"We're off to the zoo today to see some animals,
won't you ride along with me,
won't you ride along with me?"
I've been watching too much Daniel Tiger, can you tell?
Monday we took Mayhem to the zoo for the first time. Let me tell you, in my expert opinion, nearly two is the perfect age to take a kid to the zoo for the first time. At 22 months old, he's recognizing animals in books and toys and imitating the sounds they make, but he's not at the age where you have to explain every single thing yet, like the sometimes embarrassing stuff like the rhinoceros pooping or what have you.
We (it wasn't just the three of us, we went with our friends and their two boys) arrived at the zoo right after opening (good thing, too, because we spent 6 hours there and nearly shut the joint down!) and didn't have to wait very long to watch the seal training session. Mayhem loved watching the seal jump and do tricks for fish. He clapped and cheered right along with all the other kiddies.
After the seals, we saw birds and reptiles (too dark, no photos). In this pen behind the fence he's on were two of the strangest birds I've ever seen. They looked like a long pair of legs with a neck! Some sort of stork I think.
(Our friend's mom made the boys these cute shirts to wear.)
After birds and reptiles we moved on to the primates. Or just "monkeys" if you're trying to keep it simple for the under 3' crowd.
A monkey and a lemur...
We spent probably fifteen minutes watching the giraffes. They were really close and active, walking back and forth in front of the fence. He can say "giraffe" near perfectly now and even recognizes them in weird form like the tall, skinny statues in Earthbound.
Elephants were cool, but we couldn't figure out why the four of them were separated and didn't see anyone around to ask.
They had a sign about Tigers and Auburn right next to this one, but he wouldn't stick his head in it.
By the time we got to the real tiger he was pretty hungerstruck and the raisins were much more interesting than any ol' pacing tiger.
The tiger was pretty neurotic while we were standing there, but later I saw him sleeping in the grass.
Speaking of neurotic, I thought I would just flip my lid in the snake building. There were so many moms and strollers and little kids running around screaming and pushing to try to see. Mayhem was just quietly sitting in his stroller (he loves to "Ride! Ride!" in that thing!) and we waited our turn and tried to slowly see everything. I guess I'm just not used to big crowds of tiny people and the big ones that accompany them.
The bears were sleepy, too. How stereotypical (and hilarious) is it that there's a picnic table inside their pen?
We rode the train that goes through and around the zoo.
He doesn't look impressed here, but he loved it once we started moving.
He's really into taking selfies. "Poke! Poke!" he says as he jabs his finger at the screen.
Feeding the fish and turtles in the swamp of the Alabama animals section.
He wanted to pet this vulture so bad! He kept saying, "Pet! Pet!" and the lady was like, "No, we can't pet!" Boots had to hold his arm down to ensure he wouldn't lose any fingers while they were standing close.
Why did we not take any pictures of him petting the sheep and goats? I guess because we were too busy petting! You could tell the poor sheep had had lots of hands on them, their hair was fuzzed up on the top of their backs.
Now... onto the aquarium!