Last Saturday, I visited the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, along with a couple of my brother St. Louis Seminarians. I've already posted a gallery of my pictures from the zoo, but I wanted to also post a little more information about the visit, and also compare it to the Saint Louis Zoo, from my home town.
The Omaha Zoo has a very distinctive 'Desert Dome,' which is one of Omaha's landmarks. Inside a glass-enclosed dome, the air is very arid, and there's an environment able to support a variety of desert life, including different flora and fauna. Unfortunately, since I visited the dome last, later in the day, it was much too crowded to spend any time taking pictures, so I only had a few from there, including the picture below of a bird about the size of an owl, but with the largest beak:body ratio I've ever seen!
Below the Desert Dome is a very dark and dank amphibian exibit, also including a few bat caves. One odd thing about this area was the fact that, when crowded (as when I was there), half of your time is spent avoiding bumping into other people (especially small children), as the environment was nearly pitch black. It would've been a much more interesting area if it hadn't been so crowded.
As we arrived to the Zoo, we headed over to the Zebra section, and were greeted with an unusual display (at least, in my experience): an ostrich was chasing all the zebras around, showing them who was boss. The ostrich looked like it didn't like us there, either, but there wasn't anything the ostrich could do about that (thankfully!):
Walking around the zoo, there seemed to be an abundance of peacocks serenly strutting about, but none of them showed us their beautiful feathers until late in our visit, when we happened upon one who was unphased, even when a small boy was pulling on one of its long feathers!
We also went through the monkey and gorilla areas, said hello to the sea lions and river otters, visited the lions, tigers and bears (oh, my!), notice a few hogs, rhinos, and other four-legged critters, and walked through the Zoo's bird cage. We weren't able to visit the jungle exhibit, nor could we get into the butterfly house, due to the long lines, but we did get to walk through the most excellent aquarium, which had some breathtaking displays, including a walk-through aquarium with fish, sharks, etc. all whizzing over your head:
All in all, the zoo was a good diversion for a Saturday morning, but if you want to visit, make sure you get there early! We arrived right at opening time, and it wasn't too crowded, but all morning the crowds were getting thicker and thicker, to the point of making certain areas of the zoo unenjoyable to be in. Admission was $11, which, for what we got, was worth it. But, coming from St. Louis, where we have an excellent and free zoo, I felt a little put off by the high price of admission. Some of the exhibits at Omaha's zoo didn't seem to be kept up that well, but they do have some unique exhibits and are working on a whole new area of the zoo, which I'm sure won't disappoint.
A fellow Kenrick-Glennon seminarian also visited the zoo, and offers his pictures in this blog post.