I haven’t been to Riverbanks since the “Lights Before Christmas” event. Last Saturday my daughter and I braved the crowds and the heat to see what’s new at the zoo.
Newest exhibit: Kangaroo Walkabout
Although is hard to replace the feisty sea lions (remember Big Boy?) the kangaroos and wallabies held their own on the fun factor. Kids love to get close (really close!) to the strange looking creatures. The are two staff guides that monitor the animals and are happy to answer questions.
Red Necked Wallabies – Wallabies are the smaller cousins of the kangaroos.
Happy to sit next to young wallabies
The red-necked wallaby is the largest of all the wallabies.
Like kangaroos, wallabies get around by hopping and raise young in a pouch in the female’s belly. They spend the dawn and dusk hours eating grasses and other plants, and rest during broad daylight.
Red-Necked Wallabies have been killed for their fur and because they eat same grass as sheep.
Red Kangaroos – Males are called “boomers”, females “flyers” and the young are called “joeys”. Kangaroos can live up to 20 years of age.
Is fun watching the kangaroos only feet away
In the wild, males live lot less than females (5-10 years vs. 10-15 years) due to constant fighting with other males and their mostly solitary life.
An adult male red kangaroo can weigh 200 pounds and grow to be 5 feet tall, truly remarkable considering at birth he is as big as a jelly bean!
Kangaroos are mostly nocturnal. During the day they cope with the heat by licking their wrists.
They can hop over 6 feet tall fences, leap over 25 feet and reach speeds of 30 mph! When threatened, kangaroos stomp the ground with their hind legs and thump with their tales. They can deliver a powerful kick if necessary!
The Gorilla exhibit is still a family favorite. There is renewed interest after the short yet exciting escapade last year and the sad departure of Kimya, the youngest male, this year.
The one gorilla who did not get away...
2010 Price and Food Updates:
Admission is now $11.75 adults, $9.25 children (under 3 get in FREE), $10.75 military and seniors. There is a new $28.75 (per person) Combo Pass that includes admission and unlimited rides.
The Meerkat Manor of Columbia!
There are 2 new “Explorer” membership options, $99 individual and $149 family, which provide unlimited rides and attractions on top of the usual benefits.
See all the details here.
You can get a $20 Day Pass for unlimited rides and feedings. The price for each individual attraction has not changed ($5 pony ride, $2 train ride, $2 3D Theater, $1 carousel, and $1 giraffe and lorikeet feeding).
Best place to eat is still the Kenya cafe, which is open year around and offers indoor A/C seating. All grill meals include french fries and cost around $4. Choose from burgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, chicken and BBQ sandwiches. There are grab-and-go salads, deli sandwiches, yogurt, fruits and more.
Stay wild, be cool at the Riverbanks Zoo!
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