4/11/08 Litchfield Park, Arizona.
Review: This spring visit coincided with that of screaming children and school groups. (The zoo has since been renovated to add an adjoining aquarium. The addition of the aquarium helps swallow some of the crowds.) To see a review of the aquarium, click here. If you appreciate an enormous collection of birds and small primates but aren’t as intent on photographing them, this zoo is a good stop for you. If you’re keen on photographing them, bring your patience and a good zoom lens, something f2.8 would be ideal.
Photographability: I shot with a Mark IIn and the 70-200 zoom lens and the Canon G7. It was a bright sunny day, the ISO was mostly fixed at 200. This zoo is truly a photographers challenge. Either the exhibits use photo friendly natural barriers (yay!) or something entirely impossible to photograph through, let alone view the animals. Two layers of cyclone fencing AND/or cross hatched giant birdcage like enclosures are sure ways to keep me walking.
Highlights: There were a lot of babies, babies make zoos fun! The giraffes aren’t represented at left, but the giraffe exhibit allows for some fun interactions.
Lowlights: Along with a an extensive bird collection they also have a lot of little primates in impossible to see enclosures. The paths are all dirt, it gets pretty dusty when the children all scuff their feet, so you’ll need something to occasionally wipe your lens.
Pleasant surprise: I like ducks, ducklings are even cooler!
Would I return: Sure, if Judy (see her photos) wants to see the new aquarium next time we’re in Arizona, I’ll go.
Rating: 5 (out of 10)