Where: New York City
When: October 2011
The Bronx Zoo is great, but the contrasts between it and my hometown San Diego Zoo are striking. For one thing, the San Diego Zoo doesn't have a river. Nice touch, Bronx.
For another, the train tour at the Bronx Zoo is fantastic - the place is laid out so that everything you see is on the same side of the train, and all of the seats face that side. No lurching from one side of the vehicle to the other, as happens in the San Diego Zoo.
On the other hand - and this is more important than trains and rivers - the Bronx Zoo made me appreciate the horticulture department in San Diego, which labors mostly behind the scenes to make the animals' surroundings at least somewhat like their natural habitats.
They do an incredible job, which I didn't fully understand until we went to the Bronx Zoo. In the Bronx, it was just weird to see the giraffes, lions and other animals lounging and foraging among extremely North American maples and elms.
Full disclosure: My wife works for the San Diego Zoo.
Images and text ©2005-2012 Mark A. Dodge Medlin