on March 31, 2008
The Phoenix Zoo is more than the normal zoo. It is also a sanctuary habitat for the animals that live there. The paths meander beneath shading trees - keeping you cool as you wander from exhibit to exhibit. For a nominal fee you can also take a tram around the main loop. They will let you off at the lion/tiger exhibit and at the monkey exhibit. You can reboard another tram about every 30 minutes or so. This way you can see almost everything without having to walk all the way around. The monkey exhibit is one where you can walk among the critters (all named for Star Trek characters if I remember correctly) and have them within arm's reach. The caged critters swing around you and seem to fly by. Don't touch though! They are not tame!Most of the animals sleep through the heat of the day - as well they should - so go early if you want to see the most animals. The lions and solitary tiger that we saw were hidden in the shade by 11AM. The giraffes and rhinos, in contrast, seemed to enjoy the desert heat and strode around their enclosure while grazing. The elephants tried their best to stay in the shade of their barn - we only saw one come out to graze.Go early, take water and wear comfortable shoes. Take the tram and listen to the commentary of the driver. You will come away with a new appreciation of zoos and sanctuaries.
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