Panda Bears and so much more at the San Diego Zoo!


Xiao Liwu baby panda San Diego Zoo
Xiao Liwu

Now that I have you attention lets focus on what the massive San Diego Zoo has to offer (it spans 100 acres!). Yes Panda Bears for one – they have four, including a very cute baby male called Xiao Liwu who was born on July 29th, 2012. The adults are  Bai Yun, Gao Gao and Yun Zi. But these are just a fraction of the various animals you can see at the zoo.

San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
Xiao Liwu baby panda San Diego Zoo
Xiao Liwu
Xiao Liwu baby panda San Diego Zoo
Xiao Liwu comes down to see his Mum
panda San Diego Zoo
Pandas – so much fun!
panda San Diego Zoo
Pandas eat a lot of bamboo and for most of the day
panda San Diego Zoo
Just chillin
panda San Diego Zoo
I love bamboo

There are over 4,000 animals from 800 different species within the zoo from regions including Africa, Asia, Australia, Central America, Europe, North America, the Pacific Islands and South America. Zoos are not for everyone but the San Diego Zoo does their best to provide as natural as possible and interesting enclosures for their animals. Some such as the Lowland Gorillas and African Elephants in particular have very large well-kept enclosures that are as natural for the animals as possible, which is great to see.

Python San Diego Zoo
Eyes of the Python
Python San Diego Zoo
A huge Python!
Visayan warty pig San Diego Zoo
Visayan warty pig (from the Philippines) – love the mohawk!
Okapi San Diego Zoo
Okapi – quite an unusual looking animal – sort of a mix between a Zebra and a Giraffe!
African Elephant San Diego Zoo
African Elephant looking for some food
African Elephant San Diego Zoo
Got it!
Female Lowland Gorilla San Deigo Zoo
Female Lowland Gorilla
Gharial San Diego Zoo
babirusa San Diego Zoo
Babirusa San Diego Zoo
Babirusa – quite a unique Asian creature
Warthog San Diego Zoo
Warthog – ugly yet adorable
Llama San Diego Zoo
Bactrian Camel San Diego Zoo
Bactrian Camel from the rugged Russian Steppes
Giraffe San Diego Zoo

The zoo will be opening a special Australian Outback exhibit later this year. It was a work in progress during my visit but looks like it will be great. There were a few Aussie animals on display including Kangaroos, Kookaburra’s and Koalas.

Koala San Diego Zoo
An Aussie Koala doing what they do best……sleep

Apart from Panda’s there are a number of Bear species on display including Andean, Grizzly, ManchurianPolar and Sun Bears. Watching a Polar Bear eat a giant pile of carrots was an entertaining way to pass some time (he looked very content!).

panda San Diego Zoo
You can never have enough Panda action!
Polar Bear San Diego Zoo
Who knew Polar Bears liked carrots?
polar bear San Diego Zoo
Actually by the looks of it they love carrots!
Polar Bear San Diego Zoo
A very content Polar Bear
Sun Bear San Diego Zoo
A Sun Bear very engrossed in its Rock Melon / cantaloupe
Manchurian Brown Bear Grizzly San Diego Zoo
Manchurian Brown Bear

Big Cats are also predominate with African Lions, Malayan Tigers, Leopards (including Snow Leopards), Jaguars, Puma and others on display. I was lucky to see most of these as often they are hidden out of view sleeping during the day. On my recent visit they were mostly very active.

Lion San Diego Zoo
The stern look of a Lioness
Lion San Diego Zoo
Check out that tounge! Massive!
Malayan Tiger San Diego Zoo
Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger San Diego Zoo
Look at those teeth!
Malayan Tiger San Diego Zoo
Do not get in the way of a Malayan Tiger and it’s meal!
Leopard San Diego Zoo
Let sleeping Leopards lay
Jaguar San Diego Zoo
Jaguars San Diego Zoo
Jaguars frolicking

The Great Apes are a major feature of the San Diego Zoo. Along with the Gorillas there are also Orangutans, Bonobos (once known as the Pygmy Chimpanzee) Baboons and many other species of Ape and Monkey to see. To come so close to a huge Silverback Lowland Gorilla looking back at me through the glass wall was quite an experience!

Silverback Lowland Gorilla San Diego Zoo
The big Silverback Lowland Gorilla
Lowland Gorilla San Diego Zoo
Heres looking at you kid
hand Lowland Gorilla San Diego Zoo
The amazing hand of a Silverback
Lowland Gorillas relaxing San Diego Zoo
Lowland Gorillas relaxing
Sleeping Silverback Gorilla San Diego Zoo
Sleeping Silverback
Orangutan San Diego Zoo
Bonobo Chimp San Diego Zoo
Bonobo Pygmy Chimpanzee San Diego Zoo
Wise old soul
Allens Swamp Monkey San Diego Zoo
Allens Swamp Monkey San Diego Zoo

The zoo also displays a multitude of birds from the very small to Eagles and huge Andean and Californian Condors. There are many aviaries and enclosures dotted around the zoo, and as always birds are busy creatures going about their daily business. The Californian Condors almost seemed to be showing off with their massive wingspan!

Flamingos San Diego Zoo
Stellers Sea Eagles San Diego zoo
Stellers Sea Eagles
Californian Condor wingspan San Diego Zoo
Californian Condors

Given the size of the San Diego Zoo it is a full day excursion and well worth it. Given this is America, there are plenty of forms of transport to move those who don’t want to leg it around the 100 acres of the zoo. As I said earlier zoos are not for everyone, but this is certainly one of the best in the world and well worth visiting on a trip to San Diego.

Giraffes San Diego Zoo

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