As with so many other things, old adventures get lost in the passing years and I was therefore suprised to realize it had beenmore than two decades since my last visit to the Los Angeles Zoo. I scarcely remember my last visit, so I was eager to try my hand again a few days ago. Parking was easy, right off the freeway, or almost so. I arrived just as the zoo opened on a typical June Gloom day.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to see everything in one visit therefore I concentrated on the outer loop. This route is primarily mammals and exotic birds. One crosses through the continents as the road loops about. First up were some flamingos and the cute meerkats.
He’s sitting on top a mound that may be part of the community’s burrow. There were several meerkats scampering about. Fortunately for me, they like to pose.
Another highlight was the jaguar. Yes, I’ve changed continents, but it was a fluid boundary. One minute you’re in Africa and the next thing you know you’ve walked into South America. This jaguar was was up in the tall grass having a snooze. After waiting several minutes, I gave up on him Surprise! He was up and walking about. I hurried back to get a photo.
He was a clever cat. He made about four passes along the fence that separated him from the visitors. After that he had had enough and it was back up to the top of the hill for another snooze. It was as though he planned it.
As you can see, the fencing was an issue. I worked hard to get the focus on the cat rather than the fence links. Do mobile phones do a better job? I hope so. Most people were photographing with their phones. I would like to think they were getting great images.
Speaking of big cats, I tried to photograph the tiger, but he wasn’t interested in accommodating the visitors. He kept his distance near the back of his area.
No matter which continent I visited, there were always antelope. Think gazelles and ibex and mountain goats. What’s more spring must have been the time for baby critters. There were many tiny “lambs,” if that’s the word used for antelope.
Just a couple more images from my day…
I really enjoyed the zebra having a good rub in the dirt.
I also had a good time watching the ostrich. Yes, they were behind a fence which once again presented some focusing problems. But if one sings to the ostrich, he’ll stick his head up over the fence!
I was at the zoo from opening until just about closing time. It was lots of fun. The crowds weren’t bad considering it was Saturday. Parking, if you’re willing to walk a little, was free. Preferred parking is $10. There are several places to get lunch, not as healthy as I prefer, but I managed. The kids meals are usually better than those for adults.
As for photos, the biggest problems I had were the fences and the glass-enclosed areas. In many cases, this “glass” was filmy. I don’t know if water caused this or the sticky fingers of hundreds of little hands. That really is irrelevant. The film was dense and almost opaque. I did learn from a fellow photographer that tripods are permitted. His advice was to come early and get the photos before the walkways become too crowded.
To view more images from my zoo adventure, please click here.