A wild time at the Denver Zoo

When my dear wife Karen put a Sunday baseball game on her Family Reunion group page on Facebook, nephew Drew from Alaska quickly indicated that he’d love to join his aunt, the Uncle from Syracuse he’d not yet met, and new cousin Elisabeth and her boyfriend George Three on the excursion to Coors Field to see the Colorado Rockies host the Cincinnati Reds. It would be his first major-league game, he told us when we met last Thursday.

The 2 p.m. game time and expected 80-minute trip from Estes Park allowed for something else special that day, we figured. I suggested an early start and trip to the Denver Zoo.

When she heard that, nice Kimi from Arkansas joined the party. So at 8 a.m., we picked Drew up at the place he was staying with Karen’s older sister Jana and his sis Dacia, and hopped to her younger sister Lynne’s hotel, where she’d set up shop with Kimi and her sister Stormy. We swapped vehicles because Lynne’s rental agency had presented her with a bigger SUV than ours, with a third row of seating, and off we went down the mountains to Denver.

Who's Zooing Who?

Who’s Zooing Who?

George Three took the wheel after feeling a bit of stomach upset when I drove up the twisty-turnees to get us there on Thursday. With no shortage of smart phone GPS once we got back in cell range, we had no problem finding the place smack dab in the middle of Denver. Smooth piloting, George Three, and nary a queasy among our half-dozen.

I paid for us all at the gate, and we started our loop. An easy-to-navigate zoo it is.

No laughing matter, the hyenas.

No laughing matter, the hyenas.

The hyenas were out in a landscape they share with lions, but not at the same time.

Showing his stripes, the tiger awoke.

Showing his stripes, the tiger awoke.

The tiger had his own crib, though. He was sleeping our first trip, but came out to play the second time around.

The Rhinocerous takes a drink.

The Rhinocerous takes a drink.

The bigs were well represented. I ducked around the side to get the best shot possible of the rhino with my iPhone 6, shooting over his fence.

Elephant between the trees.

Elephant between the trees.

Elephant by the pool.

Elephant by the pool.

There were no shortage elephants. I counted three different grand specimens, and the two above were true beauties.

Don't spill  your secrets around Elisabeth.

Don’t spill your secrets around Elisabeth.

No, I didn’t count my daughter posing in the listening ears as one of the species.

No need for a ladder ... except to feed them.

No need for a ladder … except to feed them.

The talls were represented, too, with four elegant giraffes in one large exhibit.

It's not even Wednesday, guys.

It’s not even Wednesday, guys.

Sometimes things really are explained best in black and white.

Sometimes things really are explained best in black and white.

Other four-leggeds that caught my fancy because they seemed to keep their cool on this 90-degree day were the camels and the zebras.

Strutting his stuff freely.

Strutting his stuff freely.

Caged beauty.

Caged beauty.

For some color, we spent some time admiring the peacocks that were given free roam of the zoo.

Another stately bird, however, looked glum in its cage. Steller’s Sea Eagle remained on its perch.

Somewhere, under the sea.

Somewhere, under the sea.

Wowing me in the deep.

Wowing me in the deep.

Nothing was more colorful than several tank indoor exhibits.

No soup for you.

No soup for you.

Also inside that same building were large turtles. Go Terps Go!

Met with approval.

Met with approval.

The noisiest animal was the seal — or was it sea lion? The pair shared a pool and a rock in the sun, a big one and a smaller guy. One suddenly barked, loudly, just when we were about to depart.

Suspended animation.

Suspended animation.

And the action award went to this monkey, who went swinging on the rope above a walkway. Right above the people was when it decided it was the time to go No. 2. This I know because Karen and Elisabeth told me I stepped in it after taking my photos.

Tomorrow: The crush baseballs, don’t they?

Monday: Walking along a village creek

Are you a fan of zoos, and please explain why or why not? If so, what’s your favorite zoo animal, and why? Which is your favorite photo, and why?

60 thoughts on “A wild time at the Denver Zoo

  1. I cannot believe how many posts of yours I’ve missed. And I don’t like zoos. They smell and I wouldn’t like being put in a cage if I were a gorilla, so no..

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  2. My favorite photos is of Elisabeth, Mark. ๐Ÿ™‚ And, I do love zoos, or rather all the animals at the zoo. I used to drive a monorail at Busch Gardens (back when they had a monorail), and I had to memorize a 12 minute spiel about the various animals I would drive over. I don’t know if I could narrow down to a favorite zoo animal, but I guess it would be either a tiger or a giraffe. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Oh brother, I am laughing so hard. Thank you for that last statement. I’ve stepped in some of that, well not the monkey type, while I was living on the farm, so I can relate. My son could relate if you had said it hit your head, because after spending more time than I ever did on his hair one morning, he headed for his truck to leave for school, only to return within seconds, telling me he had been bombed by a do-do bird. An hour later he was ready for another try at getting to class, just needed a written excuse from me for why he was late. You have to have been in that situation yourself before you can even imagine how hard it is to write a note like that. “My son is late for class because a bird pooped—-“, “Don is late this morning because he had an accident—“. Nothing seemed to fit the situation except the first and he tore that one to shreds.

