By the time we got into the line to take the Skyfari back to the Polar Bear Plunge, the crowds at the Zoo had grown. A lot longer line at the Skyfari was the first indication, but once off the ride, so were the numbers of people in front of the white bears.
This big guy decided that a sun bath would be a great idea, too. One improvement I noticed, since the Polar Bears moved into nicer quarters at the Zoo, was that their white fur didn't have as much green as it used to have. The chlorine always turned the bears' fur blue, or green.
San Diego Zoo 100 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
From there, we made our way to an animal that I've never seen: the pandas. When we were here before, years ago, the pandas were never out. I don't believe I've ever seen them in other zoos, either. So the 20-25 minute wait was worthwhile. While standing in line, I got to talking with the people behind us. We had several places in common, where we've lived over the years. Small world!
San Diego Zoo 122 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
On the Monkey Trail:
San Diego Zoo 130 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
This big fella decided to entertain us by rolling from one end of his enclosure to the other, right in front of the observation window!
San Diego Zoo 131 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
This gal (white ones are female) just had to hang around and check out all the people who were watching her, including us:
San Diego Zoo 146 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
This spoonbill entertained us by playing with a little piece of wood.
San Diego Zoo 147 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
The gorilla habitat - Large, beautiful, green. This is what San Diego Zoo does best: shows off critters in an environment that is similar to what they'd live in, in the wild.
San Diego Zoo 155 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
Look carefully. In this picture, under that pink "wheel" (on its side), is a hippo.
San Diego Zoo 161 by jeanniesisters, on Flickr
This is where we decided to head back to the car and go home. We'd been at the Zoo for a good 6 hours, I had more than 5 miles on my pedometer, and we were *tired*. Looking at the map, we know that the next trip to the Zoo will bring us up to see the tigers, the tortoises, and so much more that we missed. Seeing the Zoo is probably a 2-day visit for many people -- it's that large, and with all the walking necessary, it takes time. There is a double-decker bus tour (which is extra cost, but it's nominal), or you can opt for a more private cart tour (also extra cost, quite a bit more than the bus), one of which can take you "backstage". (A very long time ago, I took a group of school children on a backstage tour of the Zoo. It was very interesting for me, and definitely for the kids since they got to see some animals a little closer up than you might see them in the Zoo itself.)