Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida

We just returned from spending a week in Florida. The temperatures were in the mid-eighties for most of the time we were there, just cooling down the last couple of days. Tonight, here in Indiana, it's supposed to be about four degrees and wind chills much colder. An eighty-degree drop in temperature in just a few days is a bit of a shock to the system.

While we were in Florida, we had the opportunity to visit Busch Gardens in Tampa. It's a theme park, complete with big roller coasters; but it's also the home of many exotic animals, which was the main draw for us.

These are just two of the many alligators we saw.

Turtle Ballet


Relaxing Gorilla

Grazing Gorilla

Aldabra Tortoise

A sign near the Aldabra Tortoises, pictured above, said that they can grow to four feet in length and weigh 550 pounds. It's estimated that they can live over 100 years.

Asian Elephants

It's hard to see in the above photo, but one of the elephants was extending its trunk to gather water, from a small waterfall, which it would then transfer to its mouth. Asian elephants are smaller in size than African elephants and have smaller ears. There are other differences, but the ears are a good identifying characteristic.

Busch Gardens is a beautiful place. The animal habitats are well designed, with the intent of making life in captivity as natural as possible for the animals. I'll have more pictures to share in future posts.


  1. sounds like a good trip, although the temp change would certainly wake me up. :)

    love when turtles do the flying pose. and sweet tortoises!

  2. Wonderful photos, Linda! My kind of place for sure. From your photos you really cannot tell that these animals are captive. Bet you had a grand time seeing all this wildlife. My heart would have been pounding with excitement. Good for you! Now back to reality and the frosty air. Stay warm!

  3. What a nice place to visit.I enjoy always going to a zoo.

  4. Theresa - We had a fun time in Florida, but we're not ready to become "snow birds" just yet. I'd never seen a turtle do that before. The positioning of his head and all just made me think he was imitating a ballet dancer.

    Gail - In some of the photos still to come, you'll see roller coasters in the background...a sure sign that we're not in the African bush. But we're not likely to take a trip to Africa, so we enjoyed this opportunity to see some of these animals.

    Steve - We have a nice zoo near where I live, but I don't get there often, for one reason or another. Busch Gardens is a special place, though.

  5. Ah-----seems as if you all didn't stay in Florida long enough, did you???? Cold here too--but not quite as cold as you are!

    Great photos from Busch Gardens. I have been there --but it was many many years ago.... I'd love to go again.

  6. You managed to get great shots of these animals. In my wildlife photos you have to really hunt to find the animals.

  7. Betsy - Sometimes I think I could handle spending the winter in Florida, but then again I think I'd miss home and my own bed. I've been a northerner all my life, and I think I'd miss winter if I spent it in the south. Thanks for the kind words about the Busch Gardens photos. It's a neat place.

    Stephen - Ah yes, Stephen...but you can produce those wildlife images on canvas...something I could never do.

  8. GREAT pics Linda!!! Busch Gardens looks like a great place for 'kids' of all ages! I'm looking forward to more of your wonderful vacation shots!

    It's always great to get away, but even greater to be HOME - even if it is near 0*, freezing and snow covered :)

    1. Thanks, Diane. I wish you and Terry could have been with us that day. I'll bet Terry would have gone on the water rides with Dean. :)

  9. I love the alligators and the dancing turtle, Linda!

    I'm quite behind with my comments as I've spent a busy fortnight but I don't want to miss out on your adventures! :)

    1. Well, you've been missed, Petra. I was afraid you were down with some sickness. I'm glad to know you were just busy! Thanks for taking the time to play catch-up. I know it can be a daunting task.


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