Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday @ The Santa Ana Zoo

SANTA ANA, FEB 8 - What better way to celebrate the birthday of America's first and/or sixteenth presidents than by driving down to a small zoo in Orange County and making fun of our genetic inferiors?

The Santa Ana Zoo is a wee, primate-heavy sanctuary that can be fully explored in about 20 minutes. There isn't a single dangerous animal in the place, unless you count the softball-sized Goliath Birdeater tarantula that could strip your face off in about four seconds, if only you'd get close enough to that glass display case to give it a chance.

There were fewer weekend fathers at Santa Ana than at the sprawling LA Zoo 40 miles straight up the I-5 (although multiple signs informed us that this is where Disney's Bad Dad opus "Old Dogs" was filmed last year). As usual, me and the missus were the only childless couple there. After a certain amount of awkward stares, I gave serious thought to running around and frantically yelling "Dylan! Dylan!! Where are you honey!?!"

Please do not eat lunch at the Pearl Of The Amazon.

There is no dearth of tamarin monkeys at the Santa Ana zoo: Golden Lions, Cottontops, comically mustachioed Emperors. They strut around like little caricature humans, seemingly oblivious to the mirth and merriment they provide their captors. Only the morose South American Titi monkey, several cages away, seemed to slightly grasp that he/she was the butt of jokes. At least the little guys, being little, had a decent amount of space to frolic in.

Still, it's a zoo; howler monkeys can't roam, lemurs stare off into space, the lama enclosure is fifty feet from the eternal roar of I-5. A mighty bald eagle sat in one enclosure, smaller than my living room, and stared at the wall. A sign told us his wing had been "damaged" in the wild. I guess it was good that he didn't stay in the wild and get eaten by other eagles, but it was still pretty demoralizing. I'm not sure why I was so surprised.

I gotta be honest; I'm getting pretty sick of our Samsung NV3 digital camera. Just because I refuse to read the instruction manual and/or learn even the basics of photography, how does that equal me taking astoundingly crappy photos??!??