Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach: Bracha At The Zoo and the Aquarium?
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 225:8) says that if you see an elephant or monkey you say the bracha "Boruch Ata Hashem...Mishaneh HaBriyos" who makes different creatures. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach says that you make this bracha not only on these two animals but any animals that people see and are intrigued and amazed.
The Me'iri says that you make the bracha only on these two animals and any others that resemble man. What is the resemblance between an elephant and man? Rav Shlomo Zalman said that he doesn't either understand but "L'Maaseh" we make a bracha on all animals.
When visiting the zoo says Rav Shlomo Zalman, you make the bracha once and have in mind for all the animals. However when going to an aquarium you do not need to make the bracha since all the examples given by the gemara are for land animals and not creatures of the sea. (Aleihu Lo Yibol OC 168)
Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.
This article has not been reviewed by the posek of the AskRevach section, Rav Peretz Moncharsh. Any questions regarding this topic and Halacha L'Maaseh may be asked to him at www.revach.net/ask