Welcome to the 2020 NCBJ Annual Conference Blog

Welcome to the 2020 NCBJ Annual Conference Blog. A good place to start is the message from the NCBJ President Laurel M. Isiscoff (Bankr. S.D. Fla., Chief Judge) welcoming you to the Blog and inviting you to join us at the Conference (you can find the message HERE). This year’s Conference is in San Diego, known for its sunny weather, beautiful white-sand beaches, and the incredible Balboa Park.

Judge Isicoff and her team have been working hard to put on a conference that will be both educational and entertaining. The Conference is a great place to learn, network, and have fun. It uniquely provides a forum for a wide variety of bankruptcy and insolvency organizations. Bankruptcy Judge Deborah L. Thorne (ND. Ill.) is this year’s education chair.

You will find on the Blog many interesting articles about educational and other programs offered at the Conference. Program highlights include a fun opening session patterned after Jeopardy, a circuit splits debate, a plenary session on the Small Business Restructuring Act, an international program jointly sponsored by the NCBJ and American College of Bankruptcy, a consumer bankruptcy roundtable, and programs on agricultural bankruptcies, chapter 13 end of case issues, developments in bankruptcy, esoteric chapter 11 issues, ethical issues of mediators, shadow banking, and titans of private equity.

Because there are so many interesting things to do in San Diego, the Blog will contain a number of posts about the host City. Don’t miss the San Diego bankruptcy judges local guide to San Diego. (HERE).

I hope you find these and other articles interesting and informative. Keep checking back to the Blog to read more posts.

INDEX TO BLOG POSTS

Click on a link to open the Blog post.

NCBJ President’s Message

NCBJ President Laurel M. Isicoff Welcomes You to the NCBJ Annual Conference Blog – “Sail Forward” With Us Into the Next 40 Years and Beyond

Balboa Park

Gardens of Balboa Park

Museums of Balboa Park

More Interesting Places to Visit in Balboa Park

NCBJ Sponsored Balboa Park Museums and Gardens & Lunch Tour

The World Famous San Diego Zoo

The Six Habitats of San Diego Zoo’s Africa Rocks

Fun Things to Do in San Diego

Fun Things to Do in San Diego – From the San Diego Federal Legal Community

San Diego Safari Park

Visit the USS Midway Museum

NCBJ Sponsored Tours

Five Incredible NCBJ Sponsored Tours

NCBJ President Laurel M. Isicoff Welcomes You to the NCBJ Annual Conference Blog – “Sail Forward” With Us Into the Next 40 Years and Beyond

A Welcome from NCBJ President Laurel M. Isicoff

The NCBJ is navigating back to San Diego for the 2020 annual conference October 14 – 17th.  I invite  you “Sail Forward” with us,  as the NCBJ looks at the next 40 years, and beyond.

At the 2019 conference, the NCBJ looked back at how the Bankruptcy Code has developed over the last forty years.  In San Diego, we will explore the future – both what we already know and what we anticipate.   Attendees can examine the SBRA’s future by through the lens of its first nine months, listen to “Titans of Private Equity” talk about how they see bankruptcy cases evolving,  take a close look at shadow banking and its impact on business and consumer bankruptcy cases, and  consider the predictions of economic forecasters about the kinds of bankruptcy cases that are likely to come.  And this is just a sampling of the excellent education programming being developed.

The NCBJ Annual Conference delivers social and structured networking with insolvency professionals from North America and beyond.  The ABA, ABI, CLLA, ACB, IWIRC, AIRA and FBA activities enhance the gathering with their education sessions, meetings and social events.  Of course, the NCBJ also gives attendees the opportunity to share their thoughts with bankruptcy judges – informally or during one of our several programs.

Continuing in its mission to make a difference in the host city, the NCBJ, in coordination with IWIRC, the ACB and the ABI, will be offering community service opportunities during the annual meeting.  Click on the community service icon on NCBJmeeting.org for details.

Of course, the City of San Diego and its surrounds have so much to offer.  Take a look at the San Diego icon on NCBJmeeting.org for some ideas from the “locals.”

