Tag Archives: great plains zoo

Lions and Tigers and Bears near Siouxland, Great Plains Zoo, Sioux Falls, SD

18 Oct

A Kodiak bear sits in repose at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A black bear relaxes in the afternoon sunlight on a coolish day at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This fall I made a trip to Sioux Falls, SD, just outside of what some might consider Siouxland, and again visited the Great Plains Zoo there. It was a cool day, temps somewhere in the 50’s and overcast for the most part. On a visit to the zoo a year ago it was much warmer in the fall and the animals for the most part then stayed indoors. But on this particular day they were out and about, enjoying the sunshine and their confinements as much as they can.

A red fox curls up in the sunshine on a cool day for a nap, ignoring visitors watching at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A brown bear seems very aware of his surroundings and what’s near at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The zoo is educational and is very good at describing its residents and particulars about their individual lives. It also has an area devoted to educational pursuits.

Stuffed animals reside in the Delbridge Museum of Animal History at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Near the tiger enclosure there was Chinese calligraphy on the walls of a building which blended in nicely with the shadows created by nearby trees. Adding a quiet kind of ambience to that corner of the zoo. It was a peaceful day and even the animals seemed to sense that. Watching and marking time. Tomorrow is yet another day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Asian characters on an exhibit seem to blend into the shadows as shadows themselves at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Amur tiger paces in his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A red wolf looks out at visitors looking into his compound at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mountain goat enjoys his perch atop Redrock Mountain at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A rare breed goat watches passers-by from a perch at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young boy smiles as a rare breed goat eats some treats he left for them at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young Snow monkey is not having any of it from an older sibling at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

 

Visiting a Zoo near Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

18 Dec

Earlier this fall I took a trip up to Sioux Falls, SD and stopped into its zoo, the Great Plains Zoo, which was busy getting ready for a Halloween event for that evening. Sioux Falls is a continually growing community and it surprised me that it had a nice zoo. Personally, I am not a big fan these institutions. Some zoos I have been too the animals constantly walk around a very small circuit, confined to an area that just makes me sad. I understand possibly the need for zoos. People can see animals they normally wouldn’t see and a place for rescue animals and those born into captivity. Still.

But I found it was a nice day to sit and ponder such questions. I also saw some incongruity such as a black rhino in an area with fall foliage on deciduous trees. Somehow I don’t think of some continents with these types of plants.

A black rhino of Africa is oddly contrasted with decidous trees at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There were some others there to also enjoy spending a nice fall day out looking at creatures one does not normally see in the Midwest.

An orangatan at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A scarlet ibris of South America at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Looking sad is a black and white Colobus monkey from Africa at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was also an artist drawing a “Disney Princess” with part of the zoo as a background. I thought for the subject matter of species being out of place, the scene was well done.

Some sketchy stuff going on at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I am planning a Photo Safari class trip to a zoo in Omaha, NE if enough students sign up to go. It is a much larger zoo than this one in Sioux Falls with some recently completed space to allow animals to roam a bit more. I don’t know if I can get past my own personal bias and feelings about “caged” animals, but it does give an individual something to ponder and being grateful to enjoy freedom of movement as one desires.

Sioux City, Iowa

A black rhino of Africa at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Giraffes in their enclosure at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An African spurred tortoise looks for a little shade at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls, SD Wednesday Oct. 18, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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