Friday, May 20, 2011

Field Trip to the Zoo

It's always refreshing to take a little outing from the classroom, so my Hebrew classmates and I snatched up the opportunity to visit the Jerusalem Zoo shortly after our entertaining unit on animals.  The Jerusalem Zoo is famous not only for breeding endangered species, but also, for being what is called a "biblical zoo" meaning that it houses all the animals that appear in the Bible stories.  Come with me and let me welcome you to the beautiful Jerusalem Zoo!


Yes, our visit involved learning Hebrew of course. Here we are learning about the animal kingdom throughout various spots in the park. (As usual, I was more interested in meandering off and snapping photos, though Alex, our teacher, was quick to redirect me):




We couldn't get enough of Josh's adorable 4-year daughter who joined us enthusiastically for the field trip:



Okay, but back to the animals now. I went sort of crazy with the pictures, but if you know me well, I can never get enough of animals. In the Galapagos Islands, I must have taken over 1,000 photos! The monkeys are always a fun bunch to laugh at (and are creepily human-like which is fascinating to watch):



And I have to say that we were enthralled by the pelicans, swans and birds in the aviary area of the zoo. I wouldn't say I am an avid bird watcher but when they are right in front of you, it's easy to become transfixed in their odd behaviors. I couldn't believe the size of the pelicans below (reminded me of San Diego and the pelicans at La Jolla Shores):



As we continued onward learning Hebrew and being sidetracked by curious animals, we also stopped to appreciate the beautiful grounds and landscaping at the Jerusalem Zoo:




And the views here were breathtaking! The Jerusalem Zoo is situated in some prime real estate if you ask me, with 360 degree views of the classic rolling green hills and the natural terraces dotted with characteristic limestone that are so endemic to the landscapes of Jerusalem:

Remember how I mentioned that the Jerusalem Zoo is also a "biblical zoo"? So, of course, you would expect to find Noah's Ark here then (this is allegedly the actual size that Noah's Ark would've been):



And inside Noah's Ark, you would find these identifiable and elegant animals of course, namely giraffes:



And in addition to the giraffes, we saw zebras, hippos, rhinos and onyx roaming freely together in one large vista:





Elephants! Here we are at my very favorite animal's area. Elephants are fascinating animals. I love them because I find that they are very humanlike in their emotions. Elephants are one of the only animals who cry real tears and grieve over the loss of a child, friend or family member. They also are capable of laughing. Additionally, they have a greeting ceremony for members of the group who have been gone for a long time. They also commonly caress and tend to an upset or sick member of their group. Elephants have been proven to have excellent memories, are capable of recognizing themselves in the mirror and are very affectionate creatures!



There were an abundance of animals in the goat family at the Jerusalem Zoo, don't ask me to name each species. I always get a kick out of watching these guys ram each other with their horns, especially when an underdog attempts to rile up a bigger acquaintance:


Just like at the San Diego Zoo back home, the infamous flamingos made an appearance close to the exit. These guys aren't my favorite, I can't stand the smell!


Love these bears! I think bears are one of the cutest animals but their cuddly-looking appearance is in such contrast to their vicious capabilities.


And look at this interesting animal. Know what it is? I didn't when I first saw them. Here are some lemurs, very creepy looking if you ask me:


That may have been all I had time to see while at the zoo, but rest-assured that there are many more animal exhibits to see for next time, like bats, turtles, cheetahs, leopards and penguins, to name a few. I hear that in the summer, the Jerusalem Zoo will have special hours at night which is always a fun time to see the animals in their natural habitat. May be worth a return visit!


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