Want to Pet a Hippo? I did at the Los Angeles Zoo & You can too!


Lisa abc7 hippo selfieMy day at the Zoo was fantastic! I was really excited to be invited to touch a hippo as part of the new Los Angeles Zoo Hippo Encounter. I saw seals by the entrance and children everywhere exploring and learning.

Our group walked down to where the hippos were having lunch and Jennifer Gruenwald answered our questions about hippos, their lives and their care. We met Mara (the mom) and Baby Rosie. We saw Baby Rosie’s dad,Adhama.

VideoThe Los Angeles Zoo Hippo Encounter February 12, 2016

Did you know that hippos can stay underwater for up to five minutes and they can sleep underwater! A hippo eats about 88 pounds of food a day. Rosie was born October 31, 2014 on Halloween! She was 60 pounds at birth and now weighs 1100 pounds.

My day at the zoo made me feel I traveled all over the world. I saw Tajik Markhor from Tajikistan, Gibbons from Asia, Indian Elephants, Orangutans from Indonesia, and Gorillas from Africa. I was surprised how close I was able to be to these majestic animals. The Pink Chilean Flamingos were enjoying the sunshine as children were enjoying see them.

Thank you to the Los Angeles Zoo for inviting me to participated in the brand new Hippo Encounter! My selfie with Mara, the 12 year old mother hippo, even made it on Rob HayesABC 7 news program about his day at the Zoo!

Friday February 12, 2016

Rob’s TV news report: Click here!
“Discover What’s it Like to be Up-Close to a Hippo at LA Zoo’s New HIPPO ENCOUNTER”

Visit the Los Angeles Zoo’s New, Behind the Scenes
For This Extraordinary Experience

Weekends and Holidays, 12 pm
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

What’s it like to be up-close to a hippo?  Have you ever wondered how their skin feels?  Or what they eat for lunch?  Why they spend so much time in the water?  How fast they run?  Are they endangered?  Find out at the Los Angeles Zoo’s new HIPPO ENCOUNTER, an extraordinary, hands-on opportunity every weekend and holiday, 12 noon, at the L.A. Zoo and Botanical Gardens.  Small groups of up to 15 people, including children ages four and up accompanied by an adult, go behind the scenes for approximately 20 minutes to stand VERY close to the Zoo’s near-legendary, 15-month old baby, Rosie, and her mom, Mara, while learning all about them.  L.A. Zoo keepers introduce guests to both hippos, the third-largest land mammal, and share specifics about their daily routines, care, training and lives.  Participants watch up close as staff feeds lunch to the hippos, followed by a chance to reach out and feel their cool, smooth skin, then concluding with an unforgettable photo op likely to generate multiple #adorbs type hashtags.  Due to the great popularity of this unique experience, purchase of Hippo Encounter tickets ($15 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission) is suggested in advance via the L.A. Zoo’s website.

The landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing 1.75 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered.  Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo; one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world; a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants; and much more.  Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife.  The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children.  As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.  The Zoo’s location in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways ideally positions it as a convenient destination enjoyed by locals and vacationers of all ages who can visit every day of the year except Christmas Day.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027. (323) 644-4200.  www.lazoo.org

Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo is $20 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $17 for seniors (ages 62+), and $15 for children (ages 2 to 12).  No ticket is required for children under 2.  Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.  Hippo Encounter tickets are $15 per person in addition to regular Zoo admission and available to adults and children ages four and up accompanied by an adult.  Tickets for the Hippo Encounter are available online at http://www.lazoo.org/visit/showsandactivities/ and in person at Admissions ticket windows; Greater Los Angeles Zoo members may purchase tickets at Admissions Window #11.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA  90027.  Free parking is available.  For tickets and additional information, contact (323) 644-6001 or visit lazoo.org

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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