You never know where good tips are going to come from. The dental hygienist who cleans Denis's teeth (and mine) mentioned the Wildlife World Zoo to him, and when we looked it up, we decided to go see what it's all about.
Its full name is the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park, and it's on the western edge of the Valley off the Loop 303. (The Phoenix metro area has three "ring roads"-- the 101, the 202, and the 303.) There are log flumes, sky rides, trains, restaurants, and a wide variety of critters to see, all spread out over 95 acres. If you work fast, it's still going to take most of a day to really see it all. Denis and I only had a very few hours, and we only managed to see about 45% of it. We're definitely going back-- we've at least got to see the half we missed, and we'd also like to explore at a slower pace!
I'm going to spread my selection of photos out over two posts, one this week and one next week. You might be surprised when I tell you that I took fewer photos this time, but it's all due to a quirk of mine. The very first time I visited a zoo, I was a child, it was the St. Louis Zoo, and almost all the animals were housed in small cages with bars. I still remember with horror the sight of a big male lion pacing back and forth endlessly in his tiny allotment. He was so unhappy! More and more, zoos are becoming sanctuaries for animal species that we seem determined to exterminate in the wild, so I'm thrilled that they're transforming themselves into more animal-friendly spaces. However, I still have a hangover from that long ago day in St. Louis: I do not like taking photos of animals through bars or wire, so you will see very little of that in these two posts.
It was a perfect day for being at the zoo. There were just enough clouds to give us respite from the bright desert sun, and the temperature was down in the eighties. Let's start exploring!
|Perfect weather and perfect time of day-- no crowds! (db)|
|Once you pay for admission and get past the gift shops, you see flamingos. You can just see the wall of a patio across the way. You can eat at that restaurant while watching those beautiful birds! (db)|
|The eye of the flamingo.|
|There are scarlet ibises sharing space with the flamingos.|
|Here you can see part of the log flume ride. (db)|
|The jacaranda trees were flowering throughout the zoo.|
|Jacaranda flowers closeup.|
|From the Aquarium: a honeycomb moray eel and its shrimp buddy.|
|I forgot to take a photo of the info board on this shark so I'd remember its name. It lives off the coast of Russia somewhere-- and it reminds me of something gone wrong in my Creepy Crawler machine when I was little. Anyone remember those?|
|A spider monkey that stared at its reflection so long I named it Narcissus.|
|This is one of the aviary areas, and as you can see, there are plenty of mature trees to provide shade throughout the zoo.|
|An Addra gazelle.|
|Snoozing Beisa Oryxes.|
|The Skyride overhead.|
|I've had days when taking a leisurely snooze in a mudhole sounded really good. How about you? (db)|
|I hope this warthog has a good dental plan.|
|Little did we know that this African Spurred Tortoise would provide a bit of entertainment on our way out of the zoo.|
|A glimpse of the train you can climb aboard to travel around the zoo.|
That concludes this week's portion of our visit to the Wildlife World Zoo. I hope you enjoyed it and will join us next week for the conclusion!