7 Things: Zoos – #4

LA/Santa Barbara/Palm Desert

Three zoos. One post. This is how I cheat my own list, thereby bringing my zoo number to nine instead of seven.

Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo can be a most miserable place when it’s hoppin’. And it takes you by surprise. Even when the parking lot is clearly full, you can walk into the zoo and it will look like no one is there. Then, you head toward the back and get roughly in the vicinity of the giraffes, and it’s like you’re suddenly in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. But you’re not. Instead, it’s hot, everyone is dressed in skimpy clothing and you’re pressing skin-to-skin and thinking, “Good God, I hope none of these people have lice.”

But the Los Angeles Zoo does have several exceptional qualities. It’s a great walking zoo with lots of pretty shaded paths. It also has a very cool front entrance that’s got a totally Disney-like vibe. The koala exhibit gets you a better view of the koalas than any other zoo I’ve been to, and the mountain goats at the LA Zoo are fierce.

Disneyfied entrance.

This goat is f'in vicious!


Santa Barbara Zoo

With just a short drive from the Los Angeles Zoo, once you bust through the gridlock of LA traffic, you can hit the Santa Barbara Zoo. Which is how we once visited both zoos in one day. The Santa Barbara Zoo is a world away from the LA Zoo in terms of size and crowds. When we visited in the afternoon, there were like two dozen visitors total. It was fantastic.

The exhibits at the Santa Barbara zoo are nice and they have an especially lovely Palm Garden feature in the center of the zoo that would be an awesome place to write. If we lived there, I would so have a pass and pitch a writing picnic on the lawn.

G'raffe chaw.

King Kong lives in SB.

Living Desert

Don’t let the name fool you. There’s not much living at The Living Desert in Palm Desert. Everything is sort of desert-dead. At least in mid-spring. As far as flora is concerned at least. The fauna seemed to be thriving perfectly well.

It was definitely desert weather when we were there. Hot as a motha. And the small selection of animals that they have were snoozin’ the heat away. Since it was just past winter, though, the nearby mountains were still snow-topped, which gave The Living Desert one of the most surreal bits of scenery in zoodom.

You are standing in the desert, it’s a hundred degrees in the shade, and you are looking out across more desert at a a snowy-capped mountain peak. It’s times like that when you think, “Wow, maybe I’ll never understand the awesomeness of the universe.”

This hummingbird was a total superstar.

They were playing Follow the Leader.

Desert snow.


Since we’re on Southern California zoos, I want to mention that’s I’ve been to the San Diego Zoo as well, and, you know what? Not worth the hype.


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