When I was little, my mom and I would go to the Little Rock zoo (and it was great!), but we really don't have a zoo close to us back home.
While I think, in a perfect world, animals would be safe and protected in the wild, that's not the world we live in. And the Memphis Zoo does an amazing job of putting their animals in large, spacious, almost wild-like enclosures.
Plus, it's freaking awesome.
We love the zoo. I'm a member now, and my whole family tries to come down and go once or twice a year at least. Since it's so close to my house, I've definitely been known to pop over for an impromptu visit, and the special events (Zoo Brew in particular) are great.
The zoo is right in the middle of Midtown, in Overton Park, and is over 100 years old.
From the Overton Park website:
As you can see here, the zoo is massive.
So of course I took a TON of pictures!
*Entrance. A lot of stuff is Egyptian themed. Memphis and all.
*Obelisk at the entrance.
*We went to the Northwest Passage and Teton Trek first. This is a statue of Chief Seattle - one of the best things about the Memphis Zoo is the beauty of it and how elements like this, and the whole Northwest Passage, are integrated.
*And of course my brother and I had to take a selfie.
**Also, I taught him well - look at that Smashing Pumpkins shirt!
A lot of the animals have huge areas to roam around in, like the giraffes:
*I'm sure I look this awkward a lot of the time.
*This is only a small part of the enclosure. They have a ton of room.
*Other animals in the "African Veldt" also have a lot of room, and some live in a very large enclosure together.
After the African Veldt, we went to look at the monkeys. Lisa, Heath's girlfriend, likes them. My mom and I aren't huge fans.
Actually, that's an understatement.
I'm terrified of monkeys.
I saw Planet of the Apes when I was too little.
Actually, the original was scary. But one of the sequels, "Escape from the Planet of the Apes" did me in.
Just no. I'll never forget the scene where...well, I'll let you be terrified without any spoilers.
And when I was an adult, I saw "Congo."
I get it. They're beautiful majestic creatures.
Who also look too much like people and scare me.
Anyway, at the zoo, right as I was about to take a picture, this happened:
*Yeah. No thanks.
In less scary animals - PANDAS!!!
The Memphis Zoo has a whole area devoted to Chinese wildlife, including pandas, in a really neat themed area of the park.
*Sorry they're blurry - no flash around the pandas! Or any of the animals, since it can hurt their eyes.
*That's the life.
After the pandas, we took a little break and visited the gift shop, and sat for a bit. It's a lot of walking!
And took selfies of our shoes...
*I would absolutely risk the glass disappearing if the next step was "You're a wizard, Amber." I'm still maintaining that my Hogwarts invitation got lost in the mail.
*I know culture doesn't really matter to the snakes, but the way each exhibit is set up is awesome.
Now for my favorite animal - PENGUINS!!!!!
*The little bands are so they can keep track of who each penguin is.
After all that excitement my mom and I took a selfie.
*She thinks we don't look alike. Ha, okay.
Probably my second favorite part of the zoo are the cats. They used to be housed in cages, but Commercial Appeal Cat Country, which has about 3 acres of room, opened 20 years ago, and it's great.
This is also where the meerkats are:
*Yeah, I burst into tears reading this.
*OMG IT'S SO FLUFFY.
I love the tigers too.
*And their enclosure is great.
When we left, I was actually able to use that day's admission to get my membership, making a dual membership only $40 for the year. You get all kinds of discounts, and the zoo is really a gem in our city and just a great place to go.
Also, although we were going to Central after and didn't go, there are a ton of places to eat, get snacks, buy souvenirs, and so on. Basically if you had Amusement Park Tycoon, and built the perfect park, this would be it. I even had a friend get married at Teton Trek - that's how beautiful it is!
Zoo trip anyone?