What is it about zoos that makes people want to take pictures? And I'm not talking about "oh look...here's us at the zoo.." type. I'm talking about the professional photographer wannabe that comes out in people as they take pictures of all the animals. Forget the cute kids. It's the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) that we want shots of. Are they really that fascinating? Apparently they are because I found myself doing the same thing when I took Julianne and Lilian to the zoo this past week.
Here's a mixture of both...cute kids AND fascinating animals.
The zoo has a Dinosaur theme going on right now....big, ol' dinosaurs all over the place. Most of them moved, growled, and sometimes even spit which meant that I was constantly reassuring Lilian that they weren't real...seeing as they weren't in cages.
Lilian was obsessed with this elephant. Absolutely refused to get on it or anywhere relatively close to it when I pleaded, cajoled, begged for a picture. But from across the path she loved watching all the kids gather around for the spray of water that came from the trunk when the elephant "sneezed." We probably spent more time in front of this elephant that at any other place in the zoo. Go figure.
And here are the REAL elephants. Three of them all together. I could not get enough of the little baby! And when I say "little" I mean comparatively...because that "little" baby seemed all the sudden rather big when she lumbered on over closer to us a bit later.
That's one huge Rhino....
Four tigers all together, this one sat in the water next to the glass wall and stared at me. It was awesome! I have to admit...in the past I've not been a big fan of the zoo. I always came away feeling very sad that these once proud animals were reduced to living in a tiny enclosure with people knocking on their windows and staring at them all day. And yes, I know....the animals in zoos are usually ones that, for some reason or another, are not going to survive in the wild. But it still made my heart hurt. Happily, for the past many years, our zoo has undertaken big remodeling projects to made the animals feel more at home. The tigers have a wonderful new enclosure as do the elephants, rhinos and big apes. There is a huge project underway right now for the bears. I'm so glad!
As much as I was enjoying the tigers...I was also a little obsessed with the fact that I could take pictures of my reflection in the glass. Yeah...cheap thrills.
Giraffes have always been my favorites. They like to come socialize. And their ridiculously long, purple tongues make me laugh.
Um.....EWW!! Just to clarify, the "EWW!!" is for the snake, not my cute Lilian. Although her actions could be categorized as EWW!! This, we were told, is a non-venomous king snake. You can tell because the white stripes don't touch the red. If the white DOES touch the red, then it's the venomous kind. And while that's all good and fine to know...I think that if I see a king snake, I'm not planning on getting close enough to see if the white stripes touch the red or not!
Here's my happy girl. Wishing we could stay a little bit longer. But the crowds were inbound. And the heat was increasing. And, most importantly, it was time to pick up Brandon from his science camp. Looks like I may have to forgo my only-once-a-year-zoo-trip rule and take Lilian back again a little sooner.