5/16/2011

The New Zoo Review

On Friday, Tim, the doodle, and myself ventured off to the zoo in DC. Part of this was because we paid for a membership the last time we went, which gives us free parking. And so, in order to make this a worthwhile investment, we needed to go at least twice. Thus: check. The other part is that the kiddo loves the zoo.

Now, if you have never been to the National Zoo, you might not realize that it was built on a hill. The incline for this hill looks something like this:

If you are wise, you park at the bottom of the hill, then you walk up while you're fresh, and when you get to the top and are tired and ready to head home, you can still see animals on the way back down to your car. You don't want to park at the top and do the reverse.

The first animals we encountered were members of the ridiculous femaleous family. They are identified everywhere by their unique and distinctive feet, shown here:

Those are not zoo shoes.

After that, our first stop was the reptile house. I braved the enclosure and only had a near panic attack (which is better than actually having a panic attack.) Mostly I kept my eyes straight ahead and, when Tim verified that the cage contained a lizard or crocodile or turtle, I would come over and look. I still ended up getting entirely too many glimpses of actual snakes (and really, any glimpse is entirely too many, and I can think of four different ones off hand that I spied before averting my gaze). Still, there were some neat lizards.


The top one wants you to buy cheap car insurance. The bottom one is about the size of my dog giving her baby (which is about the size of my sister's dog) a ride. It is, in fact, a baby rather than a small one having, shall we say, some fun with a larger one. I know because I asked and because the nice zoo lady pointed out that the baby one is growing and shedding its skin. (You can't tell that here.)  I didn't get a picture of the turtle that looked dead (the zoo lady pointed out that it was in fact moving, just reeeeaaaaallllyyyyy slowly), which is too bad, because it had its mouth wide open and was completely submerged and honestly, it just looked bizarrely fake.

After the lizards, we went to see the zebras. They have a lovely enclosure that is all grassy and delightful.
They were just walking around enjoying the beautiful day. They seemed a bit smug, but then zebras have always seemed a bit smug to me.  We walked on and I realized the reason for the smugness.
You could practically hear the cheetahs plotting ways to get through the fence. They spent the whole time we watched just zipping back and forth along the fence line eyeing what they figured really should be their lunch. Honestly, it seems a bit mean for them to have put those two enclosures right next to one another.

Next up was a visit to the Salvador Dali exhibit.
I call this one "Melting Panda".

But hey, the pandas were out (you can see the other one walking around in the top right corner), which is more than you usually get. Usually you just get a panda tushie sticking out just a teeny bit from the tunnels that lead between the outdoors and indoors. So to see the whole panda was a big deal.

Next up, elephants!

It was time for them to move from one area to the other. They were waiting, not so patiently, for the zoo keeper to open their little elephant lock. (Really, it's like a boat lock, but not in water. And for elephants.) They seemed happy to get through and meet up with the other, larger elephant who was already on the other side.

Finally the lions and tigers (we already did bears, so, oh my)!
Proud papa.

Papa's pride (see what I did there? With the pride? And lions? Oh never mind.) The zoo had lion cubs earlier this year. Much like my collie puppy, the cubs have gotten HUGE very quickly. I was bummed, I had hoped for cute cuddly lion cubs. Instead we got gigantic baby lions. Though they're still cute. (The cubs are the ones in the cave - there are 3.)

Last up the bird house. Because everyone needs a spectacled owl. I don't think that's actually what it's called though the name does have something to do with spectacles and owls in it. We did also see apes and gibbons and a wolf and gazelles, but I didn't take pictures of them. Not sure why.

Last stop was the petting zoo where the kiddo got to pet a cow. Honestly, that might have been the highlight of his trip.

No comments: