October 8, 2008

It's a Zoo out there

I screwed up on Monday and double booked myself. Usually I take Hannah to art and ballet, and Chris heads off to the community college. But he had a physical scheduled for Monday morning before school, and he asked me to come along. So Hannah and I had to skip her classes.

The physical went well. Chris is still tall and thin. He's 6 ft tall and 120 lbs.
Yes, I feed him.

He may be having a little residual depressed lung function since his accident. (That's why he wanted me to come along, so I could put in my $0.02 and get a little action.) He will have some tests this Friday to see what his lung capacity is. None of us (doctor included) think anything is really wrong, but we are ruling this out so we don't have to worry about it anymore. Of course, the results won't be in for a while...we'll see.

It was a beautiful day, not too hot and not too cool, so Hannah and I spent the rest of the morning at our local zoo. Even though it's only a few miles down the road, we had never visited it before. It is a private zoo, and seems to be doing a fairly good job. (I am a zoo snob, and I just deleted two paragraphs of lecture on captive animal behavior. My degree is in Psychology/Animal Behavior, which I often say gives me perfect credentials to homeschool my kids...but my background also leaves me with a love/hate relationship for zoos, especially struggling ones.)

So, on with the fun!

The zoo was fairly empty...no school field trips this early in the school year, and just a few moms with toddlers and preschoolers. We barely saw any humans!

I was surprised at the diversity this small zoo had...there was a nice active colony of prairie dogs, a huge assortment of African and Asian hoofed animals (I lost count of the types of antelope), both Dromedary and Bactrian camels, an entire enclosure of Budgies, flocking together, Rhinos, and many species of primates (not in great habitats...). Plenty of other exhibits as well. Here are some of our favorites:

This is an Indian Crested Porcupine baby. Hannah asked if they were prickly when they are born. I was wondering the same thing! Fortunately, there was a plaque that explained that babies are born with soft quills, which harden within 30 minutes of birth!

I have never been to a petting zoo where there is a zebra!

What's your guess? Apatasaurus? (click to enlarge)

No! It's a Galapagos Tortoise! They have four Galapagos Tortoises at this zoo! I can't remember if I've ever seen one in a zoo before. (Clara, there was a large tortoise at the Oakland zoo, 20 years ago...the kids would climb on it and ride it around...is it still there? It wasn't a Galapagos one, since the shell was smooth. These guys were very bumpy.)

The Carousel was empty, so we had to push a doorbell for the attendant to come out and start it up for Hannah!

Hannah's favorite primate! She has a collection of stuffed lemurs and adds to it when the opportunity arises.

Can you believe this??

I never knew giraffes had black tongues. This one looks blue!

We had a fun on the Zoo Train and the Skyride as well. My only tip is to have low expectations of the french fries!

Hannah wants to know what your favorite wild animal is, so please leave her a comment (just click on "_ wonderful people commented").


Anonymous said...

Wow Bird, I like all those animals you saw! That is a pretty cool porcupine baby! Maybe you can take me to the zoo when I visit.

I like giraffes a lot....but what about a warthog? WHEN III WAS A YOUNG WART-HOOOOOGGG!

Love you. See you soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hannah!! My favorite wild animal is the elephant!! It looks like you had a great time at the zoo!

Amy said...

Enjoyed looking around your blog and your homeschooling ideas!

Seymour Johnson said...

My favorite is the Tapir. It's not a pig (or is it?) and it's not a baby elephant (or is it?). It sure will steal the food off of your plate if you're not looking!

Anonymous said...

Emily says her favorite animals are the monkey and the giraffe. She loves looking at all the pictures. She just informed me the penquin is also her favorite at the zoo!!!