I just visited the San Diego Zoo, and let me tell you, a lot of animals suck. Even the supposedly good ones, like the lions. They just lie there and look at you. And the pandas? Terrible. First of all, there was only one panda on display, and he—I don’t actually know/care about the animal’s correct sex—was facing away from us, sitting behind a log, eating a piece of bamboo. For like 20 minutes. Bravo, panda.
That said, a couple animals did stand out:
1) The Sloth Bear. This guy was probably benefitting from low expectations—“sloth” as a prefix sets the bar pretty low—but still, he was on fire. He kept walking up and down and up and down this one thick branch for no apparent reason. Went on for five minutes. Maybe he just wanted some attention. And I’ll tell ya what: It worked. Well done, sloth bear.
2) The Hornbill. Before the San Diego zoo, I only knew of hornbills through Zazu, Mufasa’s semi-British majordomo. (Lion King reference.) Turns out they don’t even use their wings to get from branch to branch. The hornbills are incredible hoppers. Forwards, backwards, sideways—they’re like the Wonkavators of the animal kingdom. Amazing to watch.
3) The Giraffes. They didn’t really do anything spectacular … but I just can’t get over the fact that giraffes are real animals and not Dr. Seuss creations.