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Zoo Day

September 19, 2009

bennieSept 115We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day at the zoo;  cool weather, not very crowded and a well napped toddler. If you’ve never been to the Oregon Zoo in Portland, its laid out in a way that lets you chose your own adventure. To see the Northwest animals you can take the first loop to the left, for example. In the past we have made it through the Northwest loop, the farm animal petting area and the aquariums. Today we decided to go for the longer loops and tackle Africa and Asia instead. We spent a lot of time watching chimps, mandrills and orangutans. This picture is B pretending to be a baby orangutan at the monkey play area. What a perfect way for kids to physically process their experience of the animals!

bennieSept 127bennieSept 128bennieSept 124

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The predator exhibit just opened recently, so she saw the big cats for the first time. The lions intrigued her, and I think the feeling was mutual. One lioness in particular thought B looked like dinner, I’m fairly certain.  This lioness would get this look in her eye, (some of us have house cats that give us this look too. The “I could eat you right now if I wanted to,” look. Well, the playful pounce is much different coming from a lion. She looked right at Bennie, her eyes focused and her chin dropped. She froze and got into a crouch, then came charging at the window and stopped just inches away from B’s face.  B was looking at another child when it happened. *Whew!*

bennieSept 110bennieSept 105Penguins and polar bears are almost always her favorite thing to see. This time was no exception. The penguins were being fed their fish,which was extra interesting for her.

Bats! This was fun, since B has  current favorite book about bat. The cave was much to dark for pictures, but all the bats were hanging upside down eating their fruit. B of course, then wanted bananas too. One of the bats was lying on his back on the ground just holding an apple. She was worried about him, but every once in a while he took another bite, so we assumed he was really ok, just an odd guy. (No pics of the bats. Too dark in the cave!)

bennieSept 118I do have mixed feelings about zoos, as I’m sure a lot of you do too. I appreciate how much kids can learn at zoos, but I am saddened that these animals are not where they really belong, and no doubt long for more space and companionship.

When B saw there was only one giraffe, she asked “Where is her baby?” When I told her she didn’t have a baby (*Gasp*, is this possible?) she said, “But isn’t she lonely?” Ah, my toddler’s perspective into my life. Yes, Id have to say my life is much more full and interesting now that it is shared with a wee person. Not to mention I now have a reason to go to the zoo!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nila permalink
    September 22, 2009 4:35 am

    The Lioness story reminds me of “Audrey” AKA Oddry (our killer cat)! I agree about zoos, I’ve always had a hard time about that. . . but how else would Benecia and other little ones get to learn? She already knows that something’s up with this. 🙂

  2. erin permalink
    September 24, 2009 3:32 am

    hey the lioness was doing the same thing when we went last weekend! it was unreal. she focused only on toddlers. i thought it really looked like some good old-fashioned cat play. not really hunting behavior, but most of the onlookers were horrified.

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