|Image from fredmiranda.com|
Sadly, this is the last week of our zoo's "regular" season. On the 9th they close their doors for the fall/winter. They will be opening for a special series of Halloween events, but as members, we only get a discount, not free admission - so most likely, we will not be going to the zoo after this week.
A very generous lady from Mr. Crum's work gave us a ride ticket for the family to use up. We've been working on using it over the last few weeks and really enjoying the excuse to ride the train, sky safari, carousel, and boats. I still haven't figured out which ride is Monkey's favorite.
Because Crackers is not yet 2, he cannot ride the sky safari. I thought that rule was silly - that is - until today when I went on the terrifying ride through the sky with Monkey today. I had been so excited about it. Mr. Crum went with him a few weeks ago while Crackers and I watched - now it was finally my turn. Oh my goodness! Of all the frightening things you can do at the zoo, this might be about the top of the line! I mean.. I had to have been at least 30 feet in the air on a swing with a 3 year old and my 9 month pregnant belly.. terrified that my preschooler and I would plummet to our deaths at any moment. Straight into the mouth of a hungry lion. Okay - so the ride does not go over any animals at all. I'm sure that's a safety standard for any ride at the zoo. We finally, after about an hour of fearful riding, made it back to the start and leapt off of the ride and into the waiting arms of the ride attendant - a friendly older man.
Then - we went on a walk through Africa. That place is BIG and SCARY! Did you know there are large deer like creatures called Sitatunga - just waiting to stare you down when you try to stalk them. There are also monkeys, defensive mama monkeys that will fight to their peril to make sure their babies are safe. GIANT birds like pelicans and storks. Then... you come to the hyenas. The hyenas are obviously vicious - you can tell by the way they lay next to the glass of their enclosure just waiting to pounce on some unsuspecting young person.
Next... are the lions. Oh yes, I said LIONS! Bill and Ina. Bill casually lays on the top of the ridge watching over his small (very small) pride. - I'm pretty sure that when we were on that terrifying journey through the sky, I saw him stalking the cars on the road that runs near their enclosure. I bet he's making plans to eat one of them when they're not looking.
While Bill distracts their onlookers, Ina quietly lays near the glass viewing area. She's sweet and innocent, calm and relaxed. That is... until a very pregnant woman and her small child sit down to watch the big cats. Then.. she yawns, convincingly... and SPRINGS UP - she slowly ambles over to the glass and bats at the face of the perfectly harmless pregnant woman... AND TRIES TO BITE HER HEAD OFF! Seriously.. she tried to bite my head! She walked a few steps away, then came back and did it again - swat and bite! YIKES!
I am so glad that there was glass in between us!
And to think, I wondered why Monkey was always nervous when we visited the lions.. he knows he'd make a tasty snack.