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  • Rio Grande ZooRio Grande Zoo Albuquerque, New Mexico
    The Rio Grande Zoo started in 1927 and rests on 64 acres in the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is part of the Albuquerque Biological Park. The zoo houses over 250 various exotic and native species of animals that can be enjoyed by a leisurely stroll over the 2.27 mile trek. Animals that live at the zoo's marvelous enclosures, that seem close enough to touch include; orangutans, seals, mountain lions, sea lions, Mexican wolves, chimpanzees, rhinoceros, polar bears that are pictured to the right, gorillas, zebras, mountain lions, jaguars, giraffes, monkeys, elephants, hippos, tamarins and camels. There is a delightful narrow-gauge railroad that goes around the park and through the zoo. There is a Cat Walk, Tropical America exhibit, African exhibit and Australian exhibit, that are all state-of-the-art and very pleasant to the eye, with all the naturalistic habitats that include water features, grasses, rocks and trees.

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  • Petroglyph National MonumentPetroglyph National Monument Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Reaching out along 17 miles of volcanic basalt, the Petroglyph National Monument, contains some 25,000 ancient carvings, known as petroglyphs, along the West Mesa region of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In June, 1990, this 7,236 acres site has been cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and the city. The west side of the mesa shows a chain of dormant fissure volcanoes, that include the JA volcano, Butte volcano, Bond, Vulcan and Black volcanoes; as well as hundreds of archeological sites and the petroglyphs that were carved by the Ancestrial Pueblo people and first Spanish settlers. The majority of these magnificent images look like people, crosses, brands and animals; with many being so complex that the meaning could only be told by the original artist and are part of the cultural heritage of these native inhabitants that lived here so many centuries ago. For whatever reasons, these peoples moved into other areas, only to be lost among the many tribes that covered this region so long ago. The monument has been created to conserve, manage and protect these beautiful carvings so that the generations today and in the future can come here and explore the superb markings. The entire monument is intended to be used as a recreational area, and it has been created and maintained for those reasons. The visitor's center was the former home of Dr. Sophie Aberle, who was the first practicing applied anthropologist in the nation, and became known as the "measuring lady" by the tribes that she worked among. Her research into the native peoples were focused mainly on the women's part in the lifestyles of this wonderful people, including child care, pregnancy and child birth, healing and diet. She was the Superintendent of the United Pueblo Agency, which allowed her to improve the lives of those native Americans under the agency's authority, as well as helping to better the conditions of their lives.  The awesome petroglyphs aren't the only sights that you can enjoy at the monument, as there are a bounty of plants and animals, volcanoes and miles of great hiking or biking. Along the thin corridor, you can encounter birds, insects, animals and plants that have been part of the entire ecosystem for centuries, that include the millipedes of petroglyph. There are a few different varieties of rattlesnakes located here and by going to the visitor center first, you can learn about these creatures and the location of all the fantastic petroglyphs. You can visit the cores of the volcanoes and walk along the remains of their action that has created the basalt that became the foundation of the carvings and the landscapes.

January 11, 2011