I’ll never get tired of seeing rare, exotic animals up close. Opinions on zoos vary greatly, but as an animal-lover, I am all for a facility that supports animal conservation. I don’t mind seeing an endangered animal in a safe location alongside efforts of restoration. Thankfully, all of the zoos we choose to visit participate in some sort of conservation effort and hold threatened, endangered, and near extinct animals in large enclosures. I know the downfalls, but I see the upsides.
On Saturday, José unexpectedly got a day off of work so we decided to head to the one zoo in the area that we hadn’t been to yet—Southwick’s Zoo. Dubbed New England’s Largest Zoo, Southwick’s is set on 300 acres in the middle of the woods and is very New England-like. The first enclosure we encountered held two huge white rhinos, Thelma and Louise, munching on hay. Rhino conservation is something that the zoo strongly supports and José was awestruck with how massive they are.
The big cats are always my favorite and I could stand by the glass taking photos of them all day. Similar to when we visited the Franklin Park Zoo, Southwick’s had an active Bengal tiger along with a napping, cross-eyed white tiger who couldn’t have been more bored with all of the people trying to get his attention.
Normally I am not interested in the monkey exhibits, yet every time we stop to look I am struck with how human-like and intelligent they are. There were a few smaller species of monkeys in huge, tall enclosures full of ropes and logs, but the show-stealers were the chimpanzees—specifically one who was running around with a blanket on his head. This little guy had a camouflage blanket on his back that he would peek out of and then pull over his head to chase his other chimp friends around. It garnered a large crowd of parents and children laughing along with his antics.
We arrived at the giraffe exhibit just as the giraffes (including an adorable baby) were getting some snacks and a peacock was hanging out on the outer rocks of the enclosure.
Other exhibits included two sloths that seemed to be in an incredibly slow-speed chase of one another, a group of ring-tailed lemurs that were basking in the sun, brightly colored birds, a large African plains-type area with ostriches and zebra, and another of my favorites, a stunning yellow boa.
Also, I make no apologizes for how photo heavy this post is.