Aw, I just found out that the crook necked giraffe that lived at the Santa Barbara Zoo died on Jan 9 at the age of 21. I was clicking on a link and looking at pictures of the two-faced baby born in India and the story had a link to a picture of a 5-legged dog, which in turn had links to pictures of other animal oddities and saw the picture and story about the giraffe.
The zoo was about a 30 minute trip from our house in Ventura and was a fun and relatively inexpensive day out with the kids. I have pictures of Joe when he was barely walking getting a little freaked out by the goats in the petting zoo that they used to have there. The zoo is located on what used to be a rich person's estate on top of a hill right across the street from the ocean. There is a little train ride around the zoo that of course we had to ride on every time we went.
The last time I was there was after the kids were grown, Keith and I went there a few years before we moved away from the coast. The most memorable part of that trip was when we were standing in front of the Hyrax enclosure, which are little round furry animals, and as the female hyrax was just standing there minding her own business, the male came up behind her and decided it was time to get frisky. It lasted about 5 seconds with a lot of squeaky squealing noises from the hyraxes. We both just looked at each other like 'did we really see that?' and then couldn't stop laughing.
The elephants at the zoo were always fun, especially when they would pee in huge torrents and of course some little boy would say in a really loud voice 'Look, the elephant is peeing!!'
The crook-necked giraffe was always a source of curiosity with all the zoo-goers and always raised a lot of questions from the kids, so the zoo put up a little sign that explained that no, the giraffe didn't break his neck, and yes, he's okay, he was born that way.
So, the Santa Barbara Zoo just won't be the same without the famous crook-necked giraffe, hopefully he is grazing away in the big grasslands in the sky!