The journey to get to the San Francisco Zoo by public transit includes but is not limited to: a fifty minute BART ride to the Daily City station, waiting for MUNI bus number 28, boarding said bus, getting off after ten minutes at the corner of 19th avenue and Sloat Boulevard, waiting for and boarding MUNI bus number 23 and getting off in front of the Zoo at the corner of Sloat and 47th Avenue (no, you can’t walk it, I’ve tried). Overall, this will take at least and hour and a half, cost about 15 dollars and mostly likely it will be overcast and cold. Once inside the Zoo walls, however, the surrounding eucalyptus trees block out the sea swept breezes creating a comfortable safe haven. I go through this merriment once or twice year in order to get to the zoo and visit my polar bear: Waffle.
Waffle became mine a couple of Christmas’ ago through the zoo’s adopt an animal program. The money from the program is directed toward, “[providing] vital support for the care and enrichment of all of the animals living at [the] San Francisco Zoo and will also help to advance work with wildlife conservation organizations worldwide.” There are a wide selection of animals to choose from at the San Francisco Zoo, many being from the endangered species list. If it tickles your fancy, you could be the proud parent of an American alligator, a European ferret, an African hedgehog, four different kinds of owls, leopards, lions, alpacas, bison or penguins. Even the insects are up for adoption.
I dubbed him Waffle, but I’m sure his many other owners call him something else, something far less cutesy. Waffle is not mine and mine alone, but I pretend that he is my own personal polar bear. The pictures that were included in my adoption packet are displayed prominently on my wall. I’m a proud parent, what can I say? I hope to one day, on my bi annunal visit to the zoo, see that the entire polar bear habitat has been renovated and Waffle is basking happily in a new pool, with new pool toys. I’ll be happy knowing that I contributed, however minimally, to preserving and accomidating these beautiful animals.
If you would like to adopt and animal at your local zoo, the SF Zoo site is linked in the second paragraph (click on “adopt and animal”) and the Toronto Zoo is linked below. If neither zoo applies to you, check out your local zoo’s website and search around- its becoming an increasingly common practice (googling “adopt an animal” links to the Lincoln Park Zoo, The San Antonio Zoo, the San Diego Zoo, the San Angelo Zoo and the Las Vegas Zoo, among others were listed). I would highly recommend it, there is an animal for everyone.