Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finally, the Fort Wayne Zoo post

I hate it when real life interferes with my plans for blogging.

Okay, so two weekends ago we went to the Fort Wayne, Indiana area for a family reunion. While there, I had planned to visit a couple of kid-friendly attractions on Saturday (and *cough* a yarn store), starting with the Fort Wayne Zoo. It is ranked one of the best zoos in the country for children, and we're all about the animals around here, so it seemed like a safe bet.

We lucked into incredibly nice weather - when was the last time it was 78 and sunny in August in Indiana? Never, that's when. Well, except for two weekends ago, of course. Anyway, we started off in the newest part of the zoo, which just opened this summer and has an African theme. It's got the coolest entryway of any zoo I've seen ... to get to the African section, you go through a tunnel under a roadway, and where you come out the other side there are all kinds of mist sprayers in the landscaping. They make these filmy clouds of fog over the plants, which was cool enough, but when we went through, the wind shifted so that all the fog blew down into the exit to the tunnel, and it looked like you were going back in time or something.
The African exhibits were well done, with many animals and habitats that I hadn't seen before. In place of the usual meercat colony, this zoo had a mongoose exhibit, and I'm pretty sure I've never even seen one of those suckers in real life, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi aside. They are cute little stripey buggers, and Liza was totally enthralled, and we had to pick her up and carry her away after like 15 minutes of her trying to get one mongoose or another to follow her finger along the glass.

The zoo also had a nice lion exhibit, which featured two of the most alert and crowd-aware lions I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure they believe the zoo visitors were brought in solely for their amusement and/or snacking pleasure.

By far the coolest part of the Africa exhibit for me was the fact that the group of ostriches was having a disagreement over who got to eat first. Most zoos have lazy ostriches that just sort of wander around slowly cropping grass, but these suckers apparently were on speed. And steroids. Also got to hear them for the first time - if you listen closely to the first part of the clip, you can hear the ostriches calling a few seconds after Jason makes the coyote joke.

Another first for this zoo: Peacock chick. Awwwww ....

And one of Liza's favorite parts of the zoo: the carousel. She only rode it four times, but I think we'd still be there now if we hadn't run out of ride tokens.
So that's about it. You can tell we were having a good time because we stayed so long that the yarn stores were closed by the time we got out to the car (curses! Foiled again!).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Zoos are great entertainment!