The San Diego Zoo is celebrating it's 100th Birthday! We popped over to join Bambi for a sketching field trip. A lot has changed at the Zoo, over one hundred years, and plenty in the nearly fifty years since I've been going... but one thing remains the same... You always begin with the flamingos! I'm glad this is still the same, for sentimental reasons. The entire zoo is dear and familiar, like an old friend, and their changes and developments are always thoughtful improvements, but still... flamingos first, because that's how it is, and should be.
After you greet the flamingos, and contemplate their beaks, their pink feathers, the way their ankles are where you'd expect their knees to be, then you can feel free to pull out your map, and pick a direction. Any direction. The San Diego Zoo is spectacular, whichever way you go!
After seeing tortoises, hippos, bonobos, otters, okapi, gorillas, and lots of birds, we settled in with the leopards, especially the snow leopards.
Maria was glad that the big cats were still enough to be sketched. Alex brought out paints, and Bambi made as many sketches and recordings as she needed for her life drawing class.
It's nice to stay awhile with one particular exhibit. After twenty, thirty, forty minutes you are sure to observe behaviors and activity that you would likely otherwise miss. A keeper came by to bribe one big cat with treats, so she could administer some kind of medicine. It was fascinating to see her engagement with this wild animal... it was a negotiation that took a lot of patience on her part. Seeing her success was worth the wait.