Saturday, February 27, 2016

Houston Zoo

Our second day in Houston we headed for the zoo. We rode the Metro again since it is so convenient. But when we arrived at the stop and tried to buy tickets the machine said there were no tickets available??? Meanwhile the electronic sign said the train was arriving in one minute. We rushed to the other end of the platform to the other ticket machine but it was totally dead. The train arrived, we looked at each other, and got on. Only to find there were two ticket inspectors right in front of us. We stood next to them the whole trip feeling guilty! I gave Shelley a hard time about her new life of crime :-)

Google Maps told us to get off at one stop, but there was a stop labelled "Houston Zoo" which we figured had to be the right one. No, Google was right. The zoo entrance nearest the zoo stop wasn't the main one and it wasn't open. Oh well, it was a nice walk through the park!

The zoo is quite large, both in area and in animals, but I wouldn't say it was one of my favorites. We found the layout confusing, and it seemed like there were less opportunities to take photos without dirty glass or bars. And there were even more huge groups of screaming school kids than usual. But it was a nice sunny day and there was lots to enjoy.

When we first walked in, one of the zoo staff had an African Pygmy Falcon out on her arm.

African pygmy falcon

I always like to see the meerkats. There were lots of them and they were lively running around.


Sea jellies (not "jellyfish" since they're not fish) are fascinating creatures. This time I made a more abstract image. It almost looks like smoke.

sea jelly

The chimpanzees were out enjoying the morning sun. It was a bit cool so they were carrying blankets around with them and spent most of their time wrapped up in them. Black and white seemed to fit the mood of their expressions.


Even the orangutan was looking pensive.


You don't usually see the rhinos lying down, let alone in a bunch.


Like many zoos, you could pay extra to feed the giraffes. Even if you don't participate, it's often a good chance to get some close up shots of them. But today the giraffes were on strike and refusing to come over to be feed. The keepers weren't quite sure what the issue was. Maybe they wanted to renegotiate their contract :-)  But there were ostriches in with the giraffes so I took more shots of them instead. (with nice back light)


Usually the lions are sleeping, but we were lucky to have one in a lively mood. It went in the water several times, played with some floating balls and drums, wrestling them out of the pool. And we were lucky to find a viewing spot with no glass or bars.


The cougar (mountain lion) wasn't so lively, but still beautiful.


Outside the zoo is a nice big park with a lake in it. There were some funny looking geese/ducks around.


And we were surprised to see a beaver in the lake. It didn't seem at all concerned about all the people around.


For more photos see all 21 photos as a slideshow or overview

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