The Detroit Zoo

The first thing you need to know is that the Detroit Zoo is not in
Detroit, it's in Royal Oak, about 2 miles outside of the Detroit city
limits. It's located at the intersection of Woodward Avenue, 10
mile and Interstate 696. It officially opened on August 1, 1928,
and is on the US National Register of Historic Places.
I had not been to the Zoo in many years and decided to check it
out.

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The grounds are quite lovely. This pretty Lily Pond that
surrounds this walkway, was so pretty. What is it about
Lily Ponds that are so tranquil looking. Maybe it’s that
it reminds me of a Monet painting, or perhaps strolling
through his gardens in Giverny. Whatever it is, I could
just stand here and look at this all day.

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The Butterfly House at the Detroit Zoo is quite lovely. It has
hundreds of free-flying butterflies representing 70 species.

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You don’t see butterflies as much as we did years ago, it was really
fun to stand amongst them while they are flying around you.

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The Article Ring of Life is North America’s largest poplar bear exhibit,
which also houses article foxes and seals. It is a 70 foot long clear
tunnel that winds through a vast underwater marine setting. This
12 foot wide, 8 foot tall tunnel takes visitors underneath diving
and swimming polar bears and seals.

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Visitors feel like they have arrived in an ice world, passing through
a frigid ice cave and finally entering the Exploration Station with
additional indoor viewing. This Arctic Ring of Life was named the
number two Best Zoo Exhibit in the U.S. by Intrepid Traveler’s guide
to “America’s Best Zoos”.

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The Detroit Zoo’s herd of Zebras include female, Zoe, born in 2002,
and female Elvira, a resident since 1993. The male Zebra is ZZ, he
arrived in 2003. Elvira is the leader and Zoe is a follower. They both
stay away from ZZ, as he is to aggressive, they say. A few facts:
All Zebras are uniquely stripped. No two Zebras have the same
strips. The Grevy Zebra is not related to the horse, but to the Donkey.
The Detroit Zoo is home to three Giraffes, a 4-year-old male. Jabari,
and two females, Chardo, 27, and Kivuli, 3. Facts: No two Giraffes
have the same spotted coats, but may have similar. They weigh
1750 to 2800 pounds. A Giraffe’s neck can weight 600 pounds itself.
Height can be 14 to 16 feet. The Detroit Zoo has a program called
Giraffe Encounter, the program started in 2007 and up to 50 people
can feed them at a time. You must buy a ticket for this at the ticket
counter, with a timed reservation. I must say, this was the most
exciting part of my visit to the zoo, the Zebras and Giraffes were
so beautiful. It makes me think I would love to go on an African
Safari someday.

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Science on a Sphere is a global display system that uses computers
and video projectors to display planetary data onto a 6 foot diameter
sphere, which projects it to a giant animated globe. It allows us
to easily view and interpret global phenomena and is a great teaching
tool to educate audiences on environmental issues that impact our
lives. The Detroit Zoo is only the second zoo in the country to install
the system as a permanent attraction. It was actually, a very good
and interesting display, which gives the visitor a broader knowledge
of how important our environment is to our well-being.

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The Detroit Zoo’s Penguinarium, which opened in 1968, was the first
of its kind in North America designed specifically for penguins. It is a
three-sided habitat that is surrounded by a continuous pool which
allows the penguins to swim fast enough to fly through the water, as
frequently seen in the wild. The amazing thing here, is that they have
started to break ground on a $29.5M new penguin center. The outside
of the center will have an iceberg like look. The interior will include
effects such as arctic blasts, waves and snow. It will include a penguin
deep dive with views from above and below a 326,000 gallon, 25 foot
deep tank. It will be home to 80 penguins of four species.

I so enjoyed my day at the zoo and was very impressed with not only
the grounds, but the animals and their displays.

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