Sunday, December 6, 2009

We're Going to the Zoo. How about you?

Near Verona is a really cool safari zoo. There are two parts, one that's a zoo and one that's a safari. In contrast to DisneyWorld's Nahtazu safari where you're on a preprogrammed bus ride, here you drive your own car through the enclosures. The animals are right there, and some of them (as you will see) get quite close to your car. Like at Disney, please keep your hands, arms, and children you want to see again INside the car at all times. We had an attendant very angry at us 5 feet past the toll booth entryway because we let everyone out to go to the bathroom.

The noble, enigmatic, silent giraffe strides across the field.

The obnoxious, blatent giraffe strides into our car.

This is why they tell you to keep your windows closed. The giraffe said hello to Mari, to me, then came around and attacked Joy to try to get her carrot. It was really something.

Answer: Zebras are white with black stripes. Notice the underbelly.

We figured the llama would be one of Hyrum's favorites, since his favorite story at the time was "Is Your Mama a Llama?" Maybe he didn't recognize the similarity. Maybe this one should brushed its matted fur. I got to pet its head, though.

Albino peacocks.

Albino lioness. They have extra guards around here to keep the cars moving and to make triple sure your windows ARE rolled up. Oddly enough, their windows were rolled down the whole time and the guy kept his arm out the window....

I admit I lost a lot of respect for the impressive male lion when I learned the women do the hungting. Now they remind me of beer-bellied couch potatoes who used to play football. Not that I rolled down my window or would ever make one mad, though. Respect and fear are different things.

The ever-adorable meerkat.

Black swans have amazing, python-like necks so they can scratch anywhere. This one seemed to need to do a lot of grooming, a lot more than any white swan I've ever seen anyway.

I think this would make a great cover for a fantasy book. You step through the wardrobe and see this.

But really, white swans are too refined a creature to go craning their necks to scratch back there.

By the way, I get extra credit for a lot of these shots: taken through glass in a moving car.

Don't mess with me, man.

This bird is part of the Witness Protection Program. They do a pretty good job. You'd never know it used to be a parakeet.

What's a zoo without monkeys, right? Very boring monkeys, overall, but we got to see one of them moving.

We took two or three laps around the rhino and hippo enclosure because the hippos came out of the water for feeding, so we had them about 2 feet from the van.

What'll it take, friend, for me to put you in the driver's seat of one of these babies?

And now, hear the sound of a hippo. 2 points if you can identify the video game character based on that noise.

Part 2 will be inside the zoo part, part 3 will be the kids.

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