To the {Woodland Park} Zoo!

Zoos are one of those things I love and really dislike all at the same time.  (Well, unless we’re talking about the Kuwait zoo, that is… Sadly, that one would have to fall into the category of ‘really dislike’ more than anything else… Animals from all over the world all kept in dry, desert-esque habitats with school children harassing them and visitors feeding them ice cream and popcorn is just not my idea of animal-friendly.) So when I found out that we were staying outside of downtown Seattle this weekend, very close to the Woodland Park Zoo, I had mixed emotions about going.  On one hand, I knew Gracen would love visiting.  She’s a true animal lover and it would be a chance to see many of the animals in person for the very first time.  On the other hand, I knew that leaving feeling terribly for animals kept in small, non-natural confines was a real possibility (I obviously hadn’t done much looking into the Woodland Park Zoo beforehand).  

I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised.  The Woodland Park Zoo is the least zoo-ish zoo I’ve ever visited.  And I mean that in the very best way possible.  

Because it spans 92 acres, its {more than} 1000 animals have tons of space to live and roam as they would in their true habitats.  And the best part? There are no tiny plexiglass confines or cages in sight.  In fact, most of the animals live in fields and forests so giant that visitors can only see small parts of them (though many can be accessed from several sides and have designated viewing areas).  It’s hard to describe, but it felt as though we were visitors to the animals’ environment, rather than them being the visitors in our environment.  It was peaceful. And beautiful.

And we had a wonderful time.  

Here’s our morning in {a ridiculous number of} photos (try to ignore the fog and smudgy fingerprinted glass)… 

IMG 0602IMG 0476 2A Hip a Hip a HippopatomusIMG 0482IMG 0484IMG 0492IMG 0498IMG 0500ElephantElephant LoveIMG 0529SiamangIMG 0550OrangatangIMG 0557IMG 0564Wolf  HawkIMG 0578I Spy an OwlIMG 0579Brown Bear Brown BearIMG 0589IMG 0593

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