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  4. I really liked this Denver Zoo, it has a lot of fresh parts of nature surrounding it and the animals were all out and not tired or lying around. This is a great sigh of Life at the Zoo! I enjoyed your photos of the Under the Sea and Elisabeth with her listening ears ready to capture some gossip or funny stories, Mark.
    Your photography has been really wonderful since I first started reading, improving and your choices of subject matter very unique and meaningful, too. Mark you are a great blogger with photos included.
    I feel our Safari area of the Columbus Zoo is really a nice one, where they have an area with the giraffes to be able to come up and eat from the guests who wish to pay for the vegetables to feed them and an area where you can be just a few feet away and watch them being fed. There is an actual old airplane where the lions like to lie on the wings, and a restaurant where the panarama of the safari is shown. It used to be only $6 for kids but I think it is now $8 and adults may be $12. My children usually buy family passes with their income tax money, along with pool passes so they get a whole summer’s worth of ‘action’ or interaction out of their money. They also save part of this money, hopefully (Mom never knows for sure! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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    • That sounds like a great summer of fun in Columbus, Robin. Our one-day cost in Denver was, if I recall, $12 per adult for the one day.

      Thanks for your kind words about my photography. I take a lot of pictures. I think what is getting better as well is my editing, the choosing process for what to run in the blogs. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a great night, Robin. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great pics Mark, you really got some great shots, like them all including the little Tortoise/Turtle.
    One question mate, the Rhino’s appear to have horns, and don’t seem as big as the ones normally seen in the wild, maybe my eyes need a checkup again.
    All round I enjoyed your post.
    Thanks Mark.

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  6. I am not a fan of zoos that function almost solely as an animal collection, like the one here in Richmond. The larger zoos that work with conservation and preservation of species are the ones I can support; though I don’t think all animals should be in a zoo and after the ones that can’t be released back into the wild pass, maybe they shouldn’t “restock” certain species (not sure if they even do that, but just thinking…)

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  7. what a beautiful place, and natural looking zoo. i do feel sorry for the animals kept in captivity, especially the big ones, but hope that children and adults learn from these visits and it has a positive impact on their approach to animals wherever they might encounter them. also could be positive as a place where we can learn more about them, and help some species to continue. my favs are giraffes and monkeys. such characters )

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  8. Thanks Mark for stopping by my blog. I realized now as I was reading your reply comments, there was a lot of negativity coming though from my part. It is a practice of mine to try and catch those moments and turn them around. Thank you for being so kind โค

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  9. I love zoos! I like the monkey picture best — it’s sheer whimsy, perfect for a Saturday post ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m sorta collecting zoos; Our Indianapolis zoo is a great one, but all of them have a certain appeal. Atlanta has those pandas, Cincinnati has the Bengal tigers, St Louis has hippos, San Diego is huge….but even the smaller zoos like Jacksonville and Naples are a great place to spend the day.

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  10. I love zoos! Go, Terps, as you said. This was what I could relate to the most about Colorado: “feeling a bit of stomach upset when I drove up the twisty-turnees.” Right there with you.

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  11. i am curiously ambiguous. i love the opportunity to be able to see animals i would otherwise not see, but do not like to see animals that would have a wider range in the wild, be so caged, no matter how big the enclosure it is never big enough compared with outside. I’m not convinced by the raising awareness myth either. I have read reports that say zoos have little significant impact in raising awareness. Where zoos do win is in development of knowledge gained by vetinary care of the animals. However, we know from recent events that even wild animals living in protected areas are not safe, especially not from Minnesotan dentists.

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  12. Great photos Mark. The monkey shot is amazing!

    My daughter and I enjoyed a number of visits to the Calgary zoo as she was growing up. I am conflicted about zoos but I was thrilled when our elephants were moved to an acreage somewhere in the states to live out the rest of their lives. โค
    Diana xo

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  13. I only love certain zoos. The Brookfield Zoo outside of Chicago is great, we used to take the kids to the Denver Zoo all the time and the San Diego Zoo is really nice. There is also a super zoo in Omaha – which the kids and I had fun going through once. I think my favorite zoo animal is the Okapi, but if the zoo has an Australian exhibit, I love to see the Hairy-Nosed Wombat. Also adore Meerkats – they crack me up, and are so amazingly organized.

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  14. Iโ€™m more inclined to safari parks than zoos to be honest. The animals deserve the space and to live more naturally. I donโ€™t like to see them in enclosures. Great photos though, the tiger is magnificent.

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  15. You guys sure packed a lot in to your time together!

    I am not a fan of the zoo. Because I get sad….when I see sad animal faces looking back at me. I mean, I like the zoo, but I always get that sad feeling at some point there.

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  16. Great photos, as always, Mark. “Go, Terps?” You couldn’t help yourself..it’s ok.

    The last time I saw elephant ears was at the local carnival…these are better, even without cinnamon. โ˜บ

    And..about the “easy to navigate”…Have you ever been to the National Zoo in D.C. ? Brutal walking for young children. That zoo was designed for the comfort of the animals, not the spectators. And maybe that’s the way it should be. Have a great weekend.

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  17. Ha! Great photos Mark. I’m of two minds about zoos. I really dislike seeing wild animals in cages, No matter how pretty the cages. I actually spoke this opinion to a zoo professional once and his answer was excellent. He said that the only way to save animals in their natural habitat was to raise awareness and help people empathize with the animals. And that could only be done by bringing the animals to the people – i.e. zoos. He argued – and successfully, I might add – that zoos have done more to protect animals in the wild than any other initiative. What can I say? I am sure he is right. So, I now make sure I pay to visit zoos where ever I can and I appreciate and enjoy the animals.

    Great post Mark – love seeing the animals. Oh, and the ears on Elizabeth are very cute – did it make a big difference in what she could hear?

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