And the piece de resistance of the San Diego meeting will be the First Annual (and maybe the only ever. . .) NCBJ Sail the Bay Regatta.  On Saturday afternoon, immediately following the end of the education sessions, jump on a bus to the docks, meet your boat’s Captain, raise the sails and race with crew members against a dozen other 26 footers to become NCBJ Champion of the Bay.  Don’t have a team – no problem.  We will have a boat for independent pirates!  For those who prefer more gentile Sailing & Cocktails – that’s Friday afternoon on the 139 foot racing schooner, America, a replica of the 1851 vessel after which the “America’s Cup” race was named.

So don’t miss out.  Come to San Diego, America’s finest city, for America’s finest insolvency conference.  See you there.

Note: Judge Isicoff wrote this post.

San Diego Safari Park

The San Diego Safari Park, located about 35 miles north of San Diego, is a 1,800 acre wildlife preserve that’s home to over 3,500 animals across 260 species from 6 continents of the world, with an emphasis on Africa.

The animals are in habitats created to simulate their natural environments.

Catch the Africa Tram at African Outpost. It is a 25-minute tour around some of the field exhibits. There are a number of other Safari Tours available at an extra cost. Popular tours include the 2-hour Caravan Safari Adventure ($121); 3.5 hour Caravan Safari Deluxe ($169); Cheetah Safari tour ($57), 1-hour Cart Safari Africa tour ($53).

Featured park exhibits include:

  • African Outpost − As the starting point for Safari tours, the African Outpost is home to cheetahs, flamingos, and warthogs.
  • African Plains − This is largest exhibit at San Diego Safari Park. The African plains is home to elephants, rhinos, giraffes, heron, Nile Lechwe, Ostrich, Ruppell’s Vulture, and Somali Wild Ass, Zebra. Endangered species interacting with each other.
  • Asian Savanna − The Asian Savanna is great example of animal life on the Asian continent. There you will see Arabian Oryx, Camel, Deer, Greater One-horned Rhino, Przewalski’s Horse, and Wild Cattle.
  • Condor Ridge − Catch a rare glimpse at one of our native bird species; the California Condor is the largest North American land bird and was once on the brink of extinction. In addition, see Burrowing Owl, Bald Eagle, and Bighorn Sheep
  • Elephant Valley − Enjoy a great look at the large herd of African Elephants from the Elephant Valley viewing platform.
  • Gorilla Forest − It’s always exciting at the Gorilla Forest. Watch gorillas play and interact in this lush San Diego Safari Park exhibit.
  • Lion Camp − Visit Shiley’s Cheetah Run. Ask when the cheetah run starts and get there early to get a good view. Witness the fastest land mammal up close doing what it does best: run! The spotted sprinter races on a straight 330-foot-long track that allows the cheetah to stretch its legs and reach an astounding speed: 0 to 70 miles per hour in just 4 seconds while chasing a mechanical lure attached to its favorite toy. If you take the Cheetah Safari tour ($57), available only through advance registration, you will get priority seating.
  • Tiger Territory − View the world’s largest carnivore at the San Diego Safari Park from a viewing platform, giving you the best chance to see these majestic animals.

NOTE: These park exhibit descriptions are mostly taken from the San Diego Safari Park official website, with quotation marks omitted.

Five Incredible NCBJ Sponsored Tours

NCBJ is sponsoring five incredible tours during the Conference. The tours are:

This a brief preview of each tour. Clicking on any of the above list of the tours will take you to more detailed tour information on the NCBJ Conference Website.

Balboa Park Tour ($148 pp)

Thursday, October 15, 2020, 9:15 am-2:30 pm

In the central plaza, with a guide, stroll down a palm-lined street to the Spanish Village Art Center. Take an easy walk along the upper Palm Canyon boardwalk. Lunch at Prado, a popular Mexican restaurant. And visit many of the preimier museums in Balboa Park (museum entrance fees are extra).

