As we have been preparing to move to Omaha, everyone kept talking about the Henry Doorly Zoo. It also appears in absolutely everything you get promoting the city and the state and its tourism. And, I have to admit, it looked really cool every time we drove by.
So, for the one day of our vacation when we said "no business!" and that we were going to take the entire day just for us, we went to the Omaha zoo.
And thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
We arrived early on a cloudy, misty day and said if we got tired, we weren't going to force ourselves to stay the entire day, but, guess what? We stayed till closing. And, honestly, we never really got all that tired. It is broken up nicely and there were plenty of opportunities for rest, that one didn't get exhausted (something that often happens to me when walking the vast backside of the OKC zoo).
Here's what we liked most about the zoo:
1) It was far more interactive with the animals than any zoo we've ever been too. Meaning that often there was no barrier between you and some of the animals, like this tamarin which was only a foot from my on the railing in the rain forest exhibit.
2) The elaborately designed exhibit buildings, particularly therain forest and the desert dome.
3) The whimsical touches, like this hanging bridge:
4) The fun experiences created for you. We especially enjoyed (but couldn't take pictures of) the Swamp in the Kingdoms of the Night exhibit. This entire night exhibit was remarkable, including the giant indoor cavern! But the swamp section was one of our favourites because it was kinda fun spooky. You could see the alligators and crocs and caymans in the water, but every now and then you'd hear movement in the water below you and couldn't see anything. Fun spooky!
The one experience like this that really did creep us out was theinsect house. Here in OKC it is a cinder block room with everything in glass aquariums. It never bothers me. In Omaha the room is bright and airy with trees and shrubs and flowers and all sorts of greenery hanging over you and brushing your neck, while you are looking in said glass aquariums. Creepy! Add to that the sign upon entering which directed you too look up at the golden spiders on their webs and promised that they don't come off them. And then you walk in, look up, and there's this spider on its web right above you!
5) The interestingly different animals. They didn't specialize in the typical big animals like elephants, zebras, lions, etc. But had all sorts of interesting species I have never seen before. Lots and lots of lemurs (an entire Madagascar exhibit opened this year), interesting bears and many different kinds of monkeys, and more. This rodent-like animal is actually a relative of the elephant!
My next post will simply be a bunch of pictures from our day at the zoo.