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Old 03-12-2011, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lilycharm View Post
Years ago before I had kids I used to work at Zoo Atlanta, so let me offer you my perspective.

If you want to see animals at their most active, go when the zoo first opens or during cooler weather. The animals are particularly slower moving the hotter it gets (and wouldn't you be, too??!!). When you arrive, make sure you pick up the map or flyer with the events/activity times. Feeding and training sessions are fun to catch as are Animal Encounters.

Everyone wants to see active animals, but that is just not the natural state of animals (including humans) all day long. To force them to perform for visitors on a constant basis would stress those animals out. But to add interest to their day, they are offered enrichment activities (toys, puzzles to solve, food treats) and you might enjoy observing that.

As long as the weather is conducive, the pandas have access to their outdoor habitats as well. Again, if the weather is too hot or too cold, the pandas are kept inside because they just aren't made for those conditions. If I were a guest and wanted to see the pandas, I would make sure to go there first or during a panda event like feeding. But even with the best conditions, sometimes pandas and other animals just choose to hang out. I agree that the Orangutans are a great active exhibit, especially if you can catch them when they are first coming out you seem them swinging over ropes and climbing up the heights. Since Orangutans live in trees in the wild, you often have to look up to see them. The Gorillas are fun to watch, too, especially when there are some young ones in the exhibit.

To the person who said they would rather see the animals living in the wild, believe it or not, so would many zoos. You may not be aware of this, but at this point, accreditted zoos don't actively take animals out of the wild to put them in a zoo. There is an active a breeding program that accredited zoos across the country belong to. It keeps the animal population healthy and genetically diverse. So if Zoo Atlanta has a female lion that would produce a healthy genetic litter when paired with a male lion from say the National Zoo, she moves there. I used to refer to it as the Zoo animal dating game. I believe it would be more correct to say that zoos "house" animals as opposed to own them. The goal is to keep species thriving. Many species have lost significant habitat due to man ever-increasing ours. The dwindling numbers in the wild are almost all man-caused. The zoo populations are usually self-sustaining - which means zoo animals are bred with other zoo animals. Exceptions might be a rescued animal.

Also, zoos do have programs where they release animals into the wild. At Zoo Atlanta, one such program is (or at least we had it while I was there) is the Golden Lion Tamarin (not a lion at all, but a cute as can be monkey).

Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium have done cross promotions in the past. It's worth searching the internet to see if there is one going on currently.

Zoo Atlanta does charge admission, but without government funding like other zoos have, that and donations are how they operate.

Have a great visit. Remember, if you don't like the food choices there, you can always pack a lunch or snack and eat at the tables or on a bench.

Awesome post, Lily.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:59 PM
 
Location: International Spacestation
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Yea thats pretty solid.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:47 PM
 
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Went today, they had a real good time, the baby gorilla and baby panda were up close, weather was great.
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