Gaslamp Quarter Artisan Craft Beer Walk ($75 pp)

Thursday, October 15, 2020, 3:30-5:30 pm

The Gaslamp Quarter is an area dense with craft, artisan breweries, boutique restaurants, and specialty shops interspersed with fascinating glimpses of landmarks representing days of yore. Take a 2-hour leisurely 2-3 miles walking tour to will visit many of  locations for which the Gaslamp District if famous, including brew pubs in which you can sample flights of unique brews.

East Village Artisan Craft Beer Walk ($75 pp)

Friday, October 16, 2020, 3:30-5:30 pm

East Village is an arts and industrial neighborhood, liberally sprinkled with residences, local neighborhood businesses, and a plethora of taverns and pubs.  It is located east of the Gaslamp Quarter and southeast of the Core district and Cortez Hill in downtown San Diego.

During the 2-hour leisurely 2-3 miles walking tour guides will point out quirky shops, boutique specialty stores, and many curious entertainment and other fun establishments you may wish to return to visit later. The group will stop in several local pubs to sample flights of the one-of-a-kind artisan craft beers.

S/Y America Tour ($175 pp)

Friday, October 16, 2020, 3:15-6:30 pm

S/Y America is the world’s most famous racing yacht. The America’s Cup was named after this vessel On the tour you will sail on the S/Y America from the Marriott Marquis Marina traversing the San Diego Bay while enjoying a variety of wines, beers, and sodas. If you lucky, you may see dolphins, sea lions, or perhaps even whales.

Sail the Bay Regatta Tour ($195 pp)

Saturday, October 17, 2020, 11:45 am-5:30 pm

Following the last education program on Saturday you will travel by bus to Harbor Yacht Club. There you will board one of an armada of small sailboats, each of which carries six NCBJ sailors, plus a professional captain. The captain will coach all aboard in boating procedures, sail handling, and navigation. The fleet will venture into San Diego Bay for an afternoon of racing, team building, and fun.

Fun Things to Do in San Diego – From the San Diego Federal Legal Community

Welcome to paradise! “Fun Things to do in San Diego 2020” “is a compilation of suggestions from the San Diego federal legal community to help you get the most out of your visit to our beautiful city.”

You can find it HERE.  It was features favorite beaches, brew pubs, shops, gardens, museums, restaurants, and many other attractions and sites of

Chief Bankruptcy Judge Margaret Mann
Bankruptcy Judge Laura Taylor
Circuit Judge Margaret McKeown
Circuit Judge Clifford Wallace
District Judge Janis Sammartino
District Judge Cynthia Bashant
Senior District Judge William Enright
District Judge Marilyn Huff
District Judge Jeff Miller
District Judge Tom Whelan
Presiding Magistrate Judge Barbara Major
Magistrate Judge Jill Burkhardt
Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford
Magistrate Judge Nita Stormes
Magistrate Judge Ruben Brooks
John Morrill, Clerk of Court
Lori Garofalo, Chief, U.S. Pretrial Services Office

NCBJ Sponsored Balboa Park Museums and Gardens & Lunch Tour

The content of this post is quoted from information on the NCBJ Conference Website. You can find it HERE, complete with photos, by navigating Conference Website pull down menus to Schedule and Events/Tours/Balboa Park Musems, Gardens & Lunch.

Explore Balboa Park
Thursday, October 15, 2020 9:15 am to 2:30 pm – the bus, escorted tour and lunch is a ticketed tour: $148 per person.
Museum entrance fees are not included in the tour price.
If the initial tour for 24 guests fills, we will have a wait list to try and accommodate more participants. If you pay to hold a spot on the wait list and the second bus does not fill, your tour payment will be fully refunded.

Balboa Park is one of the oldest (est. 1868) and most varied parks in the United States. Named for Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the first European to spot the Pacific Ocean while on exploration in Panama, it sprawls over 1,200 acres. San Diego hosted the 1915 Panama-California Exposition here, with some of these original buildings still home to some of the many museums in the park.

You won’t have time to explore all of the many museums, gardens, zoo, walks, and other attractions here… but that doesn’t mean you can’t try! Grab a friend, or explore on your own or stick with the guides … this is your opportunity to enjoy this historic park and choose how you spend your time in the park. Entrance fees to museums or the zoo are not included in the NCBJ tour pricing. Be prepared to pay $9 – $15 per museum.

