A Walk On the (Kinda) Wild Side – Part II

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.

A pair of bald eagles greet visitors.
A pair of bald eagles greet visitors.

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.

Lovely daylily.
Lovely daylily.

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.

Iron elephant at the entrance to Tembo Trail.
Iron elephant 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.)

A REALLY wild animal at the zoo!
A REALLY wild animal at the zoo!

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.

Sleepy lioness.
Sleepy lioness.

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!

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15 Responses to A Walk On the (Kinda) Wild Side – Part II

  1. tootlepedal says:

    The meerkats are worth every picture that you took.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love all the shots in this series too! And I agree, how can anyone not smile at Meerkats? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great photos, I liked them all, but the meerkats are so cute that I would have filled a memory card with just photos of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kathydoremus says:

    There is something sweet about the sleeping lioness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Tiny says:

    Thanks for the great tour, Amy!! I love the meerkats, they are so cute and photogenic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kate says:

    What!! There’s a hippoquarium?! I have got to see that! Hippos are my all time favorite animal and it’s SO neat that you can observe them from under water. I love going to different zoo’s, and I’ll definitely be adding this one to my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely a must-see if you are in this area, truly a world class zoo. At Christmastime they do a whole “Lights Before Christmas” display throughout the zoo that has become world famous and is nearly impossible to get in to now. The hippoquarium is really awesome, and as an added bonus there are otters right across the path. 🙂 They were just sleeping when I was there though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kate says:

        Oohhh I bet it would be gorgeous at Christmastime! I could probably be convinced to make the 10 and a half hour drive to Toledo solely to see this awesome hippoquarium 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Well, if you ever decide to come, I have a guest room, as long as you don’t mind beagles. 🙂 And I have a zoo membership!

      Liked by 1 person

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