Woodland Park Zoo

February 28, 2010 marked the last day of operation of the Woodland Park Zoo's award-winning Nocturnal House. If you have never been, then I am sorry to say you missed out on one of the best zoo exhibits in a long time. The whole building was nighttime, and the enclosures were very large with several species of animals living together in what looks like natural habitat. The displays were sorta grouped by locales. Easily my favorite were the bat displays. Large species of bat from around the world would happily eat and clean themselves in front of you while others would crawl (yes crawl upside down with their little fingers and feet) along long vines and ropes while down below you would run various species of nocturnal bird and mammals. One enclosure had a couple of species of porcupine, and still another had species of Armadillo. All with the quiet whispers of people around you and the piped in sounds of nighttime wildlife.

Sadly due to budget cuts in King County and Washington State, the zoo had to make cuts as well. For some reason they targeted the Nocturnal House even after many people stepped up and raised money to offset what the zoo said it needed to cut. However it all comes at the same time the zoo is opening a new Penguin exhibit and is starting work on a Meerkat exhibit. [1]

I would love post pics here from within the NH itself, but my Canon G9 simply would not take a good photo in the very dark environment.

However we did have some other great experiences.

For starters we got to see the Komodo Dragons

and we got to go behind the scenes of the Rain Forest exhibits. Here is Nayla the Jaguar. A beautiful animal up close, but also very dangerous. The keeper told us that because of Jaguars speed, and their crushing bite that the animal targets to the head and spinal cord in the neck, these animals can be especially deadly. BUT THEY ARE SO CUTE!!!!

We finally finished our behind the scenes with a chance to hand feed the Lemurs that live at the park. They were very adorable and very friendly.

A collection of the photos from the days adventure: