San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Elephants)

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Offline shyguy

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San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Elephants)
« on: November 14, 2018, 01:21 PM »
Elephant Odyssey



This is an updated, more in depth tour of the Elephant Odyssey area at the San Diego Zoo. This section opened on May 23, 2009 and features a 2.5 acre elephant habitat. Elephant Odyssey also features sculptures of prehistoric animals from Southern California's ancient past alongside its present day counterparts including lions, jaguars, tapirs, guanacos, cabybaras, camels, and California condors.



The Elephant Odyssey section is based on the animals from Southern California's past. This sign depicts the area as it was 12,000 years ago.



This sign depicts the animals of today.



The most recent addition is not inside the area, but one that takes you to it.



Opened in 2017, the new 70 foot high, 450 foot long Basher Bridge spans one of the zoo's many canyon's, providing a more convenient, and breathtaking, way to get to the Elephant Odyssey. It was dedicated to Army veteran Jim Bashor and his wife, who established the Bashor Family Patriots Fund—an endowment that permanently guarantees that active duty armed forces personnel are granted unlimited admission to both the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 01:25 PM by shyguy »
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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (California Condor)
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 01:44 PM »
California Condor



While the Bashor Bridge takes guest to the west entrance of Elephant Odyssey, we're going to start at the east entrance, in which guests are greeted by the area's first exhibit, the California Condor.



The California Condor was on the brink of extinction in 1980s when there were only 22 known living birds in the wild. Led by the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park's breeding program, the world's population of the condors has grown to over 400. They are still endangered, but their future is looking very positive today.






There are two condors on display here. They are members of the vulture family. Their heads are bald due to the fact that, like all vultures, they feed mostly on carrion, and it is easier for them to keep their heads clean.



This sign explains a little about the zoo's condor breeding program.



There are other informative signs throughout the exhibit.



One of the zoo's many volunteers is on hand to answer questions at the Condor Station.



One of the area's many prehistoric sculptures is displayed nearby. This is Merriam's Terator, an extinct bird of prey that weighed 30 pounds and had a wingspan of 10-12 feet.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 01:47 PM by shyguy »
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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Rattlesnakes)
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 02:14 PM »
Rattlesnake Exhibit



Sharing space with the Condor enclosure is the Rattlesnake Exhibit. There are two parts to the exhibit. This tall, airy enclosure is where the snakes can bask in the sun and keep warm.



When the snakes need to cool down, they can go into a number of shaded burrows.



This sign explains in more detail.



Here, a pair of rattlers are keeping warm in the sun. The snake on top is the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. These rattlesnakes lived in the Pleistocene Era and are still with us today.



The Red Diamond Rattlesnake curled up in its burrow.



Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake



Outside the enclosure is this rattlesnake sculpture. The sound of its rattle can be heard from the speaker below.



A few safety tips concerning rattlesnakes.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 02:10 PM by shyguy »
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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Horse and Burro Corral)
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2018, 02:25 PM »
Horse and Burro Corral



A sculpture of a prehistoric camel stands in front of the Horse and Burro Corral.



Horses actually became extinct in North America 10,000 years ago. The wild horses of today are descendants of escaped domestic horses originally brought over from Asia and Africa.



The animals housed here are from an adoption program run by the Bureau of Land Management.
This old horse gets to live out his last years pampered by zoo employees, as opposed to the glue factory. ;)



A pair of burros are also kept here in the corral.






Meal time.



Nearby, guests can view a display of extinct animal x-rays.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 02:41 PM by shyguy »
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Offline JB

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Horse and Burro Corral)
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2018, 03:22 PM »
While it's nice for the horses and burros (being rescued/adopted), I would imagine that they don't get many visitors here. When I go to a zoo (it would be a day trip, and time would be limited), I would want to see the exotic and big-name animals. Horses and burros would not be at the top of my list.

Now watch, yer gonna tell me that this is the most-visited part of the zoo. :P

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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Horse and Burro Corral)
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2018, 04:41 PM »
The corral was originally intended for the endangered, Prezalski's Horse, from Asia. I can't remember if, or how long, they were there. I believe they later had camels there for awhile, thus the prehistoric camel sculpture out front. My memory's a bit foggy on this. But somewhere along the line, they developed this relationship with the Bureau of Land Management to adopt the animals that now inhabit the corral. They do have a special "Keeper Talk" presentation at the corral once a day. But no, the crowds aren't flocking to see the burros. Animal exhibits change all the time. Some animals are only on loan to the zoo for a few years. And of course, animals die and can't be replaced. So, I expect the animals housed here could change in the future.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2018, 04:43 PM by shyguy »
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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Camels & Pronghorn)
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2018, 06:34 PM »
Camels & Pronghorn



As we continue our tour, we come upon the Dromedary Camels.



