This past weekend I went to the zoo! Although it is not the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska (the largest zoo in the world according to Tourtopia), it was nice to explore more of Alaska. While at the zoo I saw dozens of native Alaskan animals.

Otters, moose, and bears… oh my!

The zoo was chock-full of native birds and other animals that make up Alaska’s wildlife. Many of the animals in Alaska were enjoying the nice weather by lounging in the sun and napping the day away. The tiger was laying in the high grass, the polar bear hid in his enclosure while onlookers gawked at his exposed paw and the llama ate grass. There was one animal however that stood out from all the rest. The majestic animal I am speaking of is small in stature, but mighty none the less.

The animal that outshined the others was the tiny river otter.

When I first approached their enclosure, four tiny otters were fast asleep on their refurbished multi-colored children’s playhouse. Once the otters sensed our presence by the glass, the little cuties started to come alive. The otters swam around their little pool, jumped in and out of the water, and played with small toys within their habitat.  The otter’s performance not only brought joy to everyone watching but seemed to lighten up the whole zoo. Even though many of the animals at the zoo were common wildlife you would run into on an afternoon hike at your local trails, the Alaskan zoo is special. Instead of only having exotic animals (the zoo had a tiger, that’s as exotic as it gets), the Alaskan zoo rehabilitates local wildlife and once recovered the animal is transported to one of the many nature conservatories that Alaska has to offer.

Once at the conservation center, the animal lives a happy and protected life in the wild. Unlike the many zoos that I have been to throughout my life, the Alaskan zoo will always hold a special spot in my heart.