zoo adventures

January 16, 2014

zoo new yearszoo new yearszoozoo new yearszoo new yearszoo new yearszoo new yearszoo new yearsWe made a trip to the San Diego Zoo to see their Christmas decor and the polar bears. For some reason, I had it stuck in my mind that they went all out for it. Nope. I was totally wrong. They did have some lights strung up and bells, but the park closes at 5, so by then no one is around to enjoy the lights. Anyhow, we still had a wonderful time and checked out all the exhibits we weren’t able to see the last time we went. Our Glow is such an animal lover that she was just completely enamored with all the different animals she saw. It’s Ben’s dream to move down to San Diego, but even though that hasn’t happened, at least not yet (you never know!), it’s nice that San Diego isn’t that far from us.

We travel these days with a light umbrella stroller, we ditched our double stroller awhile back, but I still bring around my sling in the case that Soul really needs to sit and I can still wear Glow on me.  I have so many good memories of baby wearing. I’ve used the same sling (from this company) for all the girls and it is just so much more convenient sometimes, especially when there were teeny tiny.

We recently watched the documentary Black Fish and Ben and I were absolutely shocked. Then, I started questioning our zoo passes (we have it for a year, so we will probably be back). Kids love going to the zoo and supposedly the zoo does a lot of things for the conservation of animals, but I can’t help but be a little skeptical now after watching that documentary. Technically, animals at the zoo are in captivity too, so I don’t know. It’s something we have to keep thinking through and find more articles on, and make a decision on what we learn and feel is best. Have you watched Black Fish?

P.S. I don’t think it’s wrong if you still continue to go to Sea World or the zoo. We all just make the best decisions based on our convictions. We all learn, grow, and change, so that’s part of it too.

Alex, a reader, kindly left a comment sharing about the discrepancies that may be presented in Blackfish. You can read about it here, here, here, and here. I think it’s good to read these things alongside watching the documentary and make the best informed decision for you and your family. I started researching articles on zoos and animals in captivity there, but I admit I didn’t research anything regarding the documentary, so it’s a good reminder to always do so (and to always hear both sides of a story). I think both the documentary and the articles against it are very interesting.

13 comments on “zoo adventures”

  • Sarah Ashley says:

    I watched Blackfish as well, and I think it’s important to remember that there is a significant difference between Sea World and a lot of zoos (though not all of them). Zoos do a lot of care for animals that have been injured in the wild and can no longer survive safely. In that regard, I can respect captivity as long as the animals are well cared for and happy. The Sea World whales, on the other hand, got there by being taken out of the ocean when they were perfectly healthy and shipped off to various facilities. I know you watched the documentary so I don’t need to elaborate 🙂 Not only that, but I was disturbed that they separate whales from their mothers and ship them across the country when they are DESIGNED to be with their mothers long term. I am in no way an animal activist (far from it), but that doc really got me thinking. We should leave the healthy animals of the world alone and let them exist as they know they’re meant to.

  • Frédérique says:

    I am also a baby wearing fan! I also often wonder about the zoo and this documentary sounds interesting! I am curious: why does Ben want to move to San Diego? What do you guys love about it? xo

  • liz says:

    Hi There! We live here in SD and LOVE it. I watched Blackfish and tore up our passes to Sea World. They do a lot of conservation, but in the end they are a FOR profit business and the animals (especially the larger ones – orcas, pilot whales, and dolphins) suffer because of it. If even half of what it stated was true, I know I don’t want to be a part of it. The zoo and wild animal park on the other hand is NOT for profit. They work extremely hard to right the wrongs of the past… for example they don’t allow close contact with particular animals anymore due to stress, even though it was a great attraction. We know one of the people who runs the Wild Animal Park and the animals and their quality of life is her passion. Either way, like you said everyone has to do what THEY think is right 😉 Glad you love our hometown!

  • Hannah says:

    They are so cute and big! I’ve been reading since Brave was the baby. It’s amazing to see them all grow.

  • savannah says:

    I watched black fish and cried. I had a childhood dream of working and sea world and I loved shamu. We won’t be back. I like you am skeptical of zoos especially tiny ones. I am from Tucson and the zoo is so small. The animals don’t seem happy and it is so hot .I thought tucson is no place for polar bears and sure enough one died there not too long ago. I did love going to San Diego zoo and I forget the name of the wild life park in California where the animals have much more room to roam. It is amazing the difference in size the animals had when given more space . MY Husband dreams of living in San Diego also. Great pictures <3

  • nikki says:

    ah! i love the zoo. looks like fun 🙂



  • Rachel says:

    I grew up in San Diego and never knew why people thought of Zoos as being bad places for the animals since The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park (now called The Safari Park) are so expansive and really try to provide such nice environments for their animals. When I think of places talking about how they do “conservation” I always think of The Wild Animal Park. My husband and I live near Waco Texas now and while I really liked their Zoo there was such a difference in the animals behaviors as well as the exhibits. A few of them were mindlessly pacing back and forth in their enclosures and the panther’s enclosure was way too small. All of our friends said the same animals we’d mentioned pacing were doing that when they went as well. I definitely had mixed feelings after we went there and am not sure if we will return. It definitely opened my eyes as to what other zoos are like and how different The San Diego Zoo really is. Over Christmas break my husband and I watched Black Fish too. I was shocked. I don’t know that we will bring our children to Seaworld after that. SO many icky things about the company.

  • Emily says:

    Ah San Deigo, my family spent a year in La Jolla when I was in first grade (we’re English so it was an amazing cultural experience) I would love to live there with my children for a bit too. I think the Zoo there has an excellent reputation for the management of its animals and I look back with fondness, my memories of Shamu however are definitely viewed differently….

  • Julie says:

    You always have the nicest pics!

  • Kylie says:

    I watched Blackfish and also somewhat questioned zoos/SeaWorld. I am from Nebraska and we have one of the best zoos in the country in Omaha so it is difficult to perceive them being a bad place. I think the basis of what I learned was that animals born and bred in captivity will have a difficult time surviving in the wild so the zoo is a great place for them as long as they are well taken care of and it is promoting environmental conservation. (woah run on sentence)

    So if your ever in the Midwest definitely check out the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

  • Andria says:

    We were just there today!!

  • Alex says:

    There are 3 Articles regarding Black Fish that are worth reading. One of the Sea World trainers who contributed footage deeply regrets her involvement with this film. Black Fish is not a true documentary, they do not shed light on this subject in an unbiased manner.

    Before boycotting Sea World, please read these:




    Sea World does a lot of great things concerning animal rights and environmental protection. Don’t watch a movie on Netflix, and let that be your only background information before forming an opinion!

    • Rubyellen says:

      Thank you Alex for leaving those links. I updated the post to include those links for people to read through if they choose to do so. I definitely agree it’s good to research something, and while I started researching zoo animal captivity, I didn’t even research the documentary (thank you for the reminder!). While I definitely already knew the documentary was a bit slanted, I think it is interesting to read those articles you shared as well. Thank you for sharing! It is very much appreciated!

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