Another Wonderful Zoo Visit


We went to the Toledo Zoo again last weekend (it was our second weekend to visit the zoo in a row; we visited on Feb 7 and 15).  Almost a week has passed since our last visit, but I had other blog posts lined up and ready to go, so that’s why I’m first writing about it now.

Having a zoo membership is awesome because you get to visit the zoo whenever you have free time, and you don’t have to worry about seeing EVERYTHING on EVERY visit since you know you’ll be back soon.  The last few times we’ve gone, we parked in the back parking lot and stay on that side of the zoo, which cuts the amount of walking considerably – a great option for winter months since this parking lot is free in the off-season and very close to the rear zoo entrance.  With 4 small children, this is the way that works best for us, even though it means skipping the other side of the zoo which includes the polar bears, seals, wolves, and giraffes.  No matter, we still see plenty, and now we have a whole half a zoo to see sometime if we go without the kids or are feeling extra ambitious.

Every zoo visit is different, which is one of the things I love about going.  The animals are always doing different things, and my favorite exhibits vary with each visit.  Here are the highlights from last Sunday’s visit:

Lions – The Toledo Zoo has white lions.  White lions are rare and the result of a recessive gene similar to the gene of white tigers.  The Toledo Zoo has 3 white lion brothers on loan from Siegfried and Roy, the famous Las Vegas magicians.  Normally during our zoo visits, the lions are sleeping and up on a ledge far from the viewing glass, but last Sunday they were walking around, and one of them even walked right up against the viewing glass!  I’ve seen lions up close before, but not for a long time and never the gorgeous white lion until last week.

Hippos – The hippos are in their indoor enclosure for the winter, and even though their room seems somewhat cramped, the animals don’t seem unhappy, and it’s very cool to see these HUGE animals up close.  It’s amazing to me that their small pool must get very deep very fast in order to allow the animal to be completely submerged.  As we watched, the hippo was bobbing for apples, and he caught his apple and swallowed it whole.  This hippo was so large that the apple in his mouth  looked about as big as a grape would look in the mouth of a human being.  And this provided an extreme close-up of his humongous teeth!

Gorillas – When we got to the gorilla exhibit, it was empty.  But a friendly zookeeper told us to stick around for about 10 minutes for gorilla feeding time.  We then got to watch as the keepers threw greens, fruit, and straw all around the enclosure; taking care to place some on the various ledges and hide some within crevices of the exhibit (seriously, am I too old to embark on this as a career?!?  I’m afraid so…).  Then they let the gorillas back in, and it was a frenzy.  Well, an orderly frenzy – there was no pushing nor shoving; just some excited gorillas foraging in their exhibit.  They quickly found all the hidden surprises, and we laughed as one of the females hoarded as much lettuce as she could carry and brought it up to a high ledge to enjoy it all by herself.

Elephants – The elephants were indoors, and the now 6-year-old baby Louie was using his trunk to eat jello off the floor.  I really enjoy watching elephants use their trunks; it’s fascinating to me how dexterous they are – almost like they have 2 fingers on the end.  But we’ve watched Louie grow up ever since we’ve been coming to this zoo when he was just a year or two old, and now he’s getting pretty big!  Last time we were at the zoo, he was trying to get down a step so he could get to the water, and he ended up going backwards down the step – it was so cute!

So great day, awesome fun as always!  Like I said, every visit is different, and I am never disappointed!  I am a zoo-addict!

9 thoughts on “Another Wonderful Zoo Visit”

  1. Yes… never the same twice. Which one was it Siegfried or Roy who was attacked by one of their lions? White Lions are gorgeous animals. WOW… 2 zoo visits so close to one another. No magicians this time, eh? I would love to go sometime when I am free. I am sure it would be quite an experience going to the zoo with you all… wildlife safaris aside.

  2. Roy Horn was mauled (by most accounts anyway… S and R maintain that the tiger was trying to rescue him and was spooked by an obnoxious fan in the front row who was wearing a large hat) by one of their tigers. Regardless of what really happened, when we saw the show, we were surprised by how close patrons were allowed to be seated. Wild animals should be respected as such, and they’re completely unpredictable. Tigers are especially freaky like that. Being a former cat owner, I know how the mood can change in a split second, and that was a tiny domestic cat – I can’t imagine being responsible for the damage a tiger could do. Jack Hanna had a few tiger mishaps on his watch at the Columbus Zoo – once a male tiger snapped the female’s neck during mating, no apparent reason, no warning. The way the tiger was looking at my kids at the zoo the other day gave me the creeps.

  3. Agreed… all animals should be treated with respect or the consequences can often be disastrous…. no matter how well you are trained or how long you have trained with them.

  4. Ah just what I was thinking Jamy…we should all go to the zoo together sometime:) It seems like FOREVER since I have been there:(

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