Saturday, April 5, 2014

Cincinnati Zoo

It was a last minute decision.  We were heading to the museum center since the day was going to be gray and wet.  But the kids wanted to go to the Zoo.  So we did!  And it ended up being a great day.  Less crowded due to the weather and we didn't really get rained on.

Not a real rhino.  Just in case you were worried.

Elephants were the first stop and Teagan was especially fascinated.

Macaw.  I could have stayed and watched him longer! Very entertaining!

Sloth. Teagan is obsessed with Kristen Bell. And Kristen Bell loves sloths. It all comes full circle.

Zach's close encounter with a giraffe.

Teagan's close encounter with a giraffe.

A special find with some flamingos and 2 keepers.  The keepers spent a lot of time talking with us about the flamingos. And we were so close to them!

One of the highlights of the day was seeing this young female cheetah - with her black labrador companion! Savannah and Max.
 We learned a lot of cool stuff about the cheetah and her dog.  Cheetahs must be born in litters of 2 or more.  If a single cheetah is born, the mother cat's milk will dry up and the single kitten will die.  Savannah the cheetah was a single.  She's been hand raised at the zoo but needed a litter mate so they adopted a black lab puppy from the humane society.  They've grown up together and are attached to each other.  But the attachment doesn't last.  Female cheetahs are loners.  Where male cheetah brothers form a tight bond and stay together forever, females are the opposite.  So Savannah is soon going to be done with Max and he will be adopted by a zoo employee and have a forever home on a farm.  And she can then live her solitary life that she wants.

The free roaming peacocks at the zoo have always been a treat - and eevn more special to see one displaying his gorgeous tail feathers!

Ducks. On a log.

Train ride!

Toot toot!

Mural in the Peace Garden

Mexican Wolves

This was in an open aviary and these fruit bats were all sound asleep.  Until this guy decided to wake up and stretch his wings!  So awesome to see - Zach was totally freaked out, though.

Who doesn't love the polar bears?

Trying to swing like gibbons

Orangutan - 2 of them.  Another place I could have stayed and watched for a while.

Climbing like bonobos.

The manatee.  We came in and her tail was f acing us.  As she slowly turned and we get sight of her face, Zach proclaims, "It doesn't even have any EYEBROWS!"

Bonobos.  There was an adult female, an adult male, this little baby, and another youngster.  This is another place I could have sat and watched for an hour.  Especially this mom with her little one.

A rare moment.

W weren't sure if he was real at first!

But the kids were quite taken with that owl.

But some of the most fun we had was down a bamboo forest path with this plain old squirrel.  

Gibbon Island
Gibbon Island is one of those places that will always hold a special place in my heart.  When I was a kid and my parents would take me to the Cincinnati Zoo and when we used to go as a family with my brothers, my dad loved the gibbons.  He would stand on the walkway and do their gibbon whoops, hoping to get them riled up and whooping and swinging.  Then he would just laugh and watch and smile.  It was a side to him I didn't see as often as his serious side!  The kids and I did our best to whoop at the gibbons but I think the weather had them feeling down.

It was a grey and damp day.  And the cost of admission is high at the Zoo (we did the unlimited rides package so the kids could ride the train and carousel over and over and over).  For parking, 2 kids and 1 adult for admission and rides (excluding the 4D movie thing) it was $67.  A family membership is $199 so if you plan to go 3 times in a year, the membership is worth it. Or if you visit multiple zoos - the Cincinnati Zoo is part of a Reciprocal Zoos program.  So if I was a member at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo ($109 for a family membership), I would have received a 50% discount on our admission at the Cincinnati Zoo.  Had I planned ahead, I would have done this because we love the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.  And it turns out there are 2 other Indiana zoos (one in South Bend and one in Evansville) that participate - would have made for a fun family adventure to go to these other zoos in our state this summer!  The Louisville Zoo also participates and is just across the river from Indiana.  Reciprocal Zoos are a cool thing!

I do have to say that the food at Base Camp Cafe was some of the best I'd had for this type of entertainment location.  And we found that all the employees at the Zoo were wonderful - friendly and helpful and knowledgable.

I'd love to go back when spring has spring a bit more.  But all in all, it was a great day!

sig jan 2014 photo owlsig.jpg

1 comment:

Garret said...

It looked nice and empty there!