August 9, 2013

The Denver Zoo

This week I took a break from sewing and visited the Denver Zoo. Founded in 1896, the zoo was one of the first to do away with barred cages and introduce naturalistic enclosures. The first of these natural style moated enclosures was called Bear Mountain and was a large rock style structure using concrete cast from molds made in the nearby Rocky Mountain foothills. The refurbished version of this exhibit still exists at the zoo today!

account of the first Bear Mountain, photo from the zoo
The zoo today is known for its continued focus on building improved and naturalistic enclosures and conservation of endangered species. When I visited this week there was an adorable snow leopard cub who was born at the zoo in May. The zoo works with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) which works to ensure genetic diversity among zoo animals and maintaining healthy populations. The zoo opened its newest renovated area (10 acres!) Toyota Elephant Passage in June of 2012 and this was my first visit since it opened. I loved the new exhibit which gives the animals a lot of room to roam around and is well designed for visitors as well. I can highly recommend visiting the Denver zoo if you haven't been before, below are a million pictures I took throughout the day!

Snow leopard mama Natasha, cub Misha was too busy playing to stop long enough for a photo op! 

A gorgeous tiger who was having a great time and hamming is up for the onlookers, he climbed up onto of the chain link box protecting one of his tree and draped himself over it as if asking to be admired
These guys were so tiny and super cute!

Part of the Toyota Elephant Passage

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