A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zoos you have been to (#atozchallenge)

Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings.
Evan Esar

English: I took photo in Garden City, KS, with...
Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zoos you have been to...

     This is something that can certainly be metaphorical by nature, but I won't even explore those kinds of zoos.  A to Z might be viewed as a zoo as well--so many blog topics and posts brought together in the common realm of an April event.   I'll also leave out the many petting zoos, circus menageries, or other animal collections I've visited.  Instead I'll stay on the expected topic--zoos that I've visited.

       Not only have I been to many zoos in my lifetime, there are many zoos that I think I've been to but I can't exactly remember for sure.  After so many years things of this nature can run together somewhat.  For example, I'm pretty sure that I've been to the Chicago Zoo and the Toronto Zoo, but I'm not going to lay any money on those.  Maybe I was just thinking about going and ended up not going.  I'm sure those are great zoos, but frankly I can remember anything specific about them.

         My first zoos might have been the ones in Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I would have been very young when I lived in those cities and it seems logical that any decent parent would take their small child to the local zoo.  I seem to vaguely recall going to one or both of those zoos but I can't say for sure so maybe I should move on to the ones I definitely know I visited.

        The first zoo that stands out in my memory is the world famous San Diego Zoo.  That's a world class zoo if you're not familiar with it so that's a good zoo to start out with if you go to visit a zoo.   When I first went it was in the early 1960's.  I probably went to that zoo at least three times during that period when I lived there.  Later in the 1990's when I moved to Los Angeles, I took my own children to the San Diego Zoo which by that time was even bigger and better.  If you want to see an outstanding zoo you should make a point of seeing the one in San Diego if you're anywhere near that area.  I might add here that San Diego makes for an excellent vacation destination since there is so much to see there.

        One of the oddest zoos I've visited was the one in Garden City, Kansas. Known as the Lee Richardson Zoo, this attraction has a very decent collection of animals and the best thing is that visiting this zoo is free.  Garden City is not a destination vacation spot by any means.  I was only there because we used to play the town on our road show tours and each time I was there I went to the zoo.  Not much else to do there after all and looking at the animals was an interesting way to pass time before it was time to go set up for the evening show.

         When I lived in Maryville, Tennessee I visited the nearby Knoxville Zoo.  This is another fine zoo to visit with about 800 animals on display.  I haven't been there in many years, but from what I understand many improvements have been made to make the zoo a great experience for visitors.

          The zoo that I've visited most recently is the Los Angeles Zoo.  This zoo is not as impressive as the one in San Diego, but they are making an effort to make the zoo a pleasant experience for visitors.  This zoo is owned and managed by the city of Los Angeles and is part of the vast Griffith Park complex of attractions.  It's a busy place where watching the people can be almost as interesting as watching the animals.  People watching is probably entertaining to the animals as well.

          So with zoo we come to an end of another Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  It's been fun and hope you've enjoyed learning a few more things about who I am as well as thinking about who you are.  Yes, A to Z has been like a blogging zoo for sure.   And don't forget my one last A to Z post on this site.  Next Saturday I'll present my A to Z Reflections post and then after that it's back to business as usual.  Some of it might be monkey business.  Just like a visit to the zoo.

          Do you enjoy visiting zoos?   What zoos have you visited?    What is the best zoo that you've been to or heard about?



  1. I honestly don't care much for them, although I've been to Bronx Zoo, San Francisco, Oakland...when Marine World Africa USA existed they had animals. And I went to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma before I moved. It makes me sad to see these animals in tiny, run down habitats. My parents took me to some wildlife park in Florida once. I didn't care for that. The best wildlife park I've ever seen is Northwest Trek in Eatonville, wA. They have the run of the place, although the bears and wolves have fenced enclosures but at least it's natural.

    1. JoJo, I definitely prefer to see animals in a nice environment. Natural is the best.


  2. I've already mentioned my opinion of zoos in your Tossing It Out post but to reiterate: I feel sorry for the animals, having been snatched away from their natural habitats to spend a lifetime behind bars being gawked at by countless people. I know zoos serve a purpose but it breaks my heart every time I go to one. For that reason, I haven't been to that many: I've been to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, the Buffalo Zoo and the Austin Zoo.
    BTW, I feel the same way about aquariums where I had a horrible experience at the Austin Aquarium just a few years ago in which one of the crabs attacked and ate a starfish right in front of us onlookers. We couldn't do anything about it but watch in horror and yell for the staff to come. By the time they got there it was too late. Now why, if crabs are known to feast on starfish, why would they be housed TOGETHER?? The folks who work at this particular aquarium are supposed to have degrees in the industry (ocean and aquatic life sciences). That was very upsetting. I even called PETA about it (because there had been much controversy about the Austin Aquarium even opening as the owners, who run several other aquariums around the country, had been cited for animal neglect).

    I'm against any kind of animal exploitation (horse racing, dog racing, circus elephants and other circus act animals, etc). Let the animals live their lives as God intended...

    Lee, I didn't make it over to this blog of yours as often as I wanted to and will have to go back and check out some of your posts. It's been a crazy month. Thanks for all your hard work: this is a dynamite event!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Michele, I know there is plenty of controversy in the way animals are treated. I'm not as extreme as some on this and having been raised around circuses and animal trainers I have a very different point of view from those who are against this.

      I will say that certain animals eat other animals and the natural world can appear to be very cruel at times. But it's nature so I'm not going to judge the animals for what they do. I certainly against any outright abuse to animals that is unnatural.


  3. I'm in two minds about zoos. I used to love visiting but now I'm more ambivalent. Having said that I think they do a critical job in caring for wildlife and for breeding endangered species. What I hate to see is a zoo where the animal paces the cage boundaries.

    Last week I visited Melbourne Zoo and parts were good and parts were too cramped and old fashioned. I was determined not to like Australia Zoo (of Steve Irwin fame...a man I totally disliked!) but they have space and the setup is good and not crowded for animals or humans. I loathed the stupidity of their crocodile,show though.

    I saw San Diego zoo back in the 80s but had our funniest experience at Amsterdam zoo in spring time with two kids <7 - the animals were very amorous and I was wishing the Dutch didn't speak English so well ;)

    Sydney Zoo has a prime position for the giraffes as they look out over the harbour. Spectacular! Dubbo zoo is good because it has lots of land so more space for the animals...you can even have a sleep-over there for $$$$.

    But the best non-zoo was visiting the Masai Mara a few years ago and seeing all my favourite animals in the wild (apart from tigers).

    1. Paula, if you can see the animals in the wild that is definitely the ultimate and best experience for all. But as you say there is a duality regarding the zoos. I've been to several, but I am by no means a regular zoo goer.


  4. I love zoos and have been to several across the U.S. My favorite when I was young was the St. Louis zoo. I think my overall favorite now is the one in San Diego.

    1. Patricia, the San Diego Zoo is outstanding. I've got to go back one day.



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