Do The Zoo

 Posted by at 12:06 am  Nick's Blog
May 242021

I saw an article online yesterday saying that the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC will reopen to the public on July 24. There is so much to see and do in our nation’s capital that we’ve never made time for that, but maybe we should someday.

Do any of you go to zoos locally, or in your travels around the country? In all of our years as fulltime RVers, I don’t know that we ever went to a zoo, and I’m not sure why not. We have visited the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park here in Florida a couple of times, where they take in injured animals and rehab them, and we have always enjoyed it.

My earliest memories of a zoo were someplace in Texas. It was a drab facility with animals pacing around in cages, which made me feel sorry for them. Even as a little kid, I remember thinking that was a terrible way to live for something that should be running wild and free. I know that many people feel that way about all zoos, but these days, many zoos are doing a lot of work and research to protect and preserve species that would otherwise be extinct.

We lived in Toledo, Ohio when I was in high school, and I went to the zoo there quite often. Back then, it also had a lot of animals in cages, along with some excellent outdoor exhibits. I had a girlfriend who volunteered at the zoo every summer and I would hang out there to be around her as much as anything else. I haven’t been back to the Toledo Zoo in many years, but from what I understand, it’s now a world-class facility. The next time we get up in that direction, I want to go.

For the last few months, Terry and I have been watching the different Secrets of the Zoo programs on television. They focus on zoos in Tampa, Florida, Columbus, Ohio, one in North Carolina, and the Taronga Zoo in Australia. They are all excellent shows that give you an idea of what goes on behind the scenes in caring for the animals. Terry and I both said that would be a great job if we were younger.

I think one of these days we need to visit Tampa and see the zoo there. It would make a good excuse for a road trip. Then again, who needs an excuse for a road trip, right?

Speaking of zoos, the other night we watched The Zookeeper’s Wife on Netflix. If you have not seen it yet, I highly recommend it. It’s the true story of the family who ran the Warsaw Zoo and how they hid over 300 Jews there from the Nazis during World War II, saving them from certain death. While many of the zoo’s animals perished during the war, the same family was able to reopen it, and the zoo is still there today if you ever get to Warsaw.

Congratulations Joanne M Harnit, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Scandal, the fifth book in my Big Lake mystery series. We had 46 entries this time around. I will not be running a drawing for the next three weeks because we will have visitors from out of town and I don’t have time to maintain the entries. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with U.S. addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day – Zoo animals are ambassadors for their cousins in the wild. – Jack Hanna

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Do The Zoo”

  1. My most oft visited zoo was the Oakland, CA, zoo where, believe it or not, my wife and I would take our old Christmas trees. The zoo loved the trees as the elephant’s like to play catch with them! We were allowed to watch as the fun ensued many times. It was hilarious how much they loved them. I still chuckle remembering those times.

  2. Nick, also make time to see the Miami zoo; it is so large that it will take you two days to see it all. Thank goodness the zoo has many water and lemonade stands spread through the park for refreshments and places to rest in shade as you make your way through the park.

  3. We used to travel on our vacations and long weekends. And we loved zoos. We visited zoos in several cities including DC. I grew up in Georgia and married a Texan so we live in Texas and when we had vacation time we would visit my family in Georgia. And we visited the Atlanta zoo on one of those trips. Age and cataracts ended our travels. We saw as much as we could while we were in DC. We stayed in a motel outside the city and took the subway to visit the capital and the other buildings mentioned in the pamphlets we picked up. I liked zoos except for the snakes and of course I’ve sat and waited outside a few snake houses while my husband and whichever kid was with us looked at snakes and other creepy things.

  4. We are going to Charleston, SC tomorrow and one of the places that we are going to visit is not necessarily a zoo, but the aquarium, as it’s been many years since we’ve been. We go to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia every once in a while since it’s only an hour to an hour in a half away from us. My sister lives in Jacksonville, FL, and is constantly sending me photos of her two girls during outings to the zoo there, the one in St. Augustine, and Chattanooga, TN, when she visits our grandparents.

  5. Brevard County has a WONDERFUL Zoo.

  6. I retired after 38 years working for the Zoological of San zdiego, at the Safari Park near Escondido, CA. The Safari Park is 2,800 acres in land size. The Society also operates the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park in the City of San Diego. Over the 38 years, I learned so much about wildlife, plants, and people!

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