This is the second installment in my series on a trip my friend Juli and I recently took to the Toledo Zoo and Aquarium. You can read Part I here.
After spending a good amount of time in Africa! Juli and I took the bridge from the north side of the zoo across the Anthony Wayne Trail to the south side. Just a short sidebar here, in the “olden days” the zoo had a tunnel that went beneath the Anthony Wayne Trail from the parking lot to the main entrance to the zoo. But this was deemed impractical due to all the people taking strollers that had to be lugged up and down the steps, plus it was wet and crumbling, so a new bridge was built across the road. I guess I should have taken a photo to give you a better idea of what it’s like now. I have to say, although the bridge is convenient (especially if you are pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon) I do miss that old tunnel. It had a unique atmosphere and mystery about it.
Across the bridge, you can choose to go down the steps or taking the spiral ramp. There is an enclosure with two bald eagles that were injured, have been rehabilitated at the zoo, and are unable to be released into the wild. The two are there to welcome visitors to the main part of the zoo.
After stopping to admire the flamingos and various ducks near the entrance, Juli and I made our way to Tembo Trail, taking a moment along the way to take a few photos of these lovely lilies.
I have been experimenting with my Digital Photo Professional editing software, but that photo was not edited at all!
Tembo Trail is really an extension of Africa! because this is where you will find hippos, elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, etc. This iron sculpture greets you at the entrance to Tembo Trail.
My favorite part of this area, hands down, is the Hippoquarium where you can observe the hippos close up from the underwater viewing platform. Several years ago visitors were even able to witness a live birth of a baby hippopotamus at this site. Sadly, no baby hippos were being born today. LOL (Click on any photo in the galleries to see a larger view.)
I wish I would have been able to get better photos of the elephants, but unfortunately there are these thick cables forcing visitors to stay back! What is up with that? LOL There was not a viewing area with a clear view.
There was one REALLY wild animal on Tembo Trail — this eastern fox snake basking in the sun. There were two zoo employees standing by to tell visitors about the fox snake – and also to protect it, I’m sure. (Eastern fox snakes are often mistaken for poisonous snakes and killed. They are a threatened species in this area.)
Even though I was unable to get clear photos of the elephants, I was able to get decent shots of the rhinoceros (rhinoceroses?). I got a close-up of the one’s horn. Check out how thick that thing is!!
Probably the most fun Juli and I had on Tembo Trail was watching the meerkats. They were so funny. There were several look-outs and you could tell they take their jobs very seriously! They would look one way, then look the other direction, always on the alert for trouble. I mentioned in Part I that I took way too many pictures of them! I pared my photos down considerably for this gallery. 🙂
Perhaps this is what the meerkats were on the lookout for. Although this lioness doesn’t seem to be on the hunt.
I love how the orange of the building looks almost like a sunset.
After our adventures on Tembo Trail, there was still plenty of the zoo to be enjoyed. My next and final installment will give you a glimpse of some of the groovy reptiles and colorful birds housed at the zoo and I will also share with you our close encounter with the polar bears.
I hope you will join me again next time as we finish our walk on the (kinda) wild side at the Toledo Zoo!