The Dromedary Camel can be found in Africa, Asia and Australia. It has only one hump, unlike the Bactrian Camel, which has two. The humps contain fatty tissue (not water) which helps them survive in hot climates.



Sharing the enclosure with the camels is the Pronghorn antelope from North America.



A bit a trivia...In the song, "Home on the Range", the antelope referred to are the Pronghorn.






Standing nearby is a sculpture of the extinct American Cheetah. This animal once preyed upon antelope like the Pronghorn during the Pleistocene era.



Another prehistoric predator was the Dire Wolf. Nearly 4,000 Dire Wolves have been unearthed from the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles.



This garden of plants from Madagascar can be found across from the enclosure.


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Offline JB

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Camels & Pronghorn)
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2018, 11:05 PM »
That first picture of the camel is perfect. He's even smiling for the camera! (or maybe he's just panting in the hot sun.) ;)

In the Living Desert sign, the tree in the largest image in the center definitely looks prehistoric. Probably a member of the Baobab family.

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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Camels & Pronghorn)
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2018, 04:23 PM »
Pacific Pond Turtle



Along the walkway below the Sabertooth Grill, is an exhibit featuring a man-made stream, filled with small reptiles and amphibians. At least, that's what the signs say. To this day, I've never seen anything but some pond turtles.



There are quite a few sculptures sprinkled around the rocks, which many guests first mistake for the real thing.



This frog sculpture is the only frog I've found in the exhibit. Maybe the real ones jumped out.



There are plenty Pacific Pond Turtles to be found though.



This sign tells how the San Diego Zoo is helping this common, California native turtle keep from becoming endangered, just like it does for so many other more exotic animals in the world.






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Offline shyguy

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (San Diego Zoo Kids Theater)
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 04:52 PM »
San Diego Zoo Kids Theater






The San Diego Zoo Kids Theater is a small theater built into a cave, that shows short films on various animals continuously throughout the day. You actually have to walk through the theater to continue to the other side of Elephant Odyssey.



In actuality, the theater is a bridge between two very large elephant enclosures, which allows the elephants to move from one to the other. So while watching one of the short films, elephants could actually be crossing above your head.



Meerkats are the focus of this presentation.



Right outside the theater are a number of small terrariums housing some very creepy insects, like this Mexican Fireleg Tarantula.



The Rhinocerous Beetle, found on every continent except Antarctica.



The Spiny Stick Insect, found in Australia and New Guinea.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2018, 04:55 PM by shyguy »
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Offline JB

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Kids Theater)
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2018, 05:55 PM »
I like how they turned what would be an otherwise ordinary passageway, into a fun and useful space for kids. I also like the idea of elephants walking above my head. The cave entrance theming is a nice touch.

Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Kids Theater)
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2018, 05:57 AM »
Brookfield Zoo outside Chicago has something similar, but for Bison.

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Re: San Diego Zoo - Elephant Odyssey (Elephants)
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2018, 01:21 PM »
Elephants



And now we come to the main draw of Elephant Odyssey which, of course, is the elephants. The enclosure is 2.4 acres and includes a 137,000 gallon pool.



Scattered throughout the enclosure are things to keep the elephants entertained.



The elephants are fed by way of these "utili-trees", which provide food from containers hanging above and from the base. They are made of concrete and steel, which prevent the elephants from destroying them, and helps to keep them stimulated.



At present, there are four elephants in the enclosure. This is Mary, a female Asian elephant, born in 1964. She is the oldest of the four.



Devi is another female Asian elephant, born in 1977. She can be identified by her short, stubby tail.



Tembo is a female African elephant, born in 1971. She is missing a part of her right ear.



The youngest of the group is Shaba, a female African elephant. She was born in 1980 and is easily identified by her long tusks.



African elephants can be identified by their large ears which are shaped similarly to the continent of Africa.



Asian elephants have much smaller ears. Also, only male Asian elephants have tusks, whereas both male and female African elephants have them.



Near the center of the enclosure is the Elephant Care Center.






Hay for feeding the elephants is kept in the storage room.



An audience gathers to watch keepers tending to one of the elephants.



This elephant is getting a pedicure.



The zoo uses what is called "protective contact" when tending to the elephants. Ever since zoos have kept elephants, a keeper or trainer had been killed or injured on average, every two years. After the accidental death of a young keeper in 1991 at the Safari Park, who was caught in a confrontation between two four-ton elephants, the San Diego Zoo designed a safer way for staff to interact with the elephants. The new way keeps trainers and elephants separated by a heavy metal gate. This method has since become the industry standard.



This chart compares today's elephants with those of the past.



Shaba takes a stroll by the pool.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 01:31 PM by shyguy »
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