An early trip to the "Zoo"

I have zoo in quotation marks because it's not really a zoo, I will never think of it as a zoo.  It was called a game preserve for the better part of my 41 years, so I have a hard time thinking of it as anything other than that.  It is very small, with a limited assortment of animals, that can be traversed leisurely in about 60-90 minutes.

When Zac was little we got a season pass every year and we would go at least once a week, it was wonderful, we knew all the animals names from talking to staff, we could identify which arctic wolf was which and knew their favorite hiding spots, we saw a llama being born, etc.

So now that we have two little munchkins I am glad to say we will be frequenting our little game preserve again.  This is wonderful because earlier this year there was a debate from the county that it would be cheaper to close it.  Which would have been a huge bummer.

I wish I was a more adventurous mom when it comes to driving, I'm a country bumpkin who prefers backroads to highways.  I wish I would happily hop on the turnpike and travel 90 minutes to get to "The First Zoo in the USA" in Philly, but truth be told I am a complete wimp in heavy traffic ESPECIALLY when carrying such precious cargo as my children.

Anyway, we had a pretty warm day for early March and headed off to the game preserve.  We were anxious to see the new animal exhibit!  PENGUINS, we now have penguins, JACKASS penguins to be exact.  And they did not disappoint.  Unlike many of the animals, they didn't hide in their cave, hang back from the visitors.  No sirree, these little guys were happy to swim and stand as close as the fence would allow.

Over the years of visiting the zoo, we have learned that the camels enjoy eating seed pods from the trees.  Since half the pods land outside their enclosure we always are happy to treat them to the ones they can't get on their own.

When I was a toddler, my parents and grandparents have pictures of me feeding the animals in the petting zoo.  Of course, in the day when parents weren't neurotic about a llama slobbering on their child or suing the zoo  a deer nipping.  So there are wonderful pictures of me feeding deer, llamas, sheep and goats. When Zac was little it had dwindled a couple llamas and goats.
And now, sadly, they just have goats.  One of my most cherished pics of Zac is him sitting next to a baby llama and hugging his neck. 
Stupid people ruin it for everyone, if you are worried your poor little angel 
might get nipped or nudged or whatever, stay out!!

Cassidy and the Jackass Penguins!

This pic is too sweet for words.


Irishembi said...

Our little local Game Preserve in South Park has dwindled to almost nothing over the years.

There used to be ducks, geese, 20 or more different types of birds, including a beloved and decrepit one-eyed peacock, deer, rabbits, barn cats, and most of all HUGE buffalo.

Thanks to the bird flu scare the bird cages all stand empty. The deer come and go (as they should). Haven't seen cats or rabbits since they did away with the caretaker's on site position.

So when we go we go to see the ducks and geese (that are so over-fed from being the only creatures available to the public they have no interest in the bread the kids throw them) and hurl apples over the fence in the hopes of luring a buffalo or two into site.

Jackie said...

Looks like you had a great day! We have a small zoo not too far from here, and I've taken Abigayle the past 2 summers. I used to visit the same zoo when I was a child, and it's fun to see how Abigayle enjoys it now! I'm the same way when it comes to driving - I HATE traffic and "city" driving and will avoid it at all costs. I've never even driven on a major highway, I'm too chicken. It's not necessarily *my* driving abilities I don't trust, it's everyone around me - they're nuts!

Btw - I LOVE Cassidy's sweater! It's adorable! And the pic at the bottom is just too precious :)