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It is Christmas break, the kids are out of school and thanks to El Nino the weather in Texas is near 80 in December. Right you go to the zoo. We packed up the car and headed off, I must say that for a change traffic was not bad on a Saturday afternoon for once.

The San Antonio Zoo or the official name, The San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium is a 56 acre facility that houses over 9,000 animals which accounts for some 750 different species from around the globe. I think this is the perfect size for zoo, it was big enough to seem large and an adventure for my 8 year old son, but not overwhelming to get around in for us adults. At just over a hundred years old this zoo is home to one of the world’s largest collection of birds. The Hixon Bird House, funded through the efforts of Colonel Frederick C. Hixon, opened in 1966.

The newest addition to the zoo is the return of giraffes. The San Antonio Zoo has a heard of e male giraffes. I learned that in the wild these animals heard by gender except when they are trying to mate. This small heard is all male and a family of a father and two sons. The giraffes live in an open, naturalistic exhibit with limestone cliffs as the backdrop. The Savanna exhibit will feature an exciting giraffe feeding station soon. The giraffes just met the public in late November and as soon as they get acclimated to their new surroundings and keepers are working at getting them comfortable with approaching the feeding station you will be able to feed them by hand. The exhibit has a shaded overlook supervised and interpreted by Zoo staff and volunteers.

DSC_0028The most impressive animal on exhibit to me was the hippopotamus. I have seen hippos at other zoos and see them swim through the clear walls at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Last Saturday at the zoo here the two hippos were, for lack of a better word, playing with the guest. One got up eyeball to eyeball with my youngest son and the other was hanging out with its mouth wide open showing off teeth and letting all the little fish in the habitat with it dart in and out and (I assume) clean the hippo’s mouth.

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The San Antonio Zoo is open 365 days a year! We are open rain or shine. No outside food or drink is allowed other than water, some small snack size items and of course baby food and formula. The zoo is open every day 9:00AM to 6:00PM (except from November 27 thru January 3 when closing time is 4:00PM) this allows the zoo time to set up for Zoo lights – Holiday Nights. A walk through festival of Lights.

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Admission Prices:

Members: FREE
Military Discount: $3.00 Off
Adults: $14.25
Senior Citizens 62 and over: $11.25
Children 3 – 11 yrs: $11.25
Children ages 2 and under: FREE
Handicapped 3 – 14 yrs: $7.00
Handicapped 15 yrs and over: $9.00
Parking: FREE
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