A trip to the Zoo

A Trip to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle Washington.

Alaric’s Kindergarten class was going to the Zoo for their field trip.
Devin got the day off, so all 3 of us went. We also checked Alaric out
so we had more time to spend at the zoo. We were very glad we did as
well otherwise we would not have had enough time to see everything he
wanted to see. Going when we did it was really crowded with all sorts
of school there on field trips. However staying on like we did it was
much less crowded after everyone left.

We took our camera and we only had Alaric to chaperone around. We did
join with one of his friends and his mother(who is also our friend!).

Both boys had at least one request of what they wanted to see. Alaric
wanted to see the Komodo Dragons and kenneth wanted to see the Zebras.
We picked a direction and started walking.

The exhibits were really crowded in the morning and I don’t really
remember all that we saw then. We went to the Day and Night exhibits
but ended up coming back later to see the Night exhibit. Alaric really
liked the Tortoises, the turtles, the crocodiles, and the snakes that
were in the Day exhibit. We also saw blue poison dart frogs. One of the
large boas was bigger around than my thighs. It was kind of freaky.

The penguins when we went by were swimming very actively. There was
also a seagull and a crow there in the exhibit as well. I think they
were there just to pick up some free lunch. Even the Jaguar was active
when we saw it. It took a bit of looking to see the wild dogs though
and they were just sleeping.

The african Savannah was pretty neat. We saw zebras, giraffes, and
antelopes. Walking around to the next part we saw some hippotamus. We
actually saw one out of the water. Of course while we were watching it
went back into the water which everyone thought was cool.

The lions were very active when we saw them. The male was even doing
his lion roar and scratching trees and all sorts of stuff. The female
was just sitting on a rock in the sun taking it easy.

They have a fairly nice raptor center at this zoo with a variety of
raptors that are either being rehabilitated or have been injured and
are used to teach people about raptors. The 1st time we went by they
have several varieties of owls out as well as a few different hawks.

We then checked our friends out so they could stay with us at the zoo
and had a bit of lunch. After lunch we went and looked at the Komodo
Dragons. Alaric thought they were awesome. After the dragons we saw a
few other inside exhibits including some foxes with really large ears
that they use to keep themselves cool instead of panting.

When we came out of that exhibit we saw a sign saying that the
Kumatran tiger cubs were out in the tiger grotto if we wanted to see
them. So we hurried over as we were nearing the end of their outside
time. It was incredible. Probably one of the most memorable times I
have ever seen tigers, ever. There were 2 male cubs that were born in
2004. They were out with their mother in the tiger “grotto”. One cub
was up on a rock resting/sleeping. The other was practicing and
learning how to stalk/hunt with the mother. It was adorable. They were
pouncing and swatting at each other. They were so active and it was
funny! I loved watching them all!

The sloth bears are ugly things. They were out and active but dang were they ugly.

We then went into the butterflies and blooms exhibit. It had local
plants that attracted butterflies and a woodland type garden surroun
ding a greenhouse that had tons of blooms and butterflies. I liked the
Pacific science center butterfly room better but this one had more
local US butterflies. I really liked this one evergreen tree that
almost looked like it had butterfly ornaments on it because there were
so many butterflies on it. Outside in the garden Devin actually
commented on a plant. I do not have one yet but I will get a hardy
fuscia soon.

We then went back to the day and night exhibit. Alaric liked the
tortoises again. Then we went to the night exhibit. It was really neat.
We saw armadillos, bats, anteaters, and a few other odd things. The
armadillos were really weird and fast.

Next we went to the temeprate forest area. We did not see the red
pandas. We did see tons of neat birds though. The great marsalas were
odd. Lots of the rest of them were bright and very colorful.

We then found the bughouse and Devin stayed outside. It was creepy.
Lots of spiders and other bugs. Some of them I could barely stand to
look at like the cockroaches. Icky! I quickly went out.

Next on our walking tour was the elephants. The elephants have this
beautiful elephant barn that is very indian looking and quite
attractive. They have a little forest with lots of paths through it so
you can see them. It is quite interesting. We saw the mom and baby
heading bakc to the barn for the day.

We then went by the new oragatangue complex wich is much nicer than the
old ape house they used to have. They can actually be outside here. The
keeper was trying to call them in for dinner and they were not having
any of it. It was kind of funny.

We then went by the raptor center again and this time they had a
Kestrel from Washington out there and it was gorgeous. It was reddish
and a pretty slate color.

We then had just one more area left to go to. The northern part with
animals from the tundra. We saw some very active grizzlies, some
caribou, some river otters that were having a lot of fun, a grey wolf
that was looking rather shaggy since its summer coat was coming in, and
some bald eagles. I found out that the WP Zoo rehabilitates eagles and
returns as many as possible to the wild. They have returned over 70 of
them to the wild since they started doing that.

It was then time to head home. Wow were we tired. We had walked a lot
farther than normal. Alaric was so tired he fell asleep in the car on
the way home. I was glad I wore my hiking boots as I needed them. It
was much easier to walk on the non-paved paths than on the pavement.
All in all we had a reat time at the zoo and are now seriously
considering a zoo pass for our family.

I am still impressed with just how attractive the displays are as well
as the landscaping. It didn’t feel like looking at animals in cages all
that much. I was dismayed with all the garbage that people seemed to
feel they could drop everywhere. Sometimes it also made me ashamed to
be a parent. I could not believe that people would not reprimand
children over simple rules disobeying. We happily reminded Alaric of
the rules(no tapping on the glass, etc.) when necessary and as a result
he tended to follow them. Sometimes he needed to be reminded several
times like in the butterfly exhibit. He kept blowing on butterflies and
then holding a finger out trying to get one to land on him. It was cute
but he needed reminding that it was not a good idea and against the
rules. I still like the zoo and I liked it more this time than I did
the last time I went. I am wondering if I liked it more because I had
more time. I found out where some free parking was located so if we do
get a zoo pass I know where to go. I think a zoo pass could be a good
idea for us. I wouldn’t mind coming back more often to look at the
tigers, the turtles, and the raptors. I know for sure that all the
walking would be good for me as well.

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