the hippopotamus, but I don’t know. I’m not a reptile guy. Yeah, snakes are cool and impressive. If they had alligators, sure, absolutely! But the reptile house doesn’t interest me much, and I popped in and popped out. It’s a bit overrated in my opinion.
- Like I said, I giggle around the animals, particularly the gorillas. They’re just so human-like and goofy, how can you not? As you will see, there was one gorilla who had some sort of paper trash on his face and seemed to enjoy it. Then he took it and some more paper-looking trash to a corner to chill.
- The only thing I don’t like to see is the animals pacing back and forth. From my understanding, that’s a sign that they are feeling the weight of being stuck in a cage, i.e., captive, and that’s rather depressing. No being, human or otherwise, is meant to be caged. And there were a few animals today doing that back-and-forth pacing over-and-over again. It’s a balance of sorts. Zoos obviously do a lot of great work in terms of both conservation and education, but also, captivity is just harmful and wrong. I’ll save that soapbox digression for another day, though.
- I don’t understand how the bald eagle area works. From what I could tell, the eagles could just fly away, right? (This article indicates that actually, they can’t fly, and that’s sort of the point of them being there.) But they were impressive to see.
- The polar bears and manatees weren’t out. I also wish there was some grizzly bears! I love seeing the bears, although apparently they particularly don’t do well in captivity. I’m surprised there’s not more aquatic animals, like sharks or whales, although the same seems to hold true of them as well regarding captivity.
- How cool are the giraffes?! Apparently, during the spring, you’re able to feed them. Guess I gotta come back for the spring to do that.
- I didn’t realize the African painted dog is an actual animal and not literally a painting of a dog. They, obviously, look like dogs you’d take as a pet!
- I think my best photo from the collection you’re about to scroll through is actually just the water with the cool clouds. I love me some cloud photos. Given the sun and glass barriers and whatnot, some of the pictures aren’t the best, but it was a great experience all the same!
Do you like visiting the zoo? What’s your favorite animal at the zoo?