Flamingo Shower at the Eureka Zoo


Zoo Series-Flamingo

Daily Photo

One drop at a time, the tiny Eureka zoo is making big changes. Not all of them good.

Established over 100 years ago, it is one of the smallest facilities to be accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association and the only one between San Francisco and Southern Oregon. Nestled in the Sequoia Park, an enormous wall of redwoods towers over the enclosures but the exhibits and animals appear cozy and accessible to toddler and adult alike. As a whole, the animals and enclosures are not exotic.  There is a definite lean towards explicating the local wildlife which is exciting.

Over the last few years,rennovations have revitalized the place.  Unfortunately, this, and other issues,  has forced the zoo to require admissions.  Rightfully, this is controversial.  The former cement enclosures had to go but the admission price makes it unlikely that low income families will be able to enjoy the beautiful new exhibits.  We purchased a family membership for $46 a year which is certainly reasonable but I can’t help believing that the zoo has now become a gated community.  My child is on the inside but how many have been left outside with no access to the beauty behind the gates.



  • I would imagine that there is a monthly free day like the San Francisco zoo, and many other public facilities. A quick look at their website reveals that there are “dollar Wednesdays.”

  • I haven’t been to the zoo for years. Guess I should go check out the new facilities.

  • Oops, forgot to comment on the great light effect and raindrops on the flamingo. Looks like she is onstage in the spotlight.

  • Ren, the Wednesday dollar day is great and an excellent first step but in my experience even a dollar a child for a struggling family can be a deterrent. I would like to see a weekly free day (though a monthly one would be a great start.)

    To me, part of the charm was its accessibility to the local kids out on their bikes. Even a dollar is a going to stop the swirl of neighborhood kids.

  • Thanks Aunt Jackie, My favorite part is the water dripping from its tail. And you really should check out the zoo. It is beautiful. Especially the barnyard area and the building with the turtles and snakes.

  • Perhaps they could raise general admission a dollar and make Wednesdays free.

  • Oh, you small-town people. I paid $95 for The Boyo’s Aqua-Zoo membership a couple of years ago. Just one person. I get in free with my disabled card. I think adult admission to Woodland Park zoo is $15 in the summer. As to the poor kids, I think they get in free on zoo field trips from school. No, it’s not as accessible as biking down the hill to the zoo, but $1 Wednesdays sound great to me.

  • Absolutely gorgeous!!!!! I love it.

  • I do not know how people with kids do it. Even baseball gloves are fifty bucks and up these days forget roller skates and bikes which are in the hundreds.

  • I haven’t visited the zoo in Eureka since my oldest was 3. I’m not sure why as I remember us having a wonderful time. I love this photo. The shower of lights reminds me of snow falling. Which seems in congruent with the flamingo and her flaming color.

  • When I go back to see my family in LA, I always take a drive into the Angeles National Forest where I spent many happy hours and days as a kid. If I plan to stop and take a hike or even use a restroom, I must be sure to pay a $5 day use fee or risk a ticket. When I first saw this fee I was so pissed that I ignored it and promptly got ticketed. Campgrounds and day use areas were all free when I was young. My understanding was that the Forest Service was considering privatization of heavily used forest areas. There was a large negative reaction from the public and the idea faded away but the fees remain.

  • Beautiful capture, Kym. I didn’t realize zoos had free days or dollar days. That is a really cool idea. I haven’t been to a zoo in a very long time – the closest one is on the other side of the state.

  • that is absolutely beautiful!

    I agree that it’s sad that it’s now limited. I think a weekly free day would be really nice.

  • It all costs money, and always did. What Ben describes is all part of the movement toward “user fees” instead of raising everybody’s income taxes. The people who don’t use the forests avoid the burden of their maintenance. I guess the zoo is in the same situation.

    I confess to ambivalence about zoos. On the one hand, on the other hand, blah-blah.

  • Ren, I think your idea is great!

