Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tigers and bears, but no lions.

Hubs and I took booger on his first trip to the Jackson Zoo this week! His aunt and cousin were in town, so we all packed up and went together. It was so much fun! First of all, and I can't stress this enough, you have to get to the zoo EARLY during the summer months. (The zoo opens at 8 a.m. during July for a reason.) While the zoo has incorporated ways to help you beat the heat over the years (misters; more shaded exhibits/areas; some indoor/air-conditioned exhibit space), the majority of the zoo is still outside and HOT. So plan ahead - bring water, wear suncreen/hats, and show up early.

We got there around 8:30 a.m., and by the time we left at around 10 a.m., it was just starting to warm up. We had big fun looking at the elephants and giraffes, getting up close and personal with all the monkeys, and watching the otters frolic. (Clay and I read the Dear Zoo book alot, and we found most of the animals from our book at the Jackson Zoo! I was a little surprised, though, that we didn't see any lions while we there. Am I mistaken? I though the zoo had some lions. Maybe my memory fails . . . )

If you have older kids, you might want to make a stop by the interactive Discovery Zoo on your way out. (It doesn't open until 10 a.m.) And while there are plenty of places to buy food and drink in the zoo, we weren't discouraged from bringing in our own bottled water.

Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for kids. (Kids 2 and under get in free!) Parking at the zoo is $2.

Be aware - you have to drive through a very sketchy part of town to get to the zoo. Chin up - you park on zoo property in a gated lot. But you would THINK that the City of Jackson would make an effort to clean up right around one of its major attractions. Sad, sad, sad.


A. Boyd C. said...

The zoo had asian lions for a long time which are pretty rare, but when they died they didn't replace them.

The old carnivore moats were built back in the 40's, and while they were state of the art at the time, there's been a lot of advances in knowledge about the care of big cats since then and I think the zoo decided those habitats just weren't adequate any longer.

When the zoo was built, it was in a nice middle class neighborhood and everybody thought the city would grow to the south toward Clinton. When it grew to the North instead, that end of capitol street was really neglected.

I hate urban rot and gentrification. Fortunately there are some people in the city trying to re-develop that end of town.

Nicole Bradshaw said...

Even if they just pushed off all the houses that appear to be slated for demolition, it would be a vast improvement.

And it surprises me, because you'd think the area around the zoo would be ripe for related developments - little cafes, ice cream shops, a toy store, etc. You already know what target market is driving right by; they are on their way to the zoo!

If they could make the area a place families feel safe sticking around in, it could work, but it's gonna take a whole lotta money and some investors willing to risk something.