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Don’t forget the zoo…

The San Diego Zoo is world renowned.   I wasn’t sure we’d have time to fit it in, but Dan convinced me that we couldn’t go all the way to San Diego and not see the zoo.  So we did.

And it was pretty awesome.  It was huge and boasted some pretty amazing animals.  The kind that no matter how many times you’ve seen them, they take your breath away.  For me they are the giraffes and the lions.  And the elephants.  Oh, and the tigers.

But my all-time favourite little zoo critter is the koala.  Who is not a bear, by the way.  But they are beyond cute and also very sleepy.  Did you know that due to their super slow metabolic rate, they sleep for almost 22 hours a day?

But we didn’t stand a chance.  And we’ve discovered this before but totally forgot – never visit the zoo in the mid-afternoon.  You end up seeing a lot of this:

Dan’s favourite animal, on the other hand, did not disappoint with an afternoon visit.  No, the meercat was WIDE awake.  But it turns out that it is actually his job to stay alert.  There is always one on duty, watching for predators, protecting the pack.

That day it was this little dude’s job.

Hello, Little Dude.  Thanks for having us.

On our way out, we stopped at the gift shop.  There were several located all over the zoo, but this one was slightly more high-end.  Real gifts, rather than kitschy souvenirs.  Throughout the day I had noticed these amazing wire sculptures throughout the zoo.  I hadn’t thought much about them at the time, but each one was awesome.  And then, in the gift shop, there was a whole section of them.  I had to have one.  It couldn’t be too big, we would have to carry it on a plane and then cram it into our already jam-packed car on the way back to Ottawa, but I was going to try to make it work.

I picked the rhino.

And it wasn’t until we were at the cash that we were informed of just how cool these sculptures were.  Turns out that they are what’s called ‘snare wire art’ and the wire used to fashion these amazing sculptures is taken from poaching traps and turned into something beautiful.

Illegal snares, basically any wire poachers can find, are collected and turned over to the center for use in crafts. Selling the product puts funds in the pockets of local villagers who may typically get by on subsistence farming. This also removes the snare wires from future use by poachers.”   Painted Dog Conservation

Double duty gifts are twice as awesome.  Not only is the sculpture amazing, but the purchase actually gives back.  Love that.

My rhino made it home very safely but has yet to find a permanent home.  Will post a picture once he’s all set up.




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