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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:40 PM
Original message
How nice is your local zoo?
Today, for the first time in more than 20 years, I went to the Jacksonville Zoo. My brother and I were out on our usual Saturday drive, and we decided to go on the spur of the moment.

Needless to say, my brother and I had a grand time. MUCH has changed there since I was last there (as a summer day camp counselor). The facilities and exhibits are much nicer and cleaner. There are nine different theme exhibits. The scenery and atmosphere are just beautiful. :)

http://www.jaxzoo.org/home.asp

How nice (or not-so-nice) is your local zoo? Share your best and/or worst (or whatever superlative you like) zoo experiences. Peace.

:)
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. We Have A Pretty Good One Here
Except for that f**king 35' Anaconda SNAKE in the walk-through Reptile terrarium!!!

Link: http://www.louisvillezoo.org/
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Shopaholic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Riverbanks rocks!
Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC is usually ranked as one of the top zoos in the country.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
37. It is a fantastic zoo...
and is the only thing that I miss in Colatown
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. When my brother and I went through the reptile exhibit today,
we thought about our grandfather -- who is DEATHLY afraid of snakes. I said: "No way would want to come through here."
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. You mean, THE BRONX ZOO? Fantastic!!
I like it because it is sensitive to animals, and it works mostly with endangered species and isn't just a "Flop 'em up and display 'em in a cage" place. They havea very eactive preservation program, and do an incredible amount of work around the world to preserve habitat, and trying to re-introduce endangered animals into rehabilitated areas.

The few times I've been there, there were always animals that were not visible, because the zoo gives them plenty of trees, water, space, whatever to live in, and a lot of that just isn't viewable.

Zoos that just put their animals into cages should be closed down.
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. No cages in Jax.
That is one of the changes they have made there. Years ago they had these hideous gray stone pens, which, thankfully, have since been torn down.

As I had not been there since 1983, the place looks like a mini-Busch Gardens -- minus the rides and the brewery -- to me.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Nice!
I'm glad that so many zoos are moving to more "natural" settings.

Part of me still wonders abotu the ethics of showing animals in a zoo at all - excepting in the case of the endangered ones that are actively trying to be saved - it seems cruel and unusual punishment to snag 'em from the wild and bring them to a zoo just for our enjoyment.

But remember, i say that while fyully admitting that I love to go to zoos, adn I love seeing animals, especially the ones I can't see normally: lions, tigers, elephants, etc.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Well, "The Monsters of the Midday" used to be fun...
...but when my Clear Channel station cancelled Howard Stern, they moved them into the morning slot. Even Bubba "Whoopass" Wilson and the Sexy Savannah have lost some of their outrageousness when they were forced to get up early in the morning.

Um...we are talking about radio's "morning zoos," right? Because not even Disney's Animal Kingdom can make a bunch of beasts standing around in enclosures any fun.
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ACK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
7. The National Zoo sucks
The easiest way to kill an animal is to send it to the National Zoo.
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Is it that bad?
Is it, like damn near everything in D.C., subject to Congressional funding? Or lack thereof?
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ACK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Yes and decades of bad corrupt management
Not enough cash for sure but I am no idealogical fool. There has been consistent issues of bad/inept/corrupt management.

DC schools are the great example of this. They spend tons of money per student but god that system still sucks. Horrible schools and school board and well everything. Bastard Libertarians and Repukes use it as an example of why not to throw money at a problem especially education.

Hate that crap.

_
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scubadude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
48. Babette here, "Mrs. Scubadude"...
While I was in college I worked as a volunteer keeper at the National Zoo for two years. The funding is terrible for anything but the pandas and elephants. All other animals were second-class.

The keepers are very dedicated and really love the animals. They are not to blame. There would be days when we had ONE apple, and stood around trying to decide which animals would get bits of it. I remember the vet decided that she was "tired" of treating one particular species of animal we kept, and ordered them all put down. That was a sad day- the keepers sobbed and thought of trying to smuggle the animals out. Alas, the animals went off with the vet.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. My God!
That's pathetic!! Putting down animals there isn't time to work on; splitting an apple amongst the animals...

ye gods, you'd think a gov't that can spend billions a week on a war could spot the national zoo a few hundred grand a week to buy food and medicine. But then, you'd also think that a gov't that can pay billions in war costs could also spring to pay for food and medical supplies for the all PEOPLE who need it...
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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
9. Mpls. St. Paul has two zoos...

The Minnesota Zoo, is huge and expensive. The original intention of the Zoo was to show animals in their "natural" habitats and give them LOTS of room to roam. This is great for the animals, but very difficult for young children to enjoy. Because of our climate, the animals are not particularly exotic looking ones (no elephants, rhinos or hippos) and they are usually as far away as possible from the viewing areas. Usually behind a shrub. There is a large building with tropical critters, and that is the most popular and crowded.

