There is nothing quite like a day at the zoo. Exotic animals and happy children, the zoo is just the place for animal lovers and quality family time. Since Las Vegas is sadly no longer home to a zoo and we recently explored the abandoned remains of the Old Los Angeles Zoo, it seems only fair to follow up with a trip to the “new” Los Angeles Zoo. Instead of eerie quite cages, this one has live animals and is full of life and energy.
Upon arrival, the zoo’s exterior looks almost like a theme park. Surprisingly, they have a free parking lot but it fills up fast. There is a premium lot where for $8 you can get a closer and easier spot. However, the attendants to the premium lot leave after that lot is filled and once the spaces begin to open up afterwards, you can park there for free as well.
The gorilla habitat was a personal favorite. It seems fairly large and has a couple pf different spots to view these humongous primates. Everyone knows gorillas are big, but seeing them in person is quite another story. An adult male can weigh as much as 440 pounds and stand six feet tall when standing upright, according to The worldwildlife.org. While they don’t look like it, these giants are actually vegetarians and fairly docile so long as they don’t feel threatened. Nonetheless, I would not want to encounter one in the wild.
Unfortunately many of the more well-known animals were either sleeping or staying inside. A pride of lions were lounging in their enclosure, and the hippos were huddled together taking a nap as well. The elephants and giraffes were out and about though, and various monkeys were bouncing around as monkeys do.
The reptile and invertebrate rooms were also quite impressive. We have plenty of rattlesnakes to go around in the desert around Las Vegas, but there various other species that live in other regions of the Americas were very interesting to see. Salamanders, scorpions, poison dart frogs, and Gila monsters were also to be found safely behind glass. It is very rare to see one, but Gila monsters do live in Southern Nevada.
The markhor, a breed of wild goat native to Afghanistan and the Himalayas, was absolutely stunning. With a kingly mane of silver hair and spiraling horns, they unlike any goat you have ever seen.
Since the Las Vegas Zoo closed its doors four years ago, we have not had an actual zoo. We have a good many animal relate attractions, and they’re all well worth seeing, but it is just not the same as a day at the zoo. Hopefully one day Las Vegas will have a city zoo again, but until then the Los Angeles Zoo is just a few hours away!
The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, California 90027. It is within Griffith Park and adjacent to Glendale and Ontario. There are many dinning option in the area but I highly recommend Casa de Ramos.