Yesterday, we met friends at the zoo. The weather was absolutely perfect, and many of the animals were outside. I think more animals were playing outside than have been on any previous trip. Some (the lions) were just sunning themselves, soaking up the rays of a mid-October afternoon. Some (the pandas) were munching foliage. It’s remarkable how the simple display of a wild animal stuffing its face warrants countless photos. No judgement here; I was among those snapping pictures, dutifully capturing for Facebook friends evidence of a panda chowing down on bamboo. And making sure Teddy understood what was happening. “Look, Teddy, the panda is eating his lunch!” I’m surprised Teddy didn’t demand the same enthusiasm from us as he ate his dinner that night. And then I’m pretty sure one panda was playing with us. He meandered between his rooms multiple times. He had to be chuckling at us silly humans as we dashed back and forth to follow his route. (A cartoon thought bubble would simply read “SMH”.)
Some animals got up close and personal. Teddy was fascinated by the ostriches and the emu, their pointy beaks nearly poking through the thin wire fencing. And some were super loud. My favorite, the pink flamingos, were all up in arms (or should I say necks?) over something. They sounded like a flock of seagulls and looked like a bunch of pink reeds, with their necks stretched straight and their heads pointed to the sky. I was enthralled. Teddy less so. The birds were congregated by their pond, several feet back from the fence—so were not nearly as entertaining as the other birds. He amused himself by running up and down the arcade of caged birds, stopping only to see what had captured the interest of his 1-year-old friend (the dirt separating the walkway from the fencing).
We saw prairie dogs (two emerged from a hole and just looked around, seemingly unbothered by playful preschoolers and camera-wielding humans), a roseate spoonbill (who was just hanging out on the edge of the glass wall surrounding his pool in the Amazonia house), a couple seals, and baby finishing cats (Teddy was more interested in the fish swimming in the cats’ pool).
Overall, an exciting day at the zoo, and likely the last time we’ll get there this year when the weather is so warm.