We went to the zoo this weekend! I think it was the first time I’ve taken my kids to the zoo during the day. This last winter, we went to the Christmas event at the Salt Lake City zoo called “Zoo Lights” which was actually kind of awesome because all the nocturnal animals were partying it up since it was night time. But this time we had the bona fide zoo experience and it was pretty fantastic. We were taking my youngest sister up to Idaho to stay with my brother and his wife for the week and we’d decided to spend the day with them while we were down there. So we found a cute, little zoo in Idaho Falls. It was the perfect size; not so crowded that you couldn’t get close enough to the enclosures to actually see the animals, and not so small that it only had birds and squirrels. (Shout out to CALM, in Bakersfield, CA. Look it up)
We did all kinds of fun, zoo things:
I put my head into the mouth of a lion.
We got to watch and smell the penguins being hand-fed some very dead fish.
The boys rode a tiger.
They also fed some goats, but I didn’t get a picture of that because I was too busy being super concerned that Samuel was playing in the sand that the goats were also pooping in.
And boy, howdy were the monkeys active that day! One of them came right up to the glass to check us out and pretty much scared the pants off of Samuel. (Okay, and maybe also me a little bit.)
But the highlight of our trip came in the form of a quick biology lesson for a crowd of probably 15 children to enjoy.
Samuel is kind of into lions lately, so I’d been looking forward to showing him real life lions. Towards the end of the day, we finally found the ‘big cats’ section of the zoo and rounded the corner to the lion pen. But just as I started to lift Samuel up to see over the wall, I noticed that the daddy lion was feeling kinda lonesome and so he thought it was high time he created some new little lion friends to join he and his lovely she-lion friend in captivity.
These are some of the conversations I heard:
“Mommy, what’s that lion doing?” “He’s just… giving her a hug, honey. So… Let’s go.”
“What’s happening, mom?” “Um. I think the girl lion is in the boy lion’s spot, so he’s trying to move her.”
“Dad, is that lion mad at the other lion?” “…Yes.”
Luckily, I didn’t have to participate in any of these awkward conversations (and really, it’s probably lucky for the parents around me because I tend to be pretty blunt in these types of situations and apparently a sex-ed lesson wasn’t on the agenda that day) because both of my kids are too short to see over the wall without parental aid! Huzzah for the short gene!
I have never seen a lion enclosure clear out faster.
Lucky for us, the she-lion was NOT in the mood (maybe she’d had a long day.. or maybe she had a headache.. OR maybe she didn’t want to do the baby dance in front of a live audience. Sheesh. He-lions. Can’t live with ’em; can’t propagate the species without ’em.) so she basically threatened to rip the randy lion’s face off if he didn’t cease and diciest immediately and he took her pretty seriously. So we got to see the lions after all.
Samuel was happy. I was happy. The she-lion was happy. We were all pretty much happy! Except, of course, for the he-lion WHO by the way was also forced to stare at the Zebras right across from him all day long without ever being able to taste one.