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San Diego Zoo or Jurassic World?

I’m a big fan of going to the zoo. I’m also a big fan of Jurassic Park. I’ve written extensively about both! I’m entering my third year as a San Diego Zoo passholder and after going this weekend for the first time since the release of Jurassic World, the fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, I noticed that certain aspects of the zoo reminded me of the film. This makes sense of course, Jurassic World is a zoo, but instead of exotic animals from the four corners of the globe, it houses dinosaurs. The Jurassic World website also took a few cues from the San Diego Zoo site anyway so I can’t help myself in imagining the zoo being filled with dinosaurs as I wandered the grounds on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August. The following moments stuck out most to me.

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1. “Okay folks, she’s a little shy.”

Steven Ray Morris / Via

Is this where young Mosasaurs are allowed to swim around for the guests of the park before being put into the big show where they leap for cloned sharks to snack on? Or, is this the top of the Hippopotamus enclosure where a handful of Hippos stay cool and relax while onlookers hope for a glimpse of these giant semi-aquatic mammals? I’ll let you be the judge.

2. “The raptor fences aren’t out are they?”

Steven Ray Morris / Via

I sure hope not! I feel like I’m getting a sneak peek at a holding pen for trainers like Chris Pratt’s character to house juvenile dinosaurs before they are taken to more permanent habitats. Most likely, it’s a small support building for the animals seeing as it’s in the middle of Treetop Ways, the heart of the San Diego Zoo itself.

3. “It’s a bird cage.”

Steven Ray Morris / Via

Soaring high above the park on the Skyfari Aerial Tram, you get a lot of unique views of the San Diego Zoo including a topdown perspective of many of the attractions including a handful of their aviaries. Containing Pteranodons and Dimorphodons requires a much heavier duty bird cage I’d imagine, but perhaps Jurassic World has smaller flying reptiles like Nemicolopterus as well.

4. “So the paddock is quite safe then…”

Steven Ray Morris / Via

These are some intimidating looking bars. Could this be the inner workings of the Tyrannosaurus Rex habitat or something fiercer like the Indominus Rex? Well, animal maintenance requires a delicate touch, and great care is taken to move animals on and off display. Elephants get all kinds of special treatment here including pedicures! It’s all about safety!

5. “It'll put them at a very convenient biting height.”

Steven Ray Morris / Via

Okay so I doubt the engineers of Jurassic World would place visitors within harm's way on these strange and imposing structures, but what purpose could they serve? Maybe trainers keep an eye on the various herbivores like Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, Gallimimus, and Triceratops from afar. Actually, their purpose is far more innocuous. These “Utilitrees” are for Elephants, holding up snacks, providing shade, and even spraying mist on a hot summer day like today.

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