Operation Bandicoot, Day 11, July 20.
Our final stop for this road trip was the famous Columbus Zoo, in Columbus, Ohio. This is one of the better zoos in North America, and may be best known for being the home base of Jack Hanna, host of the syndicated television show Jack Hannah’s Wild Countdown. This zoo is located in Powell, Ohio, just a short drive from Dublin. We managed to get an early start this time, and arrived at the zoo around 9:30AM.
As with other galleries, I’m only scratching the surface of this great zoo. But I think I managed to get a good sample of the menagerie of animals this place has.
In hindsight, it was interesting to see so many cold weather creatures that day, given that it was hot as hell!
Wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, and some other savanna creatures that I can’t make out.
Giraffe. There are actually two species of giraffe, and this zoo has both. I can’t tell which one I have here.
Common (savannah) Warthogs
Malaysian giant fruit bat, also known as the flying fox.
Red panda, one of my favorites animals.
Markhor antelope. Dang, these guys have presence!
Bengal (Indian) tiger
Amur (Siberian) tiger
Caitlin posing on a live-size bronze statue of an Amur tiger. It’s not until you see one of these statues that you realize just how big a tiger can be!
I think this is an Eastern Hellbender, a type of giant North American salamander. I thought it’s face reminded me of Toothless.
Giant Galapagos tortoise
Bonobo. This is one of the few zoos that has these elusive – and endangered – great apes in captivity. They generally don’t do well in captivity, but this zoo has managed to keep several, and even has a breeding program.
Red River hogs
Mandrills, both an adult and a baby. It was hard to get a picture of these guys.
Okapi, another creature not often seen in zoos. These relatives of the giraffe are highly endangered because of habitat loss.
A camera-shy orangutan.
Caitlin and I posing with a bronze statue of a lowland gorilla.
Red kangaroo. There is a small section of the zoo where the kangaroos and the humans are in the same space. Under the right circumstances, you could probably touch the creatures! Though I’m not sure I would recommend doing that, given their frequently bad temper.
Koala, also camera shy.
Ridley’s sea turtle
Michael and Caitlin posing with a bronze statue of a manatee, the final photo of the trip.
This zoo is amazing. I strongly recommend it, though I’m not sure July was the best time to go. It was very hot and the humidity was oppressive. When we were finished, we limped our way to a shopping mall to have some dinner. The mall also had a play area where Caitlin and Michael were able to burn off some of their remaining energy.
I do remember deciding, however, that the next time we travel during the summer, I would try to find hotels with swimming pools.
Day 12, July 21.
We were also so tired that we slept very well the previous night. Even Michael went to sleep early. We left Dublin around 9am and started for home. We had considered making a couple of photo stops along the way, but never did. Truth be told, we were now all so tired that we weren’t in the mood for much of anything. We almost stopped for dinner at a pizza place we like in Front Royal, but since Michael was asleep, and none of us were very interested, we passed on that. We arrived home a little before 7pm. Recall again that the drive over the Appalachian ridge is perhaps the worst part of this entire route. We all went to bed early, and I had a lot of trouble getting out of bed for work the next day.
And with that, Operation Bandicoot, a highly successful family road trip, came to a peaceful conclusion.
I’m already jotting down ideas for the next family road trip.