Day 50 [NYC] Being Zoo-otic

I ALWAYS HAD A WEAK SPOT FOR ANIMALS, especially mammals. When I was young, my favorite books were the encyclopedias about all sorts of animals, and eventually I became such an animal lover, I decided not to kill them for meat. With such a fascination for the living beings, I reckon Bronx Zoo as my must visit before I leave New York.

The largest urban zoo in the States, Bronx Zoo is so close to civilization, sounds of traffic can be heard while touring its vicinities. I am glad I chose today to visit the zoo because the weather was absolutely perfect. The sun was big and shiny, but the temperature was in its low 20s, almost to comfortable to be true. If not visiting the zoo, I would definitely be lying around at home just as this bunch African wild dogs do.

One of the highlights of this zoo is the Congo reserve. The general admission tickets which costs $15 does not include this exhibition, and thus I had to pay an extra $3 for it. It was definitely worth it because as soon as I stepped inside, the surroundings are so similar to the forest, its mists and tree vines let out the Tarzan in me. Walking through the low hanging branches, you would then be greeted by a family of gorillas, cute as can be. The wildlife conservation society made sure they get their message around by reminding you how delicate our nature is through their documentaries, posters and wildlife volunteers.

The park is quite big, but the sad thing is they have a dozen of exhibits that require additional tickets. This little peacock was wandering around outside the cages and I wonder if he got lost. I was quite concerned for him because he was near the Tiger mountains, an exhibit with the ferocious big cats that awed all children and adults alike. Other interesting animals include the Brazilian toucan with its beautiful (and I suppose, heavy) beak, and also the Formosan deer, because they printed a Taiwanese currency on the intro.

My favorite part of the zoo is the sea lions. They are crazily noisy, swim real fast and forever wanting your attention. They are also really well-trained, and I never ceased to be amazed by their intelligence. I was lucky enough to watch the feeding where the trainers ask the sea lions to do stunts both to entertain the audiences and to check their physical abilities. Everyone is clapping and laughing throughout the session, and I wonder if the sea lions know that they are the superstars of the zoo.

With an additional $3, I went lining up for the Wild Asia monorail, a 25 minute trip into the Asian forests. The rail took us across a river and into the forest where we can see animals such as deers, elephants, tigers all in close proximity. Most of the animals are shy and thus we had to search to find them camouflaging into their surroundings. The ride was quite an experience and I had a lot of fun (although most of the other passengers are either noisy brats or their parents).

I loved the zoo and the zoo loved me back. It was great experience, I felt good that I came and I thank the skies for such a beautiful day. It could not be more perfect until the moment before I leave the zoo, the same little peacock walked past me, probably boasting to me how he went through the Tiger mountains and survived to tell its tale (tail).

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