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Going to the Zoo in Different Kinds of Weather

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ZooElephantsMan, 4 Sep 2021.

  1. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    I was considering going to the zoo a few days ago, until I saw that it was going to rain. This made me wonder what you all thought about going to the zoo in different weather conditions (rain, snow, sun, etc).

    The average zoo-goer would probably only go on a nice, sunny day. But there are merits to going in the rain, since you will avoid the crowds, and since the animals may behave differently in different kinds of weather.

    What do you all think is the best weather to go to the zoo in? What do you see as the positive and negative aspects of visiting the zoo in different weather conditions?

    PS. This may also be a good place to discuss going to the zoo at different times of day. I know some zoos are occasionally open at night, which may be an interesting and unique time to visit.
     
  2. Mayki

    Mayki Well-Known Member

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    I only usually cancel a trip if it is raining. And even then if it is a light shower then I would still go. This of course doesn't apply to mostly indoor zoos...

    I've never been to the zoo while it is snowing before but I would love to, that sounds like a really nice experience.
     
  3. Skukuza

    Skukuza Well-Known Member

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    I plan my day to go and will go in any/all weathers even if it is hammering down.

    One favourite weather memory was visiting Berlin Tierpark in nearly foot deep snow; and being the first visitors of the day trudging through the pristine landscape was amazing. Snow filled ditches around enclosures made barriers disappear and it was amazing the variety of animals that chose to brave the snow including the elephants!
     
  4. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

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    While it’s raining or snowing is very interesting to see how the animals interact with both. After rain and snow isn’t as great, the exhibits are usually muddy which can take away the best aesthetic for some exhibits. When it’s warm and sunny animals can be very active in the morning but as it gets hotter the animals tend to be much less active. I have also seen some animals get very excited by wind.
     
  5. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My best experience going to zoos is on cooler (not cold) and cloudy (not stormy) days. The combination of slightly colder weather means most animals are still out but are more active, while fewer people visit because it's chilly enough to deter some of them. The lack of sun also means less glare on viewing windows and sometimes better photography without sun interference.
     
  6. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    I prefer cloudy days, where it looks like it might rain. Less visitors, better for photos, and animals tend to be more active. I hate really sunny days. For zoos with a lot of buildings, like Smithsonian, days where it's heavily rainy can be fantastic! I went to Pittsburgh right after a snow storm last year and it was wonderful. There weren't as many animals outside, of course, but the ones that were, were very active and having lots of fun. I only need one hand to count the number of other visitors I saw while I was there, I basically had the zoo to myself.

    Just read @Coelacanth18's post above, looks like we agree :)
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    I live in the UK, the idea of cancelling a zoo trip because of rain just seems weird.
     
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  8. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    I don't like dark, foggy days with persistent rain (like sometimes in late autumn) to go to zoos.
    Cold winter winds can make a trip quite painful ; it happened for me in January 2015.
    I don't like especially the very hot days, because the animals aren't active except in the early morning or evening).
    Instead I love sunny days in winter (the sky is clear, nearly perfect for photography, and there are few visitors, so I'm not disturbed).
    I can bear the rains (and even storms) if not persistent all the day ; in these cases I can mix indoor and outdoor exhibits in my trip).
    I never experienced snow in my zoo trips, but it doesn't tempt me (I live in Central France, where the snowy days are usually dull and grey, I may have other opinions if I lived in Scandinavia or Eastern Europe for example).
     
  9. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

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    I actually enjoy most, if not all types of weather at the zoo (obviously not anything dangerous). But I usually make the most of it and try to appreciate/enjoy it in different ways.
     
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  10. Julio C Castro

    Julio C Castro Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    As a photographer, cloudy/rainy days in Southern California are much appreciated and too far apart from seeing. I have better control of the exposure and colors in post processing, adding a bit of warmth to the colors in. It definitely helps with glare from hitting the ground or through windows.

    But aside from photography, I have found most animals to be more active due to the chill weather. Or depending on zoo exhibit design, they may have heated rock units or warmer areas where people can typically enjoy the animals. For example, there are few spots on Lion Camp particularly by the bridge where they are heated and lions love to lay on them during those cloudy or cool days. Makes for a more enjoyable experience and unobstructed by glass :)

    Other than that, So Cal has what I call “Four seasons of Summer”. Slightly varying degrees of warm or hot weather generally year round despite change in seasons :D
     
  11. Jambi

    Jambi Well-Known Member

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    I actually prefer darker, cloudier days at zoos, when there aren't as many people. While you're more likely to see an animal outside on a hot sunny day, there also tend to more guests there and that can make it a lot more stressful to get around.
     
