Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tulsa Zoo

We found out last night that today was going to be a beautiful day in Tulsa so we decided to use our Living Social vouchers to the zoo..... we had thought about going to Silver Dollar City but this chance to spend a nice day at the zoo (before the vouchers expire at the end of this month) was too good to pass up.  My middle brother Kellen lives in Tulsa so I called him at 9 last night and told him to meet us there!  It was perfect!
The voucher included our entrance to the zoo as well as arm bands to ride the train and carrousel as much as we wanted and zoo cups for cheap refills!  We took advantage of it all!!!
Right by the carrousel was the chimp exhibit.... you can just guess where we spent a lot of our time!!!  Man, I miss my days working with chimps!!!  I guess now I'm working all day all night with my own chimps!! : )

The Tulsa Zoo is nice.... it is a bit spread out... but the exhibits are really nice!!!  Lots of enrichment for the animals and lots of opportunities for people to get up-close (and safe) views of the animals!
Did you know the average person spends 3 seconds in front of each zoo exhibit?!?!  We just take a quick look and run on to the next animal.....not us.  We like to stay and look!  I like to read the zookeeper notes or info on the animals and then share what I know with my kids!!!  And really.... what do you see in 3 seconds????
Interesting things happen if you slow down, stop, and watch!  You might catch an interesting embrace, a "threat" face, a call.... who knows.
And you might catch a 100 year old tortoise eating his lunch!  If you stop and watch, you'll see that they love the carrots and sweet potatoes so they eat those first!
Need you kids to eat their veggies.... find their favorite herbivore and visit them during feeding time to see what items the animal eats and then you can encourage your child to eat just like their favorite animal!!!  I think we watched these guys eat for 10 minutes!  It was so cool!!!
After watching the tortoises feast, we headed out to explore the rest of the zoo!!!
The sea lion exhibit was cool because you could climb up to an overhead viewing area or go down some stairs to an underwater viewing area!!!!  It was fun to watch these guys swim around!
Then we spent some time at one of my favorite animal's exhibit!!!  The meerkat!!!!  I originally wanted to studied these guys for my Master's project but the area at the St. Louis zoo wasn't set up great for my research project so I switched to studying colobus monkeys and black handed spider monkeys.  After observing these guys for a long time Owen tapped me on the arm and wanted to whisper something in my ear..... "Mom, I want one of these for Christmas" to which I responded, "So do I!!!!"  If only we could!!!  I think had to break the news to him that these were wild animals and better left in the wild ..... oh, but if we could....we would!! : )
It was so great having Uncle Kellen with us.... a one-to-one ratio of kid to adult worked out SO nicely!!!  The kids could go what they wanted to, see what they wanted to, and were free to explore because they could... there was always someone that could go with them!!!
There was a neat rainforest exhibit were they had tamarins that ran free throughout the place!!!  They were fun to watch as they jumped from tree to tree!!!: )
One super cute thing we saw.... a momma loepard snuggled up with her babies!!!!  Things that make you go "AWWWW!!!!!"
A huge hit for the boys...... the petting zoo!!!!  Addyson didn't want anything to do with the goats so she waited outside of the gate with Uncle Kellen while the boys got up close and personal with the goats and sheep!
And this goat LOVED Ethan.... and Ethan didn't mind the goat!!!
Ethan didn't even mind when the goat had his WHOLE hand in its mouth!!!!  I think  I was the only one that cared!! : )
This petting zoo didn't have any food to hand out but that didn't stop the goats from trying to feast on anything you had.... your armband, jacket, shorts.... you name it.... they'll nibble on it!!: )
This is how Addyson prefers to check out the goats! : )
And this is a safe distance for Ethan's fingers!!!
We took a trip around the whole zoo on the train to give our tired legs a rest!!!!  It was a windy day but it was SO beautiful!!!
My brother and I and baby boy!!! : )
Uncle Kellen is such a good sport!!  The kids wanted to ride the carousel again and he offered to ride with!!!!  Just love this guy!
I just love this.... Addyson is riding on the animal next to the penguin but as she leans back it looks funny with the penguin in front!!!!  She was hamming it up!

The chimps moved from outside to their inside playarea which gave us a good up-close look!  It was feeding time for them so we watched them eat for a long time!!!  It took me back to my days of working with them!  They eat chimp biscuits and it is amazing how all of the chimps do the same thing..... they put their biscuits in a bowl and then go put water on them to soften them..... a young chimp was walking around with this bowl trying to hide it from the alpha male but before long.... the big guy took it away from him.
I would have watched these guys for hours!!!!  And we stayed there a long time before it was time for us to go.... well past nap time and with tired legs our day at the zoo was coming to an end.
We had enough monkeying around for today!!!
 (and no, chimps are not monkeys, they are apes but how do you saying aping around?!?!)

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