A few weeks ago, I was looking for something to do outside before the snow hit. Just about an hour away from campus is the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY. A friend and I decided to jump in the car and take the trip. I’ve seen a few zoos in my life, but this, by far was the best. It was a perfect fall day filled with exotic animals and great times.
On the top of my priority list was to see the Asian Elephants. We started at the back of the zoo and made our way to the front. There were four large adult elephants and newborn baby elephant fresh to the zoo family last March. Unfortunately, when I was there the baby was being held indoors because he was sick. It was amazing how close we were able to get to see them running round and playing. Just as we were about to move on to another exhibit, five zoo workers dropped a dozen bails of hay into the elephants’ play area. All of the elephants ran to the hay and began to eat their lunch. It was an amazing site to see them use their trunks like hands to bring the hay up to their mouths!
Then we moved our way to see the Snow Leopard. Half of the exhibit was incased in glass and the other half was open but protected by netting. Within the leopard’s habitat there were trees and logs everywhere where it would climb and jump on. The Snow Leopard was not the friendliest animal, once it saw us it ran to the highest tree and glared at us from above.
On our way out, we stopped to see the bird unit. There was a pond filled with ducks, swans, and other birds. As we crossed a small storybook-looking bridge, there was a gathering of bright pink flamingos. Standing on one leg and bending their long necks down to drink the water, I was amazed by them.
In a small green house-like structure there was a display of rainforest birds. We were able to walk through this display and be up close and personal – there were literally no barriers between us and the birds. They were free to fly right by us! Needless to say, I used my zoo map as a hat to protect my head just in case!
This was definitely a trip I would recommend taking. It took us about 2 hours to do the entire zoo and each exhibit was better then the last – especially the gift store!