Home to more than 9,000 animals and hundreds of species, the Columbus Zoo welcomes more than 2.3 million visitors each year.  Last weekend I bumped that number to 2,300,001.
It wasn't my first visit to the zoo, but it was my first visit in a long time. It was also my first field day out with the new camera. Saturday morning I trekked across town, popped in my earbuds and took on Saturday through the scope of my lens. No Facebook. No texting. No Instagram, even. Just a girl and a camera traveling continent-to-continent, creature-to-creature on a grand afternoon adventure.
If you're looking for a reason to visit the zoo, they've got thousands. Here are 17 I discovered last weekend...
17 Reasons to Visit The Columbus Zoo
It's the perfect place for family bonding.
And nobody cares if you're having a bad hair day. Or a bad beard day.
While you're there, you'll probably want to plan a lunch date with this calorie-conscious, salad-loving gorilla.
Or schedule a hike with this shy guy.
Any way you look at them, elephants are incredible.
And you've got to know what these bears are whispering about.
You'll definitely want to welcome this bitty baby to the world.
And find out where this guy gets his nails done.
Mud runs are a daily thing at the Columbus Zoo. (But sometimes they're less of a "run" and more of a "flop.")
As well as demonstrations on the proper posture for "downward dog."
Really, The Columbus Zoo is the purrrrrfect way to spend an afternoon. (And these guys had a ™ on roar long before Katy Perry.)
While you're there, you can audit a class in confidence from this cocky little fellow. Or learn how to strike a pose courtesy of these judgmental flamingos.
You'll definitely want to give this guy a hug.
And check out the twittering and tweets going on in the aviary After a long day of walking around, you might be ready for a nap. (But that's okay, you'll fit right in.)
And you'll leave feeling loved, because when it's time to go home, this pouty bear will miss you big time. I