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[Comments] (1) Merry Christmas!: Yesterday felt like Maggie's birthday. She got lots of presents (she's already had several talks about taking Dalton's toys away) and we finally did the thing she's been begging to do for months - ride an elephant!

I was very impressed with the Bangalore Zoo (aka Bhannerghatta Biological Park). The reviews we read online made me worried I wasn't going to like it because of the animals' situations. But there were only a few things I didn't like to see. Also, the zoo was a lot bigger than I expected.

The zoo had bears (being fed popcorn), a zebra (being petted through the fence), a lot of different crocodiles, various monkeys and birds, and a leopard. They had two hippopotami. They looked pretty dry and miserable, but I think they were in a different pen while their regular one was being cleaned and filled with nice fresh water. At least that's what I'm telling myself. There were some ducks in a small pen with fencing over the top and a puddle of water to swim in. And they had 10 Asian elephants.

Four of the elephants were hanging out eating hay. Both of the kids were so excited to see them! Dalton just loved it. The elephant rides were on the other side of the zoo. There were 6 elephants over there. There were two babies taking tips and being petted (and tapped with sticks to behave), two just hanging out, and two giving rides. We paid less than $3 for all four of us to ride the elephant, since the kids were free. The drivers had their bare feet behind the elephants' ears to steer them. Ours was also spitting tobacco and listening to a radio.

The Grand Safari was great. We got in a crowded bus with grates covering the windows (minus holes for cameras). The bus entered the enclosures via double gates (Jurassic Park-style). We didn't have to wait in line and got nice seats up front, since we're white (but really because they assume we have money to tip well - if an Indian waved some rupees around, he'd get the same treatment).

We got up close and personal with sloth bears, white tigers, and lion cubs. So close - one of the white tigers we saw walked up to the road and the bus driver cut him off, so he just stood there looking at us. It was pretty cool! They had a lot of animals, many of them were in cages. I guess they can't let them all run free at the same time.

Dalton was one of the more popular exhibits at the zoo. He made friends with lots of people and the kids also had people ask to take pictures with them. When we left, the lines for the safari and the ticket booth were huge! We arrived a couple hours after they opened, but apparently that was plenty early. Our entire zoo trip was under $20 - a very great Christmas activity.


© 1999-2022 Susanna Chadwick.