Saturday, January 3, 2009

Ueno Zoo

Yesterday I took the kids and G's best friend to the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo (Otis is on call this week, so he couldn't come). I was Ethan's age when I first visited Ueno Zoo! 35 years ago! It's a great zoo with all the major animals: hippos, giraffes, lions, tigers, plus a few great ones like penguins, polar bears and sea lions! I don't think I've ever actually seen a polar bear before.
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Some interesting history of the zoo: Ueno Zoo was opened in 1882! That's 20 yrs younger than the Bronx Zoo, but still pretty impressive! Some stories say that during WWII, the Japanese army ordered that all the "dangerous and wild" animals at the zoo be killed because they were afraid that the zoo would be bombed and animals would escape. I've researched that story a bit and don't happend to believe it. Zoo animals were killed during the war, but it was for other reasons entirely.
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The kids in front of the pagoda inside the zoo. Check out that hawk I caught flying by!

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The monorail that takes you from one side of the zoo the the other.

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At the sloth exhibit, the sloths can climb out of their enclosure along a rope to a tree top that's not enclosed. This handy little brochure attached to the tree assures visitors that as the sloths climb overhead along the rope, they won't poop on you, because sloths climb down to the ground once a week to poop.

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>Cute otter.

This tank sits outside the otter enclosure, connected to the enclosed pool by a long tube which allows the otter to swim back and forth from his cage to the tank.

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Sadly, Ling Ling the panda died in April of old age, he was 22, so there are no more pandas at Ueno. But Gabi was able to see him last year before he died while on a school field trip. Ling Ling was also the name of the first female panda at the zoo in D.C., she died when she was 23.

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You can't beat the prices at Ueno either, kids 11 and under are FREE! 13 - 15 only Y200 and adults are only Y600! Compare that to what we were paying for admission at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa: $14.95 for kids 3 - 11, $18.95 for 12 and up!!!!!! That's just ridiculous! I paid about $13, where I would have paid $87 back home. And Ueno has way more animals too!>

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1 comment:

Robin Vistnes said...

That sloth sign was one more of those funny Japanese Engrish sayings...
I love to try to read all the cool things you send me. I love the translations.