    Silverstar, I know I’m unreasonable but I remember when my oldest were little the rule was no fun stuff that cost money–we did lots of parks but we were outside of zoos and other paying attractions.

    Max, I don’t know how most people do it. I know a woman working for under $10 an hour and she has two kids. How does she pay for just food, clothes, and rent?

    TJ, my mom saw it as snow too. I like the image.

    Ben, I remember the same feeling when I saw Usau fees. I was outraged and sad at the same time. We went there when I was a kid for many reasons but one was because we could afford the free price.

    Toni, Ours is an hour and a half a way so we don’t use it often but my little guy loves to go when we can.

    Elizabeth, thank you.

    Elaine, I’m ambivalent about both user fees and zoos. On the one hand zoos encourage passion for animals and breeds little environmentalists like mad and they can have a role in bringing back endangered species. On the other hand, caging a wild animal makes me a little ill. Our local zoo obviously is concerned also. Most of the animals there are domestic (Llamas, goats, donkeys, chickens) or injured and cant go back to the wild (I’m thinking of a beautiful pair or Ravens with damaged wings especially.) They also attempt to pair the cool Eureka weather with animals that will thrive there. I’m impressed actually at the quality of thought that goes into the animal choices.

    I’m ambivalent about user fees, too. They make sense. It costs money to run things– let the people who use them pay for them. But, then some people are left outside who cant afford the price. And, more and more free fun is becoming paying fun. Narrowing low income families choices. And, at this point, camping has become almost too expensive for all but the middle class which sickens me. I like Ren’s idea of raising prices on other days to allow at least a few free days for poor families.

  • I believe I read something when they came up with the entrance fees about nobody being turned away from the zoo for inability to pay. Not sure if they followed through with that or, if they did, how they deal with it if they did.

    Might be an interesting question to ask next time someone goes to the zoo. Drive by there all the time but haven’t gone inside for probably 25 years or more.

  • Fred, That would be great. I hadn’t heard that. I didn’t see any sign at the entrance Tuesday when I was there but maybe they don’t advertise.

    You might want to take a trip there. It is beautifully done. The buildings kind of take precedence over the animals but they are slowly integrating animals back in. And the park setting is lovely.

  • I’ve found that if you stroll on the paved path in Sequoia Park that runs behind part of the zoo, you can see some of the animals for free. Yesterday I saw three ostriches, and Ruby has struck up a through-the-fence friendship with a llama. Hiking after dark is particularly fun, because if one tries hard enough, he can pretend he’s in the jungle.

    Silverstar, if $1 sounds great to you, then how does free sound?

  • I like the idea of the after dark stroll. I’m going to have to try that. Sequoia Park is beautiful and free and basically tourist free. Only locals really seem to know about such a beautiful gem.

  • The curves which outline your flamingo are fantastic. Like the new moon I saw a couple of nights ago, those lines hint at the rest and the mind fills in half-hidden details.

    While I would like zoos to be free to all, I believe the best are doing essential conservation work with endangered species and need to be supported by a society which is increasingly realising just how damaging we are to the natural world.

  • Gorgeous picture. Again, wish it was on flickr so I could favourite it.

  • Kym wrote, “I like the idea of the after dark stroll. I’m going to have to try that.”

    Don’t you live down in Sohum? You sure seem to spend a lot of time in Eureka if you do live out in the boonies.

  • Fred, My husband works in Eureka and one of my sons attends Academy of the Redwoods (a high school on the CR campus.) Also with a large family, I often find myself attending doctor and dental appointments several times a month up there. In fact it has gotten so bad we are looking to buy a house up there for weekdays and just come home on the weekends and whenever we can squeeze a few days.

  • Oh boy. We can be neighbors!

  • Your stove and my stove can visit;>

  • I don’t know how I missed this one, but it looks like it could be a movie poster.

  • This is one of my favorites but how did you find it so much later?

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