Travel by coach from the Marriott to one of two drop off locations. The tour guide will tell you what is near each location, so you can make you way to the things you find most alluring. Maps will be provided.

After an hour on your own 10 – 11 am, you may choose to rejoin the tour guides in the central plaza to stroll down a palm-lined street to the Spanish Village Art Center (or not… you are welcome to continue exploring on your own, if you wish). The Center was patterned after a typical Spanish village, with many small shops and galleries clustered around a central plaza with shaded seating. This plaza is home to nearly 200 local artists, with dozens of studios and featuring paintings, pottery crafts, sculptures, jewelry, and other forms of art. Browse, admire, or purchase, the choice is yours.

Next the guide will lead the group on an easy walk along the upper Palm Canyon boardwalk, on the way to Prado, a popular Mexican restaurant located in the Hospitality Center. The unique décor blends the historical aspects of the House of Hospitality and whimsical accessories inspired by the Park museum collections. You will have time to relax, and savor the foods from a special limited menu especially for the NCBJ group. You’ll be able to choose your entrée meal choice in advance included in the tour price. Any extras or other options that you choose to order at Prado are on your individual tab.

After lunch we’ll board the bus at 2 pm sharp for the return to the Marriott by 2:30 pm. You will be informed by the guide of the exact 2 pm pick-up location near Prado Restaurant when you arrive at 10 am. If you miss the 2 pm group return, you will need to make your way back to the hotel on your own. “Hello, Uber!”

Remember: sun screen, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, and cameras. Flash photography is not permitted inside the fine arts museums.

This tour can be enjoyed by leisurely-paced strolling on nearly flat sidewalks and streets if going to the museums mentioned in this article. The overall park also offers moderate to active hiking with steep terrain, steps and elevation changes and park features that are a distance from each other across 600 acres. Some museum are closed for changing exhibits or rehabilitation of the building. Consult the Balboa Park website for posted closures. ComiCon’s new location will not open until fall 2021.

Departure from the hotel: Bring your ticket. Meet at the curb just outside the Pacific Ballroom foyer doors (lower level) at 9:15 am. The bus will depart promptly at 9:30 am.

Best Known Museums Near the Central Plaza:

The Museum of Man is an anthropological museum, and is housed in four of the historic building constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. These ornate buildings include the California Quadrangle and the California Tower, two of the most famous structures in San Diego. The collections here focus on pre-Columbian history of the western hemisphere, including the Maya and many local native American tribes. Their Egyptian collection is one of the most collections in the United States. You will enjoy the many interactive displays and informative exhibits. The buildings of this museum are adjacent to the Central plaza. Entry fee: $13

The San Diego Museum of Art’s mission is to inspire, educate, and cultivate curiosity through great works of art. The museum regularly features major exhibitions from around the world, bringing new works of art to San Diego. The museum’s nationally renowned collections include Spanish and Italian old masters, South Asian paintings including the Edwin Binney 3rd Collection of Indian paintings, and 19th and 20th century American paintings and sculptures. This museum is on the Central Plaza. Entry fee: $10-15

“Choo, choo!” The San Diego Model Railroad Museum has amazing track layouts and model designs, sure to delight the most discriminating train enthusiast. Elaborate dioramas and to scale models and tracks fill entire rooms with the vintage history of how the railroads shaped our country. This museum is located on the walking route from the Central Plaza to the Spanish Art Center. Entry fee: $9-12.50

Also along the walking route to the Spanish Arts Center, and across the street from the Railroad Museum is the Conservatory and surrounding gardens.

Space… the Final Frontier! San Diego was home to some of the earliest aviation efforts in the country. John Montgomery likely made the first human-carrying glider flight in America in 1883 at Otay Mesa. The museum’s exhibits span the history of aviation. Your journey through the history of flight begins as you stand beneath a model of the Montgolfier brothers’ hot air balloon of 1783 – the first manned vehicle in recorded history to break the bonds of gravity and lift humans above the Earth. Rare aircraft from WWI, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam conflicts provide a glimpse into the increasingly complex technology used in flight. This culminates with our entry into space… with the actual command module from Apollo IX, launched in March 1969, mere months before our first lunar landing. This museum is at coach stop # 1 and is a 10-minute stroll from the Space Museum to the Central Plaza. Space Museum Entry fee: $17-20. For more information about the park visit: www.BalboaPark.org.

