Panda-rific! Despite controversy, Memphis Zoo impresses visitors | Community Spirit
The Memphis Zoo recently found itself in the mouth of controversy after Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris highlighted in the news he thinks admission prices to get into the zoo are too expensive.
This week, Councilman Harris called for a review of the city's contract with the zoo and the zoo's prices, calling the facility "inaccessible" for people who can't afford admission. I, however, disagree.
Last year, my cousin and his best friend, who's become like one to me, made the trip from Louisiana up to Memphis to check out all the hot spots, especially the restaurants. One day during their visit we decided to go to the zoo, and I was especially excited because it was my first time going as well.
I remembered, before we left, I jumped on the computer to find out how much we'd all need to pay to get in. I saw: Adults: $15. I stopped dead my tracks. Admittedly, I was a little stunned. At that point I had only been in Memphis about six months. Being from a small town, I hadn't gotten used to the big city prices.
The shock didn't keep us from going to the zoo though. I'm so glad it didn't. When we pulled up to the gate, the gentleman told us they were running a special and admission was free. We couldn't get to the gate fast enough. Fast forwarding through the amazing experience, I have to say the zoo is completey accessible to the people who really want to go.
The zoo does offer free Tuesday admission. Of course, there are certain restrictions, and that option might not work well for working parents with children, but it's worth the investment to save up the amount you would need. The animals are delicious. You'll want to bring all of them home with you, especially the monkeys and the pandas.
Speaking of pandas, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums just announced that the Memphis Zoo has been awarded top honors for the 2012 AZA International Conservation Award for its scientific approaches to conservation of giant pandas and their habitat program.
Memphis Zoo President, Dr. Chuck Brady, says this is the ninth year for the Memphis Zoo's giant panda program. YaYa and Le Le are two giant pandas that call the zoo home, and they are amazingly majestic. They were definitely one of the many highlights from my first zoo visit.