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  12. pangolin12

    pangolin12 Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes when it’s really sunny it can be absolutely shattering, especially on trips to zoos like Chester where it’s even hotter inside! I prefer cloudy days, hot or cold, but a little rain doesn’t hurt;)

    However, when there’s a lot of rain, there’s an issue:p, a zoo like hamerton could be very good to visit whilst raining as the small animal half is mostly covered, so therefore the camera won’t get wet or damaged. When I visited twycross in spring it was so rainy I had to take my phone to take photos as it’s more portable and easier to keep safe/dry imo.
     
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  13. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I'm British, if I let bad weather put me off then I'd never do anything... ;):p

    On a more serious note I don't think there's any adverse weather conditions that I haven't experienced at a zoo. One memorable trip to Exmoor consisted of snow, hail, gale-force winds, pouring rain, and glorious sunshine in the space of 3 hours! I've also got caught in a blizzard at Dudley which really wasn't pleasant, and having Cotswold Wildlife Park to ourselves during torrential rain was also pretty memorable.

    On the otherhand visiting Chester a couple of months ago was excruciating due to the heat, going into Realm Of The Red Ape was possibly the hottest I've ever been in my life.

    So yeah, not really any sort of weather that would stop me from visiting somewhere unless it caused the zoo to be closed anyway.
     
  14. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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  15. Antimony96

    Antimony96 Active Member

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    In 2016 I had the misfortune of planning a Philadelphia Zoo trip to coincide with a nasty heat wave--over 95F/35C. Spent more time than planned in the air-conditioned indoor houses...
     
  16. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

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    That’s the great thing about Southern California Weather, that minor overcast we get a lot perfectly scatters light the same way shooting lights do. If you’ve ever taken photos or seen filming before you’ve probably noticed those big lights with grey coverings, those are used all throughout the film world because they give an amazing control on lighting and effects especially when working in post production.
     
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  17. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I agree on cool, cloudy days. The animals are more active, the zoo less crowded, and you don't have to worry about the sun beating down on you. Rain can deter even more visitors which can be nice, but I'm always worried about my camera.

    I also love visiting the zoo on very cold winter days, just after a fresh snow. You basically get the zoo to yourself and the snow allows for some beautiful photos.
     
  18. junglejim

    junglejim Well-Known Member

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    I was at the Denver Zoo in the spring time several years ago. First off I got to enjoy watching 2 Okapi's running and galloping large circles within their enclosure. It was spectacular! Same day I was observing the Malayian Tapir running circles around their enclosure even jumping into the air. My gosh could it be so good! Indeed it was cause next exhibit over an adult indian rhino was galloping circles through their enclosure. It was incredible watching this large heavy animal running around. The weather was a little bit chilly as it looked like it wanted to sprinkle later in the afternoon. I also saw large male indian elephant shivering as it walked around.
     
  19. junglejim

    junglejim Well-Known Member

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    St. Louis Zoo I went going to the zoo as it opened. Major thunderstorm coming down. First place I ducked into reptile building. I'm the sole person in the interior. I got the place to myself!!! I look around a lot of the snakes are actually moving within their enclosures. It's like some creepy horror movie. The King Cobra is moving exploring the enclosure front to back! When I finally find a keeper he informs me it's the outside atmosphere pressure on the building causing the reptiles to react as they have. It was spectacular. Any weather is my ticket rain or shine. I find myself avoiding summer time when possible to avoid crowds.
     
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  20. PAKMan

    PAKMan Well-Known Member

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    I've actually never gone to the zoo when it's snowing, but I've gone during bright sun, overcast skies and rain. In fact, just the other day I went to Lincoln Park Zoo on an overcast day and it was actually a very nice experience. Very, very few crowds, a couple small groups, and that was it. It started raining towards the end of my visit but even that wasn't that bad. I'd definitely do it again, as long as it wasn't a torrential downpour (which actually happened another time I was downtown with some friends who really had to use the bathroom - we decided to use the zoo's facilities but got stuck at an "exit only" part of a building and had to wrap back around; that wasn't much fun).