The good news: We also have the Como Zoo, which is one of maybe two FREE zoos in the country. It is quite compact, but there is plenty to see, both indoors and out and is a great place for kids. It is part of a huge, wonderful city park (Como Park) and has a restored flower conservatory next door. It is also open 365 days, so people who don't celebrate the x-tian holidays, or don't have extended families obligations during the holidays, still have a fun place to visit.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
11. Nashville Zoo - Not Too Impressive, BUT
It's a great walk, wonderful atmosphere.

And the monkeys are way cool.







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Wcross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Grassmere (sp) is a nice little zoo
I enjoy watching the otters play. I really liked the old zoo north of town, it seemed to have more to see. I'll have to go back someday.
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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #11
25. Wow! Lovely photos!
I like your Bat Boy avatar, also! (Did you know that the Weekly World News has a Bat Boy comic strip now?)
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #25
31. thanks
and no, I wasn't aware of the Bat Boy comic. sounds like fun, but I'm still not gonna pay for WWN! :D
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NWHarkness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. Detroit Zoo is excellent
They have made some wonderful changes in recent years to what was already a good zoo.

The Arctic Ring of Life is spectacular.
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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #12
26. I used to go to the Detroit Zoo...
Edited on Sun May-16-04 02:15 AM by Zookeeper
as a child. It was a good zoo; I was especially impressed with the Emperor Penguins. 'Don't recall seeing those at other zoos.

I'm happy to hear that it has become even better!

Edited for spelling.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
14. audubon zoo in new orleans
World class. You know it's a heck of a zoo when the wild animals are trying to move in and join the party. The night herons are actually getting a bit out of hand. Best catches I've seen over the zoo grounds are Swallow-Tail Kite and Bald Eagle.
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #14
23. We saw a pair of baldies today.
I came across a thread earlier with an article citing Shrub as saying that the bald eagle will be removed from the endangered species list by next year.
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amazona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #23
36. this is nixon taking credit for the moon landings
Bill Clinton announced the de-listing of the Bald Eagle:

http://www.r6.fws.gov/pressrel/99-36.htm

They have come back very nicely in Louisiana. I think we were down to only four birds at one point -- lots of them now. I even see them over my house from time to time.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #36
50. We even have some in NYC now!
A few in Inwood park. I don't think there are in Central Park yet. We also have hawks that have come back.
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curse10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
16. I've not been to the one here yet, but I loved the Denver Zoo
I had an annual membership.

IIRC, the Denver Zoo was the first to implement "natural" settings for the animals with their Bear Mountain exhibit. The Zoo has a wide variety of species and is in the process, and is probably close to finishing, a whole new big cat area.
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
17. The Toledo Zoo is very nice
I heard a radio commercial today for a new exhibit where you take a train ride and see the animals interacting with each other. I don't know how they did it; the zoo is in the middle of a very urban area. I never get there during nice weather, I only go when they have it decorated for Christmas and it's at night. There is something about being in the zoo in the dark.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
18. My Zoo Is Also Involved
Edited on Sat May-15-04 07:11 PM by Don_G
In a few programs on the side, one of which is trying to repopulate the Black-Footed Ferret in their natural habitat out west.

I won't support a similar 35 FOOT SNAKE program though.

On Edit: http://members.iglou.com/falco/
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Zookeeper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:21 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Send your 35 foot snake to us!
Snakes are actually pretty interesting, not slimy (I'm guessing by your two comments that you haven't actually touched one). Thirty-five feet is pretty impressive though, I must admit. I wouldn't leave it alone with my cats, dog, or kids.
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #27
41. The biggest snake we saw yesterday was a python.
We didn't get the length or type. Still, that was a scary-looking mother, even at rest.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. I dunno about the Austin Zoo...but the San Antonio Zoo is great.
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Teddy_Salad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
20. Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia is the best!
Edited on Sat May-15-04 07:26 PM by Teddy_Salad
I love zoos and always try to get to one when I visit a new city.

Mrs. Salad and myself were in Sydney last February and we were blown away by Taronga Zoo.
It is absolutely beautiful.

It is situated across the harbor from the Sydney CBD and has amazing views of Sydney, the opera house, the great harbor bridge and the beautiful harbor itself.
And the zoo is one of the best.
It's very well designed and has a great collection of animals.

So, if you ever get to Sydney, make sure to get a ferry to Taronga Zoo.
You won't be disappointed.
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Is there a website for Taronga?
Edited on Sat May-15-04 08:26 PM by playahata1
Don't see myself making it Down Under anytime soon, but I can at least take a VIRTUAL stroll through it. :)


P.S.: I see that you've brought LOU back. Haven't seen him in the last few posts of yours I've run across. Therefore, you must visit:

www.lougehrig.com

and

moregehrig.tripod.com

GREAT websites.

