As a longtime zoo afficionado, I was very excited to get to visit the San Diego Zoo last Sunday, reported by many to be one of the finest zoos in the country, if not the world. However I was a bit concerned about the crowds, since this is a primary destination for tourists visiting San Diego. I pictured fighting through crowds of crying children to see each animal.
I shouldn't have been worried. Arriving at opening time, combined with the rainy, chilly February weather, meant that I had the whole park nearly to myself for the most of the morning. Lines were nonexistent and the mood was calm and quiet.
True to the reports, this is one of the best zoos I have ever been to. The habitats were well designed and evocative of the native locales; there were no bars or cages in sight. The staff were to-a-person pleasant and eager to inform, from the guide who let me handle a snake to the panda keeper who urged us to keep quiet to avoid waking the new baby panda. The informational signs and interactive displays were clearly laid out and engaging for both children and adults.
I'm looking forward to coming back and visiting the Wild Animal Park.