Firstly visiting in Thanksgiving week was probably my best and worst move ever - on the plus side it wasn't too busy, weather wasn't brilliant which suited my Scottish blood to a T and there weren't queues or mad mash ups to see the animals which meant I got to hang around for hours just watching the pandas without feeling I was stopping anyone else from doing so. on the down side when I went on the Monday there were no shows and all but one of the food stations were shut, on the Saturday I was there nice and early for it opening and almost nothing was out - my naivete showed because I didn't know it had to be 40degrees before most of them were let out, the pandas however were quite active in the cold which was the opposite to my Monday visit so I guess this is a plus too.
I overestimated the size of the zoo but again this was my own fault as I had been to Busch Gardens in the Summer and San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wildlife Parks in fall 2009 so I assumed all American zoos were huge - more from enthusiasm and excitement then idiocy I assure you.
Generally speaking I was impressed with the animals habitats, preferred the panda area to that of San Diego which surprised me and I thought the Gorillas and Orangutans had fantastic areas, it was nice to see how they were sectioned too so that you could compare the different groups. I was however was a little concerned about the Tiger and the Sun Bears as they seemed to me to be stressed and pacing a lot. I had to go away from the Tanuki as I found myself getting distressed watching the little guy just circling around and around the tree at the top of his paddock, I was there for two full days and apart from when he fell asleep every time I passed he was circling around - this seems to be a fell formed habit looking at how the dirt is cleared and compact.
Staff and volunteers were incredible, helpful, knowledgeable and friendly - a real credit to the zoo in all respects.
Prices were brilliant too, first visit was using the Atlanta City Pass but I was happy to pay again.
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