Visit the USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway, only 3 blocks from the Marriott Marquis, is one of San Diego’s premier attractions. Board the historic USS Midway and you are in the USS Midway Museum. USS Midway was one of America’s longest serving aircraft carriers. The museum features over 60 exhibits and a collection of 29 restored aircraft used during the period from World War II to Operation Desert Storm.

USS Midway is open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. It involves a lot of walking, steps and tight hallways. Wear comfortable, non-slip shoes.

Self-guided audio tours of 60 ship locations, narrated by Midway sailors, offer a glimpse of life aboard the ship, including the post office, crew’s sleeping quarters, engine room, machine shops, and the ship’s jail. USS Midway sailors also tell personal stories of their lives as bomber pilots aboard the ship. A guided tour can be arranged for groups.

Two flight simulators give the experience of launching off the flight deck, engaging the enemy, and returning home safely in virtual reality motion. In one flight simulator, visitors can fly the two-person Strike Fighter 360 while doing rolls, somersaults, spins, and loops. In the other simulator, join the men and women of Operation Desert Storm to launch your F-18 Hornet off the aircraft carrier and hit targets to complete your air-to-air mission and land safely.

USS Midway’s 90-seat theater features a multimedia 15-minute immersive film telling the story of one of the most important naval battles of WWII, the Battle of Midway. The battle is relived through the eyes and voices of the heroes of the battle.

The ship’s restaurant Fantail Cafe serves authentic meals from the aircraft carrier’s 1945 cookbook.

The Six Habitats of San Diego Zoo’s Africa Rocks

Africa Rocks, at a renovation cost of $68 million, opened July 1 2017. It recreates six animal habitats found on the African continent. Africa Rocks is near the Zoo entrance.

* To read my Blog article about the San Diego Zoo, click HERE.

These are the six habitats of Africa Rocks.

Acacia Woodland

Acacia Woodland features a leopard exhibit, a troop of vervet monkeys, and an aviary.

The leopard exhibit includes the critically endangered Amur leopard and a spotted and black Leopard. The Amur Leopard is one of the eight subspecies of leopard. There are about 84 Amur leopards in the wild (in the Russian Far East and North East China) and 170 to 180 in captivity. Amur leopards live 10-15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

The vervet is a small, black-faced monkey common in East Africa.

The aviary features two species of Bee Eaters, as well as African Silverbills, African Pygmy Geese, African Jacanas, Amethyst starlings, Beautiful Sunbirds, Blue-naped mousebirds, Collared Pratincoles, Common Waxbills, Emerald-spotted wood doves, Fischer’s Lovebirds, Golden Breasted Starlings, Greater Painted Snipes, Long-tailed paradise whydahs, Magpie Mannikins, Melba Finches, Namaqua Doves, Pin-tailed whydahs, Purple Grenadiers, Red-billed firefinches, Red-cheeked cordon-bleus, Snowy-crowned robin-chats, Stone Partridges, Village Indigobirds, White-bellied go-away-birds, White-headed buffalo weavers, Yellow-crowned bishops, Yellow Necked Francolins, Yellow-mantled widowbirds, and Zebra Waxbills.

Bee Eaters are medium-sized, brightly colored birds with missile like speed. The birds pluck bees and other flying insects out of the air with their strong, downward curved beak.

Cape Fynbos

Cape Fynbos features African penguins and leopard sharks. African penguins are social birds adapted to warmer weather along the southern Africa coast. They feed mostly on fish and squid. The exhibit was designed to mimic the giant granite boulders found on Boulders Beach in South Africa.

Ethiopian Highlands

Ethiopian Highlands is home to two baboon species: the gelada and the Hamadryas.

