I took a mini-road trip to Columbia from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon to get in a visit to the Riverbanks Zoo before the moderate temperatures of Spring give way to the intolerably high temperatures of Summer. I also wanted to get the opportunity to listen to their radio system again. The last time I visited the Zoo, I listened to the frequencies as they’re listed on RadioReference but what I heard didn’t fit with the information there. 453.3125 is listed as Operations, but on my last visit it sounded more like maintenance. 453.325 is listed as Public Safety, but it sounded more like Zoo Ops. 462.525 is listed as Maintenance, but it sounded more like Public Safety. This time, I let my BCD436HP record the audio and I reviewed it later. The audio it recorded indicated the same thing I heard last time, so it’s my belief that these are the Zoo’s radio channels.
- 453.3125 (DCS 051) – Riverbanks Zoo Maintenance
- 453.3250 (DCS 071) – Riverbanks Zoo Ops
- 462.5250 (DCS 125) – Riverbanks Zoo Public Safety
453.325 (DCS 071) is the most interesting one to listen to and will give you the most information on what’s going with the exhibits and animals. If you’ve stopped by an exhibit and the animals aren’t out yet, you can keep an ear on it and hear when they’re released into the exhibits. On this visit, I also heard a reference to a “Channel 4,” but nothing recorded by the BCD436HP seemed to be it. It’s quite possible that it is one of the frequencies above with a different DCS code or subaudible tone, so there’s something else to listen for on my next visit.
The highlight of this visit, without a doubt, was finally getting to see the Koalas. Every time I’ve visited previously, the Koalas weren’t in their exhibit, but this time there were two of them. Both of them seemed to be asleep (or almost asleep), which gives me something in common with them – I’m usually asleep at that time of the morning as well! (I work midnight shifts and sleep during the day)
One of my favorite exhibits at the Riverbanks Zoo is the walk-through Kangaroo exhibit where you get to walk through the exhibit and see the Red Kangaroos and Red-necked Wallabies with no ditch or fence between you and them. I also like the Gorilla exhibit at the Riverbanks Zoo. There’s one viewing area has fencing, which makes it hard to get good photos, but there’s another part of the exhibit that uses a moat instead of fencing which is great for photography. On this trip, I also got some nice photos of one of the Sea Lions and one of the Harbor Seals.
Another highlight of this visit was getting to see the White Rhinos all together. Bill, the male, hasn’t been at the Zoo long and the staff have been in the process of introducing them to each other. On previous visits since Bill’s arrival, I’ve only seen just Kande and Winnie, the females on exhibit, or just Bill on exhibit but today all there were out together and seemed to be getting along well.
For supper on Tuesday evening, I enjoyed some wonderful barbeque. Not too far down the road from the hotel I was staying in was Maurice’s Piggie Park. I stopped by and ordered the pulled pork plate with macaroni and cheese and green beans for the sides. It also came with a dinner roll and hush puppies. The pork was outstanding – moist, tender, and covered with a slightly sweet mustard sauce. The homestyle macaroni and cheese, green beans, and hush puppies were delicious as well. Maurice’s will definitely be a food stop on future visits to Columbia.