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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Zoos are for (Big) Kids!

A realization came to me last week after a unique suggestion from Molly. We were on our way to Summerfest last week to pay $6 for bottles of Miller Lite and take in a great show from Rascal Flatts. Since we were already making the trip to Milwaukee and had the full day off work, Molly recommended the Milwaukee County Zoo. What I realized last week was that zoos are really just as exciting for big kids. Little kids can keep their Trix - I want my zoo.

I don't know where to begin in talking about our four-hour experience. We arrived at penguin feeding time, which quickly reminded us of our quirky and energetic cockapoo Drifter. Penguins bobbed in the water, swimming against the current, as they attempted to grab the sucker fish thrown their way.

Throw Me Some Fish!

One obstinate penguin refused to conform by joining his family in the water for feeding, and patiently, but persistently, reminded his trainer that he was present and ready for food.

Feed Me!

As we continued to browse the Milwaukee Zoo, we arrived at the ape exhibit. I always forget how mystifying and amazing it is to see primates and stand in awe at how much they resemble homo sapiens. Their body movements mirror humans, and they seem to peer with ou as if to want to connect and communicate. A female gorilla commanded just this presence and had eyes that saw straight through me. In the next room over, a smaller monkey reminded me of a small child quietly playing with blocks in amazement, though this young primate simply sat quietly well above the floor of the room.

All EyesHung out to Dry

Since I was visiting the zoo with Molly, some extended time around birds was necessary. And not because I wanted to appreciate with awe the art of flying or marvel at the variety in shapes and colors of the zoo's birds, but because I know that Molly is deeply disturbed by birds and that on some level boys like things that bother girls (like cooties).

Reverse PeacockNot an Owl
A Toucan's Cousin?A Helping "Hand"

The Milwaukee County Zoo contains far too much to talk about (or even probably photograph in one trip). Many creepy bats adorned one part of the reptile building, though I was too busy taking in the iguana seen below. We also passed an old-fashioned popcorn booth and many signs reminding us to keep said popcorn to ourselves.


Zoo FareConsider Yourself Warned

Our trip was filled with firsts as well. I had never seen a polar bear swim, and certainly not one who enjoyed himself so much, rolling, lounging, and keeping a close eye on the stick with which he was playing. Additional, I found myself close to a leopard that took "glance" classes from the gorilla seen above.

Swimming Polar Bear!Looking Leopard

Finally, some favorites greeted us, though these animals we much more vibrant and youthful than those at our local (and free) zoo in Madison.
Tired TigerShaded Packaderm

Giraffes in Love?

I'll close this somewhat long entry with a developing and bothersome fascination with creepy and grouped stuffed animals that I seem to have developed while at the zoo. I'd like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Molly for putting up with me while I sneaked these photos at booths and stores at the zoo.

Wild...Hang Tough

Creepy EyesBig-Eyed Animals

Thanks for staying tuned while I shared our zoo adventure. Below are fun snapshots from the end of our visit before moving on to the world's largest music festival.

On Safari?Kids Hat!

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