An Award Winning Zoo (Albuquerque, NM)

I got to feed a Lorikeet! 

Before you say anything: Yes, I saw a lot of animals in Albuquerque. That’s, like, one of [er, the only] benefit of leaving a city and venturing into nature. Anyways, I digress.

Like I’d mentioned in my first post about my trip to Albuquerque, the ABQ BioPark (aka the zoo) is the winner of the Quarter Century Award. If you need a reminder, the Quarter Century Award is given to zoos that show they’ve maintained AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquarium) standards for at least 25 years. These include the highest standards of animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety and are checked every 8 years after the award is received.

I decided I was going to check this zoo out on my first full day in Albuquerque while my friends were working. I hopped in an Uber, bought a ticket, and walked right because there were no lines on a Friday morning. I had researched the animals they care for and they had a surprisingly large number of big cats, including three ocelots! I had never seen an ocelot in person before so I was stoked.

Ocelots are the smallest “large” cat in existence – ranging from 14 to 18 pounds. So basically a very fat house cat but they’re called mini-leopards because of their beautiful markings. Because of their beautiful fur, they are often hunted int the wild and they’re in danger of becoming extinct. Sadly, the ocelots were refusing to make appearances during the day but luckily we were headed back to the zoo that night for a picnic dinner on the lawn while a random band played and I got to see one of the ocelots hanging out in a tree. The zookeeper that walked by said her name was Lucy and she was four years old, which is the oldest ocelot in captivity apparently. She was just ADORABLE.

How pretty is Lucy the ocelot?!

The ABQ BioPark has many different species of animals and you can check out that list here.  I really enjoyed spending an afternoon there. It should be on your To Do list if you’re visiting Albuquerque! Here are photos of some of my favorite animals there:

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