Friday, March 11, 2011

Trails of Africa

Friday afternoon was one of the VIP Preview's of the newest exhibit at our local zoo called the "Trails of Africa". We have watched the progression of construction for this wonderful exhibit and couldn't wait to finally get to explore it. And, since we practically live at the zoo these days (ha, our house is included in that description), we decided to attend the afternoon preview event in order to beat the anticipated weekend crowds. We told the boys we would pick them up extra early from school for a family field trip and they were beyond excited!
These pictures are from the main section of the new exhibit. The really awesome elephant statue greets you as you make your way to the elephant compound. Jackson and Macklin wanted to ride it and hear it roar. Although it didn't make any noise, it did provide a nice water misting from its trunk which they thought was FABULOUS! It was difficult to get a good picture of Bulwagi because he was being feed by a zookeeper while all us onlookers checked him out. He appeared comfortable and happy despite his missing tusk which we found out he lost when we was only four years old. Calli, the other elephant already on-site, did not make an appearance because he's in quarantine to be sure he is still healthy after his travels to his new home--we can't wait to meet him too!
Let's discuss the snakes! Jackson has become quiet mesmerized by snakes here lately and has even asked if he could have one. Umm, NO! On one of our earlier zoo trips he did talk his Gramie into a snake from the gift shop that scares the life out of me every time I see it at our house! Both of the boys couldn't wait to get their fingers on this boa-constrictor (I think, or maybe it was a python--I can't remember and couldn't back away from it fast enough!!!) which was right outside the Safari Cafe.
Next on our exhibit tour we encountered this beautiful African Wild Cat, a special African species of bird I can't recall, and the Giraffes and Ostrich zone. What I do recall is that Jackson and Macklin wanted to touch EVERYTHING! Yes, even this beautiful wild cat which we had to explain to him that it was not a cat like the neighbors have next door--this one would put him/us in his food chain--so not good! He was a bit taken back by our response but still wanted to get closer and pet the kitty!
And of course, no trip to the zoo is complete unless we ride the train! We got away with one ride and one ringing of the bell!
Our family of four--not the best picture but it's a picture of all of us and that is rare. We really enjoyed our preview of the Trails of Africa!
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