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
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!