It’s no secret, to those who know me, that I love the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. The intimate exhibits allow visitors to get an up close look at animals, help you learn about where they are from in the world, and are placed snuggly together so my children can bound from one to the next and stay in my sight.
We recently got a glimpse of Blank Park Zoo’s all new Seal and Sea Lion Pool. This is a fantastic exhibit! The new pool allows for visitors to see the seals and sea lions swimming in the crystal clear water from above and provides under water viewing which my kids couldn’t get enough of, and honestly neither could I.
It’s larger than it was before and offers a wide variety of places to enjoy the exhibit. Twice a day the Zoo has training demonstrations where they work with the seals and sea lions to do a variety of tasks while they “work” for their food. Although entertaining for visitors, this actually provides great assistance to veterinarians. Through training, these marine mammals can present a flipper for examination, open wide for a dental check and even hop on a scale.
Last summer the Zoo opened an Australian Adventure and work has already begun rebuilding and expanding their African experience. In the meantime, visitors can also enjoy a special Ice Age exhibit showcasing animals of a different era.
I’m looking forward to all the new things to come, but have to admit we love to hang out at the lion exhibit. What’s your favorite animal to see at the Zoo?
Colleen Murphy, Iowa Tourism Office