This was Izzy's first trip to a zoo. I would have taken him sooner, the Olders have been bugging me about it, but I really wanted to make sure that Jason went along too. Considering that the only kid here at the moment is Izzy, we took advantage and went to the zoo. It's within the 1/2 hour driving distance I've been given so that worked out. Jason had the day off, the weather was great at about 65 for the day and not too bright and sunny. Not having the Olders with us saved us quite a bit of money between entry fees (I think next year we'll get a family subscription, just going twice in the season will have the pass pay for itself) and no need to stop at the gift shop and all of that.
Jason said he really enjoyed the day. Just being out of the house and doing something different. He took a lot of pics. I'm only goint to share a few, he took over 100 at least. I pushed Izzy in the stroller. We set a nice leisurly pace and spent about 2 1/2 hours walking around. We went at the end of the day, which some say it's better to go at the beginning of the day, but with the cooler weather the animals were still out and pretty active. By going during the week the crowd was much smaller than on the weekend, which is also very nice.
There are 2 parts to the zoo really. One is the "standard" caged animals. The other is an area that is set up like an African Wild Animal Preserve. There are no lions or elephants. However there are plenty of zebra, ostrich, giraffe, goats, and exotic birds. They all live on a "savannah" area. Good thing the plains areas around here are rather "savannah" like, huh? They also have a bird conservatory, the birds are caged outside and in continuous areas that runs about a mile to get all the way through. There are also monkeys in with the birds. We skipped the monkey/bird walk. I just was NOT up to walking that mile. We had ice cream shortly before we left the zoo and that was our day. Izzy crashed out in the van not 5 minutes in to driving home.
First up were Red Kangaroos.
These purple flowers were just outside the kangaroo compound. Compound sounds so much nicer than "cage" don't you think?
This is a Macaw. My sister had one of these when she was a teenager. My mom had gotten it for herself, but the bird attached himself to my sister. That stupid bird was LOUD and ANNOYING. He would squawk like crazy whenever Katie wasn't home. He also had to sit on my sister's shoulder whenever she was eating and eat what was on her plate from a spoon. Once my sister started going to college and was barely home anymore, mom gave the bird to someone else. I think everyone was so happy to see him go.
Peacocks run free range around the zoo. They are literally EVERYWHERE. They are not caged at all. Jason was able to get a good shot of this one just sitting there and posing.
I think this is a wallaby. It was in the wallaby area at least. There were also emu in there, but the pics of those turned out fuzzy.
Here is one of the two snow leopards. The other one stayed asleep while we were there. This one kept pacing the fence back and forth. I think it was getting close to dinner time or something.
While the cheetah was in a different enclosure, he was doing the same as the leopard, just pacing back and forth. However he was doing it much faster and Jason had a hard time getting a non-blurry pic of the big cat.
This box turtle was HUGE. It reminded me of those pics you see of the 500 pound people that are stuck in their bed. The turtle moved while we were there, but only a leg and it's head. I felt kind of sorry for it. I don't know if was able to move more than that or not. Jason said it reminded him of a sumo wrestler.
Izzy loved the lemurs! He had to get up and "move it move it!" while I sat and rested and jason was arguing with the flash on the camera. I suggested turning it off and that seemed to help. Jason said later that the lemurs were hard to catch good pics of because they kept moving all the time. I guess the movie "Madagascar" at least had that part right!
On our way to the tram to go to the Wild Africa part of the zoo we went to the "Children's Area". We did not go in and actually pet any of the animals, nor attempt to feed them, but we did get really close to them.
These pygmy goats were pretty cute. The male pygmy was in with the nubian goats, an area you couldn't go in to. I think he was either too mean to be around the people regularly, or they were just keeping him seperated from the females.
The nubian goats would put their front hooves right on the fence to put their heads over so they could be fed. They didn't care about being petted, they were just trying to eat whatever they could.
The zoo attendent who was in with this llama said his name (the name of the llama) was E.T. because of his long neck and buggy eyes. This is one of the first animals Izzy really seemed to look at and notice was there. From that point on, whenever he noticed an animal he had the look of "what the HELL is that?". I found that very amusing.
This sheep was called "Jacob's Sheep". I'm pretty sure this is the male. The females had the side horns (antlers?) but not the tops ones. Jason said the sheep kept walking toward him like he was going to butt him or something like that.
I'm never sure why zoos put in domestic animals, but this one did. Jason got a couple good pics of a nice domestic pig and bunny. The bunny was HUGE however. He reminded Jason and I of the Monty Python reference to bunnies.
Prairie dogs on the walk to the tram. There was also a Red Panda, however his pic turned out fuzzy. The camera focused on the branches in front of him, not the actual animal. Go figure.
We stopped so I could rest. Izzy had a snack, a granola bar, and I drank some water. People watching is also a fun past time you can partake in while at the zoo. We are all animals after all! As you can see, my belly is HUGE. My butt looks pretty big too, but I like to think that it looks like that because I was sitting on it. A girl can dream, right?
We took the 5 minute tram to Wild Africa. It's about a mile away from the main part of the zoo. I thought we had missed the part with the giraffes, but they were up around a bend. Because it was later in the day, we weren't able to feed the giraffes. They do come right up to the railing and don't mind being touched at all. The other animals in the "savannah" stay well away from the people. Jason was able to get pics of most of them. I don't know what the odd looking bird is called. I wasn't paying enough attention. I did learn something new. I had always thought that a giraffe's head would explode, or something like that, if it were to bend down below it's body. No I don't know how or why I formed this opinion, but I had it. I learned from watching the giraffes that this was not the case at all. I suppose if I had actually sat down and thought about and realized there would be no way for them to DRINK I would have figured it out sooner. Oh well. If you look in the background of the last pic, you can see some of the other animals in there as well, just to kind of show they really are living together like that.
I hope you all have wonderful weekends and are able to make a few memories along the way. Prayers and blessings.