Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Point Defiance Zoo--Tacoma, WA

Approximately 40 miles south of Seattle, the Point Defiance Zoo makes for an enjoyable outing. You can walk the zoo about 2 hours or so, depending on pace and time spend at exhibits. It's designed into several "regions" including the Asian Forest Sanctuary, Rocky Shores, Arctic Tundra and Aquariums (two buildings--North Pacific and South Pacific).
peacock_plumage I went to the zoo with Neil. This fellow greeted us near the entrance. We learned that the peacocks are not zoo residents but they come and go freely.
This peacock wasn't comfortable with how close I got to get my photos; the peacock quickly opened the huge plumage. It was beautiful and it spanned a good six feet. Once open, the peacock made the plumage shake vigorously. I'd never seen this behavior, but it worked...I quickly retreated and left the peacock.
The Aquariums, housed in two connected buildings, were surprisingly excellent, considering the zoo isn't huge. We stayed at this exhibit for quite some time, watching the sharks compulsively swimming in circles or just sitting nearly motionless at tank bottom (only the gills opening and closing occasionally). There were several sharks co-existing with the other fish in the tank. How? Is it that they're kept so well fed, they don't need to seek out additional food? Maybe that and maybe they put more compatible fish in with the sharks.
Following is one of the roomies. There are two shots: #1 or what I like to refer to as "before": 100_2155
In this photo, the fish looks fake...almost like a petrified museum sample, but it's the real deal, swimming around.
Now, for the #2 or "after". Please prepare for it.
I have a hard time looking at this shot: 100_2156
I'm equally repulsed and fascinated with this image. It's among my favorites from this zoo outing.
(Note: I'm overdoing it with the images, but this was an educational visit. That and the fact that this is my first post, I think I can get away with it.)
Still at the aquariums but in another building, you find the adorably cute and playful belugas and walruses. Two belugas swim and seem to offer the spectators ropes in what seems an attempt to play.
The walruses, three of them, enormous and mesmerizing, swim toward the glass and then back around, providing a full whiskers view each lap. Easy to stay and watch for a long time.
The zoo promised apes. The only primates I saw were two gibbons--active and funny--and two depressed-looking chimps. Other creatures on display included tigers, penguins, puffins, polar bears, elephants, reindeer, muskox.
The size was manageable with lots of green areas. I was surprised by the numbers of childless adults. Of course, you see predominantly families, but I expected to see fewer solo adults. Two thumbs up.
I close this post with an image of Neil. See how much fun you can generate at the zoo?!? 100_2145

1 comment:

Kristi said...

Me thinks you need to explore the big round musical water exhibit at the Seattle Center. It's a kid frenzy!