Welcome to the Jungle, the iconic words of Axl Rose belts out the first line of the iconic song on Guns and Roses debut album Appetite for Destruction, seems to have become even more apropos now. We have felt locked in cages for such a long time. And so we either have riots among those protesting for racial equality, or we have protests among those demanding not to wear face masks. Whichever side of the divide you find yourself, you always seem to be protesting something. Which is why we need to find ourselves something positive to do. Some affirmative and beautiful things to do out there. This is why, if you are living in Southern California, it’s time to make your way down to San Diego and the San Diego Zoo. Welcome to the jungle: An Animal Lover’s Paradise.
This amazing zoo has been one of my favorites since I was a child. With so many different varying habitats, this zoo does its best to provide the most natural environment possible for these beautiful creatures. From the Saharan African Zone to the Asian rainforests to the outback, the San Diego Zoo tries to mimic the kind of living conditions these animals would face in the wild the best they could. And as such they do their best to prepare them to someday go back there if at all possible. It’s such a beautiful place and an amazing and different experience every time I go. And I love taking my daughter there whenever I get the chance.
While no one loves seeing animals locked up in cages, it is only a fraction of the tale of this beautiful zoo. The San Diego Zoo does an amazing job with their conservation efforts. From efforts to preserve species going extinct which might die out in the wild, to education programs, to efforts to maintain habitats for these beautiful creatures who could be placed back in the wild someday. While not the best of circumstances, many of the animals at the Zoo were bound up in worse conditions prior to coming there, and would not survive on their own in the wild. This lovely park does it’s best to help these creatures survive and eventually thrive on their own someday.
With that in mind, there are tons of reasons going to the San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park is a beautiful thing to do right now, especially with your kids. It’s such a beautiful and amazing park I could probably list hundreds. But let’s go with a top ten reasons to visit the San Diego Zoo, an animal lover’s paradise.
Top Ten Reasons To Visit The San Diego Zoo: An Animal Lover’s Paradise
10) It’s A Beautiful Outdoor Place To Get Vitamin D
If you have been researching the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Coronavirus, you know by now that Vitamin D is a terrific way to ward off this disease. As much as we want to protect each other and while mask-wearing can be an aid to that end, Vitamin D just kills off the disease as quickly as anything. And getting out into the sun for you would be amazing. The San Diego Zoo is a perfect place for that.
9) While Vitamin D Friendly, There Are Plenty Of Spaces For Shade
One of the more difficult things when going to an amusement park is often the ability to get shade or air conditioning. But with most of the spots in the park you want to be at being outdoors, the ability to air condition the place for visitors becomes impossible. On the other hand, they do a really great job of having plenty of spots throughout the park having tons of shade. So while you will want the Sun Screen, remember you have plenty of places to sit down and rest as well.
8) They Provide All Kinds Of Safety Measures
If you don’t trust other human beings to do the right thing, then being around people at this point won’t work for you. But if you do trust them to want to do the right thing, and you know the park does it’s level best to make sure that happens, you can have a beautiful time at the San Diego Zoo. There is signage everywhere encouraging it. People are spaced throughout the park ensuring it happens. They have some minor shows about how to keep people safe wearing masks that happen around the park. Plenty of places exist to wash hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the park. And many of the paths have signs for one way walking to make sure no overcrowding happens.
7) It’s An Outdoor Educational Opportunity When Few Exist Right Now
While its focus may be on zoology, you cannot do better in finding a place where there are educational opportunities. You can learn about animals, their habitats, mating practices, nurturing young ones, eating habits, etc. These are all amazing on their own, and worthy of a visit. But with schools being out a bit longer, and with not even a hybrid opportunity for education being on the horizon, it’s good to find places you can take the kids to outdoors and still give them some kind of learning opportunity. In fact, I think some schools should consider using places like this in their curriculum as well.
6) Building A Love Of Animals Will Ensure Future Generations Of Conservationists
I know it seems like a bit of a paradox. Places like the zoo, where animals are penned in building a love for animals, seems a bit strange. But it’s true. Many of the people I know vehemently advocating the return of animals to their natural habitats started building that love for animals when they went to the zoo for the first time. It’s there we can build a love and appreciation for these magnificent creatures, and understand the importance of maintaining their ecosystem and place in the planet. The San Diego Zoo does such a marvelous job of providing for that love and education as well as promoting conservation.
