Some kind of weird bird with a cone on it's head and massive cankles!
Adorable little bird! I wanted to put it in my pocket and name him Fluffers!
Finally visited the zoo! I think it's funny how everything in DC is called "The National____" just because it's in the nation's capital regardless of how good it actually is. When I hear a place is "The National___" I naturally think it must be amazing to be something that represents the entire country. In reality, we should have a voting system to determine what gets to put "The National" before it's name so that when tourists go there, they are wowed and think what an awesome representation of all zoos or aquariums or art galleries found in America. I'm sure you can tell where I'm going with this whole rambling......... the National Zoo in DC should not really be the zoo that represents the US. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice place and very pretty but here are a few points as to why it should have to change it's name to just Zoo:
1) It's built on a hill making it very un-handicap friendly. Immediately upon entering the zoo you start going downhill, so by the time you have visited all the exhibits, you have an extremely long uphill climb back to the entrance/exit. As tired as I was by the time I hiked back up to the exit, I can only imagine how exhausted someone pushing themselves in a wheelchair going uphill would be! Geesh!
2) There are no hippos --- a national zoo should have the largest variety of animals and I know there are other zoos in the US who have hippos.
3) The zoo is free - which is great!! - but parking is $20 for 3+ hours. I'd rather pay admission for the zoo and have free parking because at least that way you feel like you're getting something for your money instead of paying to borrow a square of asphalt for a few hours. The mindset of that whole setup is flawed.
4) I didn't see any animal topiary sculptures. There were pretty plants and gardens but I wasn't wowed. A nice elephant made out of a bush would have been nice.
So, overall the zoo was nice and I liked going to a new place in DC. One more to cross off my list :) But was it national zoo worthy??? I didn't think so.