Geladas are found in the high grassland of the deep gorges of the central Ethiopian plateau. They live in a multilevel social structure. Adult geladas use a repertoire of complex vocalizations to signify such things as contact, reassurance, appeasement, solicitation, ambivalence, aggression and defense. Grass blades make up to 90% of their diet. The San Diego Zoo is only of two zoos in North America to house geladas.

The Hamadryas baboon habitat extends from the Red Sea in Eritrea to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia. Like the gelada, they live in a multilevel social structure. Hamadryas baboons often appear in ancient Egyptian art, as they were considered sacred.

Madagascar Forest

Madagascar Forest features the Coquerel sifaka lemur, the ring-tailed lemur, and the fossa.

Coquerel sifaka lemurs reside in altitudes less than 300 ft in the dry deciduous forests of northwestern Madagascar, including the coastal forest. In the trees, the Coquerel sifaka moves by vertical clinging and leaping. It can leap from tree to tree up to 35 feet, and has the extraordinary ability to leap to spiny trees and precisely place its hands and feet so that it will not hurt itself.

The ring-tailed lemur is a relatively large lemur, averaging 4.9 lbs. It is highly social, living in groups of up to 30 individuals. It inhabits deciduous forests, dry scrub, montane humid forests, and gallery forests (forests along riverbanks) in southern and southwestern Madagascar.

The fossa has a doglike face, claws and teeth like a cat, and is related to the mongoose. Its natural habitat is on the African island of Madagascar. The fossa is a skilled predator, and hunts lemurs, wild pigs, reptiles, rodents, and birds. Presumably the Zoo does not let the fossa hunt its lemurs.

Kopje Woodland

Kopje Woodland features meerkats, klipspringers, the rock hyrax, and the dwarf mongoose.

The meerkat is a type of mongoose. “Meerkats are small burrowing animals, living in large underground networks with multiple entrances which they leave only during the day, except to avoid the heat of the afternoon. They are very social creatures and they live in colonies together. . . . There may be up to 30 meerkats in a group.” (quoting Wikipedia).

The klipspringer is a small antelope found in eastern and southern Africa which inhabits rocky terrain with sparse vegetation. It diets on young plants, fruits and flowers.

The rock hyrax, also known as the rock rabbit, is native to Africa and the Middle East. The rock hyrax feeds on plants and dwells in cavities in rocks.

The dwarf mongoose has a large pointed head, small ears, a long tail, short limbs, and long claws. It inhabits dry grassland, open forests, and bush land, up to 2,000 meters in altitude, in eastern to southern Central Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and the Republic of South Africa. The dwarf mongoose diets on insects (mainly beetle larvae, termites, grasshoppers and crickets), spiders, scorpions, small lizards, snakes, small birds, and rodents. It prefers to sleep at night in disused termite mounds.

West African Forest

West African Forest features the dwarf crocodile, Madagascan big-headed turtles, West African mud turtles, and a floating fig tree.

The West African dwarf crocodiles reside in a pond at the base of Rady Falls, a 65-foot tall waterfall in the zoo’s West African Forest. The dwarf crocodile is a timid, mainly solitary nocturnal reptile. It feeds on a range of small animals such as fish, crabs, frogs, gastropods, insects, lizards, water birds, bats and shrews. Dwarf crocodiles attain a medium adult length of 4.9 feet.

The critically endangered Madagascan big-headed turtle is native to the waters of permanent slow-moving rivers and lakes in western Madagascar. The West African mud turtle is carnivorous and feeds mostly on fish and molluscs.

The World Famous San Diego Zoo

The world-famous San Diego Zoo is a must visit. The 100-acre zoo, located in Balboa Park, is home to more than 3,500 animals representing 650 different species. The Zoo is known for beautiful open-air, cageless exhibits with naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters.

It is best to visit the Zoo on a weekday when it is less crowded. There is a San Diego Zoo app which has a GPS enabled map. It is recommended that first time visitors take a 35-minute Guided Bus Tour on arrival early in the morning (to avoid long lines). It gives a good overview of the Zoo and a view of animals from the bus to get ideas of areas to visit later. The top deck of the bus has better views.