5) San Diego Is Such A Beautiful An Amazing Place
I realize this post is about the San Diego Zoo. And it still is. But if you are looking for reasons to go there, you cannot do better than the city that it resides in. It’s such a beautiful city, right along the ocean. So many great places to go to and see. We spent the night before visiting Old Town San Diego and barely touched a fraction of what they have there. And the temperature most days of the year sits between perfection and perfection. You won’t find a more beautiful place to go and a more welcoming environment.
4) Aside From Getting Vitamin D, Exercise Does Wonders
With no sky buckets or trams to be had, it will mean a lot of walking in the zoo. And for a person who has desperately been looking for places to go to walk, with a lot of shade during this pandemic, the zoo provides the perfect opportunity. Looking for steep climbs if you are a stair stepper? No problem! Need a good long hike where you can get your ten thousand steps? Just a couple of hours there and you have it made. Need places to rest in between getting your steps because you are slowly working your way up to 10 K? They have benches and shade available for you. Plus food and drinks as well if you need to replenish. It’s a beautiful place to get a spot of exercise as well as seeing the amazing animals there.
3) It’s Not A Disney Level Expense
Don’t get me wrong. I understand those who live and die for Disneyland. And while you might be able to go to the Florida theme park, the California one is still unavailable. Add to that, Florida might scare you with Coronavirus numbers. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that Disneyland and San Diego were open right now. Which would be a more affordable day? You aren’t going to beat the San Diego Zoo. In fact, you could probably do like my daughter and I did and get a hotel room the night before, stay in San Diego, AND go to the Zoo or the Wild Animal Park, or both given the cost of Disneyland Tickets and food prices nowadays. And given the current market volatility, any way to pinch a penny in this environment sounds like a good thing.
2) There’s Nothing Like Having An Adventure With Your Kids
As a single/divorced dad, I struggle with the notion of being the weekend parent. The one who does fun things while not caring about the rest. While it’s absolutely not true, I do know the difficulty in bonding with your child, particularly as they have reached the teenage years. So, getting out of the house when they feel trapped there becomes an absolute necessity. Its then time to find something for you to engage in with your child. Board games may be an easy sell in winter with the rain coming. And we may get there eventually. But in the summer with a nice beautiful day? Not so much. Getting out and engaging with your kids is a beautiful thing. And you cannot do better than doing it at the San Diego Zoo.
1) Welcome To The Jungle: An Animal Lover’s Paradise
Well, it would only make sense, right? You would be going to the Zoo because of the animals. I think my daughter would be saying right about now, “Duh! Daddy!” Yes. You are going there because of the animals. They have so many amazing ones. While the Pandas may no longer be there, you have Koalas, Lions, Apes, Giraffes, Hippos, Polar Bears, Penguins, etcetera, etcetera . . . They have them all out there in as natural habitat as possible. And seeing the monkeys get into some exciting bit of game playing and roughhousing takes me back to the days with my brother as a kid.
You go to the zoo to learn about animals. And the San Diego Zoo has a bevy of amazing and beautiful animals to behold. It’s what it’s all about. Seeing the amazing miracle of nature and all the beautiful creatures in it. Whether spiritual or not, there is always something breathtaking about seeing these beautiful creatures up close. And knowing the people involved are doing their dead-level best to make sure they thrive into the next millennia as well. We love the San Diego Zoo for those darned amazing animals. Mic dropped.
Wrapping Up Welcome To The Jungle: An Animal Lover’s Paradise
Yes, there are many amazing different reasons to visit the San Diego Zoo. Not least of which are the safety precautions they have there right now. But nothing will top the amazing animals which they have in store. All of the natural beauty out there, you cannot do better than that. I know I call it an animal lover’s paradise. And that it is. And hopefully, it will continue to be so long after I shuffle off this mortal coil. Continuing to preserve the natural beauty and wonder which we have available on the planet every day.
Taking On Welcome To The Jungle: An Animal Lover’s Paradise
What animal would you love to see the most? What are your biggest concerns going out right now during this time? Do you think you would be willing to go to the zoo if you felt like the right safety precautions were in place? Have you ever been to San Diego and if so, what did you think?
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Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, The Single Dad’s Guide to Life