Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Zoo, zoo, zoo - how about you?


Now that I travel with kids, it seems that every trip to a large city involves a visit to the zoo. They really are perfect - large spaces to run around, different animals (occasionally roaring for dramatic effect) within yards of each other and usually other kids who are behaving atrociously just to remind me of how lucky I am.

The zoo in Seattle was truly wonderful. As usual for most zoos and aquariums the animals were grouped by global region (e.g. Asia, Africa) but they included a typical village/living arrangement for a specific area in that region. It gave the kids a context for how some people live throughout the world.


Pretending to grind in the African Savannah village.


Having been to South Africa in 1999, I am partial to all things African. According to the placards the village was typical for a Kenyan bush and had a teacher's hut, a one-room family home and a school house. The kids loved running through the desks, sitting at the head of the class, and talking about what was missing (e.g. no computers or art projects, few posters on the walls). It made their church project to raise funds for school library books in Alice, South Africa a bit more real.










But by far the highlight was the hippopotami. Three lovely ladies hanging out in the water. I wasn't even going to bother to take photos of them since it was a grey day, the water looked grey, and - funny how camouflage works - hippos look like logs when they are floating in the water.


Suddenly they started moving fast (by hippo standards) to a side fencing as my sister-in-law was trying to engage the kids about some random fact written on a placard.



We weren't really listening and finally told her to turn around. A zoo keeper was throwing whole red apples into their mouths.



And yes, I have over 20 shots of her lovely mouth. I even have close ups of that large tooth on the bottom. It had a piece of grass stuck in it. Clearly she needs to start flossing more regularly.



I never thought I would write this but the hippos were just so cute.

17 comments:

Flower Child said...

This zoo sounds awesome! So much better than ours. Your hippos are really "cute" - we saw one up close (without a fence) and I can truly say they are cute even if they are also dangerous.

soccer mom in denial said...

Actually FC I would argue "your" zoo - which we visited with you 2 years ago - is up there as a cool zoo. I mean, you've got pandas and it is FREE! The Seattle was having a promotion where the adults got in for free but the kids' admission still felt like a car payment.

CableGirl said...

Seattle Zoo? Check. We'll hit it on our next trip out to see the In Laws. I just took MJ to Miami Metro Zoo this past weekend and as young as she is, she loved it. She especially liked the Gibbons 9who were in great voice) and the Tigers to whom she kept pointing and saying "Ki-i" (translated: kitty).

Heather said...

I haven't been to a zoo in ages. Now I want to take my kids!

Although I always start to feel all guilty about the animals being caged.

Wholly Burble said...

It has been eons since I was at a zoo--and that was during a visit to Minneapolis. My son was two years old (he is now thirty-four--have I mentioned in other posts, I don't get out much?).

The one truly remarkable thing for me then was seeing the orangatangs UP CLOSE. They were awing--and so ORANGE.

So tickled to see all your photos. Thanks for sharing these with us. Hippo gal pictures turned out GREAT.

Amy Barry said...

Ah - my home town zoo! It has changed so much over the years. When I was a kid it was the old style metal cages. Then it evolved to habitat areas and now it has even better habitat areas and theming too! The kiddos love the big indoor play area too. But yeah - expensive admission!

the dragonfly said...

You took some amazing pictures!!

Glad you had a good time. I love zoos too. :)

Goofball said...

hmm i don't really combine hippos and cute in one sentence.

love the zebra's!

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! As promised, there indeed is the back of a hippo's throat! WONDERFUL.
We just did the Berlin zoo on our last trip. It does seem that the zoo is the right destination when traveling with kids.
Love the shots and the stories!

Jenn in Holland said...

Oh, and thanks for the reference to the zoo song... I will be singing that for a long while now!

We're going to the zoo zoo zoo
How about you you you
You can come too too too
Going to the zoo zoo zoo...

Jenn said...

i love hippos.

and use to call them hippmisspotomiss.

Amy Barry said...

Arrrgggg... I missed the song reference when first reading the post but now thanks to dear Jenn in Holland it is going through MY head too!

Adventures In Waitressing said...

What a lovely day.. the zoo sounds awesome. I can't wait to take my boys to the zoo here.

I love how you like hippos. LOL.. so cute.

chelle said...

Raffi ... great that will be cycling through my head all night! hehhe! We are big zoo fans too! The pictures are fab!

Nap Warden said...

Holy Hippo Batman! Great shots, I love going to the zoo. Since I am in the city, we go almost every day! Looks like you and your team had fun...

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

They ARE cute. One of my former students is trying to raise funds to build one of those small schoolrooms in Kenya right now. She went there for service work and became hooked.

She's doing pretty well in her goals.

painted maypole said...

love that song! :)

The Seattle Zoo is where we saw Giraffes RUN for the first time. I will never forget it.