A Day at the Zoo near Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

4 Oct

I took another trip to Sioux Falls recently, geographically just outside the boundaries of what many consider Siouxland, but only an hour from Sioux City. I know zoos are educational and provide a glimpse of life many of us would not normally see, but at the same time am sad that these animals can not roam the terrain where originally they come from.

That said, the Great Plains Zoo is a nice facility and this particular visit it struck me that part of the zoo structure reminds me of territorial amy posts or forts built in the Dakota Territory that incorporated both Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska, Utah, Wyoming and Montana I believe.

Part of the zoo exhibit barriers resemble early American frontier forts in its construction at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A board walk takes visitors above the African plain for that part of the Great Plains Zoo exhibit in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This area of the zoo contained animals that were African in origins and the animals roamed about in grassy areas, except for giraffes that day. An employee informed me that with recent rains the grounds area became too muddy and the giraffes were confined to an area deemed safer for them. But on a cool day as temps hovered in the 50’s and 60’s the animals were out and enjoying the sunshine.

A Grevy zebra dances a little jig while eating at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bird in the African safari exhibit peers up at a visitor at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some had hunkered down for nap or at least a rest while others paced through their compounds.

African wild dogs snuggle together in the afternoon sunlight on a cool day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Eastern black rhinocerous walks impatiently around its compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It has rained quite a bit it seems for early fall in the region. And created difficulties for all including farmers and area communities where the possibility of flooding from overflowing rivers and creeks pass through many. But it also seemed to create small islands of grazing area for the bison at the zoo as they all stayed in one area to feed during a time when the sun came out.

I know I will return to the zoo again, just to watch the animals and to enjoy the quiet that can be found there and appreciate what is there.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

American bison graze in a fields at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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