I wanted to make one other comment before leaving the Seattle Zoo. Although I’ve focused on birds because of my recent interest in birding, the excellent ape exhibits actually seemed the most impressive.
Woodland Park’s gorilla Bobo was a mainstay of the zoo when I was younger. His popularity led to a major display, one of the first to provide “natural habitat” at the zoo. It’s gotten even better since I last visited it, and if we’d been a little luckier Lael and I would have seen the new baby gorilla. As it was, I enjoyed watching the gorillas “foraging” for food, particularly watching this one use a stick to retrieve a piece of fruit that had floated down the stream.
I’ll have to admit, though, that I was more impressed by the orangutan exhibit, which provided a widely-varied environment. While trying to sight an orangutan, I was amazed to see this young orangutan emerge from this gunny sack that it had covered itself with.
The zoo has done an admirable job of providing natural settings and varied activities in many of its exhibits. In doing so, they’ve managed to show the animals off in a much better light than neurotic, caged animals. It may be annoying when animals choose to disappear the day you choose to go the zoo, but it seems much more rewarding when you can observe them in what appears to be a “natural” setting. I was particularly impressed by the number of apes that I saw using “tools” to get food.