One of the nice surprises of my L.A. Blogging trip last month was seeing an early screening of Disneynature’s Bears movie. It opens this Friday just in time for Earth Day and it’s so worth seeing. Adorable, inspirational and just beautiful. You won’t believe how close these photographers got to the bears!
Anyways, what did we all do immediately after seeing the adorable movie? We hopped in our handy shuttle bus and went straight to the L.A. Zoo! (That’s the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, if you want to give full credit where credit’s due.)
We didn’t just spend a few hours at the zoo, though. Uh uh. When you go on a Disney Blogging Trip you don’t “just” do anything. We got the special VIP treatment via a private tour!
We started off at the tour in the special Condor Exhibit. This one’s a perfect place for kids, as this indoor exhibit is set up to let you experience what it’s like to be a condor.
You can spread your wings just like Leanette!
Or pretend to feed baby condors using a condor puppet like my blogging buddy Stefani here!
It was fun looking around the entire room too, which was set up like a condor habitat. Besides information all around explaining things about condors, there were critters hiding in all the nooks and crannies. I didn’t even notice that condor on top until I was just about to leave!
After playing around in that room for a bit, our guide took us back to a special Condor Rescue Zone!
We were in for a real special treat too. Not many people get to see this but we were introduced to an actual condor named Dolly! She’s huge! She also seemed incredibly gentle.
After our flight of the Condors, we headed over to the Chimpanzees. But man, that’s such a far walk. And it was so hot out. And… oh, wait. That’s right. We had our own private transportation! A woot woot!
Our drivers were an absolute riot by the way, making fun of each other the whole time, and even putting the pedal to the medal when it counted, so we could zoom past all the other trams! As you can see, we started in the rear, trailing behind Louise (left) and Leanette who just kept screaming that we all need to stop at the next Churro Hut.
On the way to the Chimpanzees, we passed “this” close to the giraffes. Like seriously, look how close that sucker is! He’s right up in that guy’s business, he’s like two seconds away from eating his hat!
We finally made it to the Chimpanzees without running over any tourists. They had a real nice big area to climb around in. There’s always a stray fella off by himself though.
As the Keeper talked to us about the Chimps (it’s properly pronounced “chim-PANZEE”), she started feeding them. Which, of course, brought the gang loads closer to our wide-eyed blogging selves.
We snarfed down a great picnic lunch and then swung over to see what the Masai Giraffes were all about. Ask my mom to tell you a zoo story from my childhood and she will inevitably tell you how I made them walk all over the place for hours just to see the giraffes! (At which point I believe I smiled and said, “Okay, we can go home now.”)
So what else did we see on our LA Zoo adventure? Well, there was this adorable pair of hippos! The Keeper there told us how these two friends are always together. Just like they are in this photo, with one resting its head on the other. Underwater or above, this was how they were the entire time I watched them move around. Pretty sweet, huh?
I loved hearing about Rhonda the Indian Rhinoceros. You’ll notice she’s missing her horn. That’s because doctors removed it when they discovered cancer spreading in its base. This big gal’s a 7-year cancer survivor!
Before you ask, yes, we did eventually make it to see the Bears exhibit. Here’s the gorgeous American Black Bear Liberty!
We ended our fantastic day at the zoo with a turn on the animal-filled carousel. Unicorns. Lions. Even a dung beetle! What animal would I choose? Well, I knew it the second I saw it. My wife is as obsessed with puffins as I am with Captain America. So yeah, I couldn’t resist.
Super duper thank you to the entire L.A. Zoo team for an amazing and animaltastic day at the zoo!
Bears opens Friday 4/18
Follow hashtags #DisneynatureBears and #MeetTheCubs
And be sure to get your paws on one of these adorable plush Amber or Scout bears! In fact, The Disney Store will contribute $1 to the NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION for every BEARS plush purchased between now and 5/11/14.