Friday, April 9, 2010

Best zoo visit EVER

Of all the times I've visited the Riverbanks Zoo, this has been the only time we saw animals up close and really, really active.
Now, the kids had to have their pics made with all the animal statues ...
The grizzly was pacing the fence and my grandmother lifted The Boo up for a closer look. Now we get to the gorilla exhibit and both were planted right up on the glass.
Being this close actually made The Boo a little nervous. He approached this silverback with a whole lotta caution.

Look at that pouty lip! That's way better than mine!

The Daisy and I fed a giraffe some years ago on a wild animal safari exhibit in Georgia, but this one was pretty cool too.
This may be one of my new favorite pictures of The Daisy:
Here is my least favorite part of any zoo exhibit: feeding the birds. Of course, The Daisy just luuuuvvvvs this part.

Now I'm going to tell you the story of Happy the tiger. This is a statue of her and she is how Riverbanks Zoo got started, but I'm actually getting ahead of myself.
Happy was caged at the Exxon car wash in Columbia, S.C., and everytime I visited my grandmother, she'd get her car washed just so we could go see Happy. If you read Pat Conroy's "The Prince of Tides," the gas station tiger is based on Happy. I guess somewhere along the way, people got up in arms that Happy was in a cage at the car wash and so she was moved to a new home - the zoo. There she paced back and forth behind a glass wall in a smaller enclosure than what she'd had previously and, eventually, so the story goes, she died of loneliness.

The lions roared for us. I wished I'd gotten in on video but then I was talking for the lionesses here: "Hey, what about that one? He looks meaty" "Maybe for a snack. I'm particular to that kid over there." Yeah, well, it made the kids laugh.

Not sure why there's a dinosaur statue at the zoo, but there is and The Boo had to get on it. That whole "there's an animal statue and I have to sit on it" thing.
The Daisy made sure I got her checking out this flamingo up close and personal.
If there's a train, The Boo has to be involved. He said this was his favorite part of the zoo. Go figure.
I know I'm not going to see this much longer - both kids crashed out together in the same bed.

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