USS Angeles explores San Diego Zoo

A koala bear climbs a branch at the San Diego Zoo. (Photo by Dave Mason)
It’s a flamingo convention! At least, it seemed that way at the San Diego Zoo. (Photo by Dave Mason)
A kangaroo relaxes in the early evening light at the San Diego Zoo, where the USS Angeles gathered in August. (Photo by Dave Mason)
A giraffe towers above the human visitors. (Photo by Dave Mason)
An oregantan eyes the people walking by. (Photo by Dave Mason)

By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason
SAN DIEGO — USS Angeles members and a friend took to the sky for a bird-eye’s view of the nation’s most visited zoo.
Jennifer Pesqueira and her friend Debbie, Jennifer Cole, Lisa Sobien and I rode the Skyfari, an overhead gondola lift, above the 100-acre San Diego Zoo.
During the Aug. 24 Angeles mission, we also went on a bus on which the driver/guide took us around 75 percent of the world-renowned zoo. The site is home to 3,500 animals from more than 650 species and subspecies. In addition to the bus tour, we walked around exhibits with elephants, gorillas, kangaroos, oh my. (As George “Mr. Sulu” Takei might say.)

We also saw giraffes, kangaroos, koala bears, flamingos, crocodiles, a jaguar, a llama, oregantans and other animals at the zoo, which is more than 100 years old and is a pioneer in cage-less enclosures resembling natural habitats.
There were more species than we could see in a day, but we enjoyed making first contact with all kinds of critters.
The zoo’s claim to fame varies from its diversity of animals to its presence on the cover of the Beach Boys’ 1966 “Pet Sounds” album. It also was a filming location in the 1941 classic “Citizen Kane.” Yes, the San Diego Zoo served as the zoo at Xanadu, wealthy newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane’s palatial retreat.
No offense to the movie’s leading man, Orson Welles, but the real stars back then and today are the animals. They entertained us during the Aug. 24 away

An oregantan eyes the people walking by.  (Photo by Dave Mason)
From left, Jennifer Cole, Lisa Sobien, a friendly giraffe, Dave Mason and Jennifer Pesqueira gather at the San Diego Zoo. (Photo by Debbie, Jennifer Pesqueira’s friend)

mission, along with the humans in a band known as the Chameleons. Every moment at the zoo offered us something to see and hear.
We appreciated Jennifer Pesqueira for leading us on this “first contact” adventure!


Dave Mason

Commanding Officer, USS Angeles NCC-71840