It’s the end of the summer and everyone is heading back to school. My best friend and I have an annual tradition of going to the Albuquerque BioPark, and we had to get our Zoo Day in before she moved to Nashville for graduate school (thanks a heap, Nashville for stealing my best friend).
Bitterness toward Nashville aside, as soon as the weather starts warming up, we start talking about Zoo Day. This year was no different. But with a cross-country move on the horizon, Zoo Day was a little later in the summer.
Thankfully, Albuquerque has had a beautiful summer, so weather was not at all an issue! We drove through Albuquerque’s historic downtown area to arrive at the BioPark and the first thing that greets you as you walk in are the lively, neon flamingos.
ABQ BioPark FlamingosFrom the flock of flamingos, you can choose your own adventure. We headed toward the ape walk. Over the years, the gorillas have become one of my favorites to watch. As it turned out, the gorillas were a little grumpy on this particular Sunday:
ABQ BioPark GorillasI’ll let you use your imagination to determine why this photo is blurry and what I may have been avoiding while taking this shot. On the other side of the exhibit, I found this sign warning that perhaps, the gorillas could participate in such unsavory behaviors:
ABQ BioParkAfter a rocky start, we found ourselves in luck! We happened upon the hippos right as it was time for their feeding, promptly at 2:00 p.m. They knew exactly what time it was and acted accordingly. It wasn’t long before the feeding frenzy ensued and we watched as the hippos, the largest of which is nearly 3,000 pounds, devoured bananas, peels and all, as well as lettuce and sweet potatoes. Such refined palates.
ABQ BioPark Hippos
Around every corner there are beautiful flowers and foliage, which make for an even more enjoyable day.
ABQ BioPark Hummingbirds
After a short trek, we were in the company of the majestic giraffes.
ABQ BioPark Giraffes
OK, maybe not quite majestic, but they are admittedly beautiful!
ABQ BioPark Giraffe
Another notable mention was this beautiful tiger, who is a new resident at the BioPark. The signs nearby told visitors to take special care to be quiet around the tiger, who arrived at the zoo early this year, while it is getting used to its new home.
ABQ BioPark Tiger
An unexpected but unique mainstay at the Albuquerque BioPark are the peacocks, who wander about near the duck pond and the Central Parq.
ABQ BioPark Peacock
While the animals are beautiful, I’m not going to lie, one of my favorite parts of the zoo is the food. Delectable, melting ice cream cones and ICEEs were devoured, but too quickly for sweet, photographic evidence to be obtained. After you’ve walked through what feels like miles in the African Sahara, it’s easy to say that you need both an ice cream cone and an ICEE.