For my son's seventh birthday, we forewent Chuck E Cheese, and packed up the car for a San Antonio daytrip. Our main destination, the San Antonio Zoo, which we had only half-explored when he was three. I visited the zoo many times as a child on summer stays with my grandmother, who, in the interest of preserving my good time, gracefully masked her sadness over the pacing cats and other creatures in tight enclosures.
Fast forward to last Saturday, one of those rare, rain-free days of late January. Contented grizzlies snoozed in the sunshine, "Lucky" the elephant trumpeted (loudly), brilliant lorikeets sucked nectar, then flitted from branch to branch, and blubbery hippos balletically swam in the new Africa Live. Is it the Alaskan Peninsula? The African savanna? The Australian rainforest? Lake Malawi? None of the above, but the zoo has come a long way. Grandma would be glad.
Check out the March issue of TH, which includes a Speaking of Texas piece on adventurer Frank Buck, for whom Gainesville's zoo is named.