The gondola style Skyfari Tram is a useful shortcut between the front entrance and the back of the Zoo. The Kangaroo Express bus has four stops in different areas of the zoo to facilitate travel from one zoo habitat to another. Stops are marked with a yellow kangaroo. Buses arrive roughly every 15 minutes.

These are the eight major areas of the Zoo.

Africa Rocks

This is a good place to start. It’s near the entrance and is very popular. Africa Rocks features hundreds of animals in six habitats: Acacia Woodland, Cape Fynbos, Ethiopian Highlands, Madagascar Forest, Kopje Woodland, and West African Forest. There you will find the vervet monkey, gelada and Hamadryas baboons, Amur leopards, lemurs, African penguins, leopard sharks, klipspringers, rock hyraxes, the dwarf mongoose, Madagascan big-headed turtles, and West African mud turtles, among other animals.

* To read my Blog article about Africa Rocks, click HERE.

Asian Passage

The Asian Passage area includes the Sun Bear Forest and Grizzly Bear exhibit. In addition, it features the mang mountain viper, red panda, snow leopard, and takin.

Australian Outback

The Australian Outback nicknamed “Koalafornia,” represents some of Australia’s most well-known animals, including the koala, Tasmanian Devil, Kookaburra, camel, tree-kangaroos, ringtail possums and wallabies. The koala exhibit is particularly popular.

Discovery Outpost

The Zoo’s Discovery Outpost is a large pond habitat featuring all kinds of creatures, including the king cobra, anaconda, mang mountain viper, rattlesnake, Chinese alligators, and Galapagos turtle.

Northern Frontier

The Northern Frontier houses over 30 species from the Arctic, including polar bears, reindeer or caribou, raccoons, and Arctic foxes. There is also an aviary that houses more than 25 species of duck. Near the Polar Bear Plunge is the Northwest passage housing cougars, giant anteaters, maned wolves, Patagonian maras, Chinese gorals, lowland anoas, royal antelopes, Siberian musk deer, Cuvier’s gazelles, gerenuk, bontebok, Grévy’s zebras, lesser kudu, Speke’s gazelles, Chacoan peccarys, Steller’s sea eagles, Andean condors, and hawks and eagles.

Elephant Odyssey

Elephant Odyssey is a huge area dedicated solely to several beautiful African and Asian elephants. The Elephants are free to roam.

Lost Forest

The Lost Forest is packed with extensive trails that wind through exhibits and aviaries. The trails are home to animals from the rain forests of Asia and Africa, and wind their way up into the canopy as well as along the forest floor. There you will find monkeys, barbirusas, tigers, great apes, okapis, and several various species of exotic birds, among other animals.

Urban Jungle

The Urban Jungle allows visitors get up-close-and-personal with giraffes and rhinoceros. The Urban Jungle also houses a small herd of masai giraffes, Soemmerring’s gazelles, red kangaroos, Indian rhinos, flamingos, red river hogs, Bactrian camels, and cheetahs as well as a binturong, clouded leopards, crested porcupines, southern ground hornbills, and a tamandua.

 

Balboa Park – More Interesting Places to Visit

Balboa Park is a 1,200-acre park featuring seventeen museums and the world-famous San Diego Zoo as well as an array of theatres, gardens, and forests.

In separate Blog posts I cover the museums and gardens of Balboa Park and the Zoo. This post covers other interesting places to visit.

  • Casa del Prado Theatre – features plays, musicals and ballet.
  • Centro Cultural de la Raza – a cultural arts center featuring rotating exhibits and performances with theater, dance, music, and film/video dedicated preservation education about Chicano, Mexican, Indigenous and Latino art and culture. Housed in a former water tower, exquisitely painted with colorful murals.
  • Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater – the oldest continuously running puppetry venue in the United States.
  • Old Globe Theater – dedicated to promoting and preserving African, African-American, and other indigenous cultures of the world through art, music, dance, education, and technology.
  • Spreckels Organ – the largest outdoor pipe organ in the world contains more than 5,000 pipes.
  • WorldBeat Center – Housed in a colorfully painted former water tower, WorldBeat Center is dedicated to promoting and preserving African, African-American, and other indigenous cultures of the world through art, music, dance, education, and technology.