Penguins, Komodo dragon among our favorites at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo

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As we started making our way through Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, my daughter and I worried that the cool and wet weather may affect seeing many animals. We figured the zoo keepers had quartered them.

We were happy to see the penguins. My daughter Mallory loves penguins, so, of course, that love has rolled over to the rest of us. Who can blame us? Penguins are cute animals. And fun to watch.

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Plus, it was enjoyable to watch a heron hang out with the penguins, especially at feeding time. It knew how to get its share of the fish the zookeeper brought out.

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As we continued our walk through the 92-acre wooded zoo, we found a few empty spots where the zebras and lemurs would be.

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However, our luck turned as we came across a jaguar roaming its area. I really like the exhibit areas for the animals. The jaguar display included a waterfall.

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Checking out the bird displays inside the tropical rain forest was a challenge. They liked to hide from us or spend very little time on a branch. It was kind of a game for us watching them to guess where they were going to land. The birds were very pretty.

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The gorilla exhibit gave us some enjoyable views. One gorilla was sleeping. He was in the fetal position, so we kind of felt bad for him, wondering if something was wrong or maybe he was a little chilly. Another sat in front of us with his back to us. A third was in the corner with a very serious look on his face.

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It’s rare that I see a hippo out of the water, but we did see one grazing along a muddy path. Mallory asked if she could have one for Christmas. I told her it would eat her up. Apparently, a teacher once told her that a hippo is a vegetarian.

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The king of the jungle is in Seattle. A male lion and a female were hanging out under an overhang. She spent time inside the shelter, pacing back and forth while the male sat on a stone platform.

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Perhaps, my second favorite attraction (after the penguins, of course) was the Komodo dragon. This bugger was long. He had a roomy area for himself. I think there is something beautiful and majestic about these lizards.

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We even got to view some amphibians, including a large frog.

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Gators and crocodiles were also on display.

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The Woodland Park Zoo was in the middle of its annual “Wildlights” holiday display. We spent about an hour touring the zoo and then another hour checking out the holiday displays. “Wildlights” offers visitors an opportunity to see the holiday lights in shapes of animals and insects, as well as accenting trees and plants.

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We had a nice time walking around the zoo, both during the day and then during the evening light display. Lisa and I plan to visit again when we travel back to Seattle in the spring to visit Mallory. I recommend visiting the Woodland Park Zoo.

For more information on the zoo and its animals, please visit www.zoo.org.

Disclaimer: Thank you to the Woodland Park Zoo for the complimentary passes to the zoo and the “Wildlights” exhibit. However, all opinions and views are mine.

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