Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Springtime at the Zoo

I'm so ready for spring! Yesterday was picture perfect! The temps were in the mid-70s and the sky was cloudless. I took the boys to the zoo and we studied some of the insects in Bug U (for our science lesson) before eating our picnic lunch and seeing some of our favorite animals. We skipped The Hill (as usual), the reptile building, the monkeys, the tigers, and the far reaches of The Wilds of Africa - and it took us 4 1/2 hours to see everything else, including a 20-minute ride on the Monorail Safari. I guess if we ever want to see everything there, we need to go when the zoo first opens and spend the whole day!

We saw quite a bit of "real life" at the zoo as well. The mongooses (mongeese?) and zebras were especially, um, active. It was funny listening to the comments adults would make when they saw what was going on. The boys thought the animals were fighting. :o) The funniest thing was when the monorail guide was telling about the zebras we would be seeing next. As we rounded the corner, they were being rather "frisky" and the guide got tickled. She continued on with her speech, but she was having a hard time keeping her voice normal. I looked at the other adults in the cars past us and saw that all of us were laughing.

I can't wait for the new zoo exhibit to open at the end of May! Giants of the Savannah is an 11-acre habitat that will house seven or eight elephants, 14 giraffes (that can be fed by zoo visitors!), a pride of lions, some cheetahs, and other animals. There will be a restaurant overlooking the big cat area. The zoo currently has two elephants and three giraffes, kept in small neighboring enclosures. The lone lion died of cancer a few years ago. The three cheetahs are on "The Hill", which is not so fun to walk to (which is why we often skip it). The grand opening is set for Memorial Day weekend; the boys and I will go the week after so we can avoid the sure-to-be-massive crowd.

The Fort Worth Zoo recently had a grand opening for its new Museum of Living Art (MOLA) - a new herpetarium. When we visited the zoo with a home school group last fall, the new one was under construction but the old one had already closed. While I'm not a fan of reptiles and amphibians, they do make great photographic subjects. I can't wait to visit it soon!


I've heard many people make comments about how "bad" the Dallas Zoo is. I think it's great! Maybe it's not up to the same quality as other major zoos or even the Fort Worth Zoo, but it's improving. It's improved quite a bit in the 5 years that we've been going to it. The Dallas Zoo is better than the zoo I grew up visiting, which is better than no zoo at all. I've been a member of the zoo for 4 years now, and I plan to continue my membership indefinitely. Even when the boys think they've "outgrown" the zoo, I know I never will. I love zoos!

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