(ON EDIT: had to get rid of 'www' on the second Gehrig site. Sorry, Teddy. Try it again)
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Teddy_Salad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Yep
Here's the link to the Taronga Zoo website.
http://www.zoo.nsw.gov.au /

I'm unable to get to the site right now so try it later on, hopefully it will be accessible then.

Thanks for those links. I've seen lougehrig.com before but will check out the other.

Actually, Lou's always in my sig line but when traffic gets out of control at DU, the sig lines are apparently switched off.

:)



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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:52 AM
Response to Reply #24
42. Thanks, Salad.
Talk to you later. :)
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
21. Very...
...the new facilites were completed just about a decade ago.

Sometimes it can be late starting, but once the last City Council member arrives, it's normally pretty flabbergasting.
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maveric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
28. San Diego Zoo
Its a pretty good one.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:28 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Ooooh, that's one I've long wanted to see!
A friend of mine, whose taste in zoos I totally trust, went there and raved about it.
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FarmerOak Donating Member (528 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. My zoo, too, is the San Diego Zoo...
And it just doesn't get any better than that!
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SmileyBoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 02:29 AM
Response to Original message
30. Red River Zoo is a glorified petting zoo.
At least it's a zoo, nonetheless. Pretty spiffy for a metro area of only 190,000.
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bearfan454 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
32. When I lived in Chicago there were 2 zoos.
Brookfield and Lincoln Park. Brookfield is bigger, but Lincoln Park was free back then. Now we take our granddaughter to the zoo in San Antonio Tx. It is a good one and we can get some kick ass Mexican food while we are there.
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
33. The Houston Zoo keeps getting better.
The Mussolini-moderne monkey prison I remember from childhood visits has been replaced by a mostly-natural primate section. Many of the big cats have moved to better quarters. Other improvements include a new aquarium.

The zoo's open 365 days a year & free on holidays like MLK day, Memorial Day & the Friday after Thanksgiving. While researching opening times, I came across the Zoo's page about renting parts of the zoo for private functions after closing time. There are several pretty locations available, but one stood out: The Reptile House!

The most exotic of Houston Zoo special event spaces, the Reptile House takes your guests to a whole other world. Featuring more than 700 specimens and 185 species, the Reptile Houses noteworthy occupants include Blanco, one of only 14 white American alligators, a 19 Burmese Python, an 18 Reticulated Python, two Komodo Dragons and four Crocodile Monitors the worlds biggest and longest reptiles, respectively!

How did Neil Bush & his honey miss this venue for their recent nuptials? (Images from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas appear, much too early on a Sunday morning.)

www.houstonzoo.org/Index.asp?Page_ID=71


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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #33
43. "Mussolini-modern monkey prison"
is an accurate description of the Jacksonville Zoo of my childhood. For example, the bears, primates, and cats were kept in these awful gray stone pens that were for all intents and purposes pits. Each pen had a couple of stone steps on which you had to climb in otder to see the animals. That is no longer the case, thankfully, today. The Jax Zoo is now a beautiful, modern and natural park.
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ACK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
34. When I lived in Atlanta
The Atlanta Zoo is pretty damn nice.

Its clean and the animals look happy.

It is just odd to see elephants and gorilla covered in the dust of GA red clay.

_
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
39. St Louis Zoo...need I say more?
Edited on Sun May-16-04 10:12 AM by ikojo
Once home to Marlin Perkins...

http://www.stlzoo.org /

It's free to get in but some of the exhibits (of course those that appeal to kids) cost and the food is not cheap.

I like going to the zoo during the early spring or in the fall when it isn't so hot and humid. The cold weather animals are more lively. Overall I tend to get depressed after visiting the zoo because I think of all these lovely animals who have been driven away from their natural habitat by encroaching humans, although I realize that some species are alive only because they are kept in cages at a zoo. Is that anyway to live? I especially feel for the cats.

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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
40. Absolutely pathetic:
2 bears
3 deer
1 bald eagle
2 otters
2 woodchucks

I have more animals in my garden
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playahata1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #40
44. Where are you?
Why so few animals at your local zoo?
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 11:30 AM
Response to Reply #44
45. To be fair, it's not really a zoo...
but instead a nice little habitat adjoining a local park. I'm in Athens GA and we actually don't have a local zoo. Athens is a very nice, very liberal college town with a world class music and arts scene, but there are certain reminders that one is still in a small town in the middle of Georgia (the lack of a zoo, the horrifyingly inadequate public library, the underfunding of the local school district)
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Maestro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
46. First, it's nice to see you're feeling better
Edited on Sun May-16-04 11:35 AM by Maestro
and secondly, my family has basically a season's pass to our zoo here in Dallas. It has been upgraded quite nicely over the years.



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Khephra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-16-04 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
47. In Indy we have a nice zoo
But I used to work there, so I can't see the place the same way as a visitor.

Best experience: getting to be close to elephants

Worst experience: working the Merry-Go-Round all day.
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