It seems such a simple question, but the answer to Where are all the animals at L.A. Zoo?, is a bit more complicated.
With my family in town on vacation and with two small children to entertain, after a morning trip to the Griffith Observatory to enjoy the wonders of space and the fantastic views of the L.A basin, we headed further into Griffith Park to the L.A. Zoo on Saturday afternoon to spot some wild animals.
Firstly we couldn't get over the ticket queue to get into the Zoo, maybe Spring Break and Easter timing had something to do with that, but the main thing that stuck out about our visit was where were all the animals?
Or more accurately where were all what I'd call the 'interesting' animals?
What we discovered were quite a sorry bunch of specimens (plus a few sculptures and statues too).
The elephants were absent because they are building a new enclosure for them, the rhinoceros was at the vet and most of the other animals were either asleep or looked like they were stuffed.
After living here for over a year now, it was a great opportunity to check out another of L.A.'s local attractions, but even that's not as easy as it sounds, as I didn't find the way to the Zoo to be that clearly sign-posted when driving there.
Plus it didn't help that the layout of the Zoo isn't very visitor-friendly and that the sign-posts are not that helpful to get you from habitat to habitat and there seem to be a shortage of staff to help point people in the right direction too.
The giraffes were the most animated and interesting animals to watch and seemed happy, frolicking about for the crowd in their paddock.
The gorilla enclosure was also one of the better sights (when you could see past the hordes of visitors).
To be honest I was a bit disappointed with the selection of exotic birds and animal life on offer at L.A. Zoo. In fact they seemed to have every flavour of antelope and mountain goat, as if they were on special offer at K-Mart or something.
I may be a bit biased, but London Zoo seems much better by far. I've also heard rave reviews about San Diego Zoo, so maybe that's where I'll go the next time I need a zoo fix.
From all these photos you may wonder what I'm talking about 'no animals', but maybe it was just that the L.A. Zoo didn't really inspire me at all about the wonders of the world's wildlife. Anyway here are a few more reptiles (crocodiles and alligators)...
Birds (toucans, pelicans and peacocks)...
Mammals (kangaroos, zebras, meerkats, camels and more)...
Our Zoo visit kept us occupied for an afternoon, but left us all a little underwhelmed.
Thankfully the delights of Universal Studios Hollywood the next day were a lot more entertaining (and we even got to see a few animals, although I'm not sure if an animatronic 'Donkey' counts, even if he was extremely cute and funny)...