Connor recently celebrated his 12th birthday and the only thing he wanted was a membership to the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden (aka "the zoo"). After putting it off for a week, we finally renewed our membership from 2 years ago online, printed out a temporary pass, and headed to the zoo this past Monday (5/13).
The weather was perfect: not too hot, not too cold, beautifully sunny and clear. We hardly ever get good zoo days like that, so we were pretty lucky.
We always see peacocks walking around the zoo or perched up in trees or rooftops, but I don't think we've ever seen one who had his tail feathers fanned out like this fella here.
We saw this peacock while we were waiting for our train ride. There was another across the tracks who also decided to fan his feathers. Oddly enough, we didn't see any peahens in the vicinity.
Not everyone wanted to go to the zoo. Cate, the 8 year old girl, doesn't like all the animals at the zoo. Hopefully one day she'll conquer her fear. She stayed home with her older brother (16) and sister (14) (and dad, who was working in his basement office). So, it was me, Julia (18), Connor (12), Drew (10), and AJ (5) for the day.
Can you tell AJ was really excited about the train ride? He and Connor chose the very back of the train specifically so they could ride backwards. No thanks!
We did a lot more walking than we usually do, since there were cetain exhibits the boys wanted to see. So, we did a lot of unnecessary back-tracking. Oh well. The first animal they wanted to see was the Sumatran Rhino, which was nowhere to be found. We wandered around, taking in the sights of other animals and then decided to visit the gorillas.
Baby Gladys, seen here with one of her human surrogates. She's three months old and recently made her debut as part of the zoo's annual "Zoo Babies" spring exhibit. I assume that while Gladys is outside with one of the surrogates, the other gorillas are inside. There were no other gorillas visible while we lingered.
It was really cute seeing how tightly baby Gladys clung to her surrogate, wrapping her arms around his forearm and grasping his fingers with her toes. It reminded me of how my little ones would grasp my index finger in their tiny hands.
Julia took a lot of photos of the flowering plants. She does this every time we go to the zoo. I'm sure she has hundreds of zoo flower pictures on he computers that she has taken over the years.
Then we went to visit the giraffes and cheetahs, which are a part of the current Africa exhibit. The cheetahs were taking a catnap. Apparently they do a daily show at the zoo to showcase how fast the cheetahs can run. Sadly, we missed out. Maybe next time!
We hit our other favorite spots: the manatees (hot and rather crowded), the bears (no polar bears),the children's zoo (yay, goats), and lastly, the elephants. Fortunately, I chose the right path to take and we had our own private showing of three of the elephants the closest we've ever seen them! Of course, I had to take a group photo. By this time we were all beyond tired and ready to go back home! See how happy they look?
Above l-r: AJ, Drew, Connor, Julia
AJ insisted on getting a picture taken with the various statues in the zoo. I don't know how he missed the manatees! He also thought feeding the goats was "disgusting."