After LISA ’12 MJ joined me in San Diego for a weekend of San Diego Zoo adventure!
We stayed at the Loews Coronado Bay hotel, which made for a very comfortable stay Friday night. We made our way up to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park late Saturday morning, arriving around 11AM.
The park itself is beautiful and it was quite enjoyable to simply walk around and take in the views.
It was also an exceptional opportunity for MJ to use his shiny new DSLR camera for the first time “in the wild” so to speak.
But the reason I felt so strongly about coming here was for one particular animal who I recently learned lived here, the northern white rhinoceros. I first learned that a pair of them lived here when I watched the second episode of Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry that was specifically about the northern white rhino. I’d read the book by Douglas Adams that the series is a follow up to while in high school and while sad, the book and subsequent shows are very good. From the show I learned that there are only 7 of the northern white rhinos left in the world, 4 in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, 1 in a zoo in the Czech Republic where the other 4 also came from (this 5th was not able to travel) and the 2 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was sadly clear that the only way I’d get to see one is by visiting the safari park there in San Diego.
And see them I did! Their male, Angalifu was up walking around and I got some pictures of him from the tram safari (included in park admission):
Their female Nola was laying down on the plains, I got a picture of her here.
Later in the day we went on the Asian Cart Safari which took us out to the Asian section of the park. That brought us very close to some of their greater one-horned rhinos, which our tour guide took some time to feed so we could visit with them.
The smaller one in the photo was a rhino born last year, after the food was gone her and her mother came down closer to us as well. Rhinos are so great!
We stayed at the park almost until closing, visiting elephants, giraffes, lions and even seeing the Cheetah Run. I was particularly happy to see the elephants, as the Chumby on my desk spends most of its life feeding me a webcam stream from their enclosure and the polar bear at the San Diego zoo, I could finally see them in person!
More photos from the day are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157632266586435/
Once processed I hope to be able to share some of MJ’s photos too, he got some great shots, including one of a Przewalski’s Horse from the Asian Cart ride that came out very well.
That evening we decided to continue the African theme by having dinner at Muzita bistro. I’d never had Ethiopian food before and I have to say it was quite the delicious adventure. The dishes we ordered were all stew-like and you eat them by scooping up the food with a spongey bread that comes with the meal, no utensils. It was a perfect end to our day!