We were under-prepared for this zoo. There was a lot of walking, but thankfully the paths were mostly shaded. The zoo was massive. It really would take a full day to explore this zoo in its entirety. We got there in the early afternoon, spent a good part of the day, and saw most of Africa. We didn't see everything there, and we didn't even venture over to North America.
I left my camera sitting in the living room floor when we left for vacation, so I only had my cell phone and the pictures aren't great, so please forgive me.
Emory was in charge of our map, and he had a great time picking out animals on there to see. Elliott liked finding the "You are Here" maps throughout the zoo and following the signs to our next destination.
The animal habitats looked more natural than I've seen in some zoos, and were spacious and clean.
We had a great view . . . of the lion's back side! However, we could clearly see both the male and female lion, and that thrilled Emory.
Many of the animals were easy for Husband and I to see, but too far back for Emory to focus on, so he was excited when he could see one close up, like the Bongos.
Emory said his favorite animals were the giraffes, even though the giraffes and zebras were pretty distant. We also saw the rhinos from a distance. We did get a really good view of the Ostriches at one point too.
At the Gorilla habitat, you had a lot of dads putting kids on shoulders, because adults were in the way and were not phased by all the kids jumping up and down and proclaiming "I can't see!" I just don't understand that.
We happened to get to the Chimpanzee exhibit right at a feeding show, so it was just too crowded, but the kids did get a chance to see them, and we could definitely hear them chattering as we walked off. The Baboons however, were not crowded, and as you can imagine, my boys were amused.
Another aspect of the zoo that impressed me was the Art in the Park. It wasn't just murals and abstract sculptures. There was a lot kid-friendly art, and I often heard "Hey momma, get my picture!"
The elephant board game was set up so that you split into teams based on the social structure of elephants, and walk the game as the pawns.
White Rhino was a hit with the boys.
There was a nest of ostrich eggs, and the kids were excited to climb in them.
The gorilla troupe was fun for the boys too. The sculptures were designed to mimic natural behaviors of the animals.
Emory really liked the Lioness and Cubs.
There were also some smaller pieces, which were always a delight to the boys to find!
Elliott liked the family of giraffes too.
This field trip provided so many opportunities for science, nature and art (not to mention the poetry that we didn't look for this time) and if I lived closer, I would definitely invest in a membership to this zoo so that we could visit frequently and enjoy at a leisurely pace. We also downloaded the free Gorilla iPad Magazine and Emory had a lot of fun with it!
Husband and I both agreed that this is the nicest zoo we've been to recently, and that we'd love to go back and see the whole thing! My only regrets were that we didn't arrive first thing in the morning, and that I didn't have a real camera. Next time, I know!
This post is linked up to Blogging through the Alphabet for letter Z, and to Field Trip Friday at Mimi's House.
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