Monday, June 11, 2012

Zoo Day

We love the zoo. Perfect for wearing out a toddler, amazing animals to look at, and great for spending time outdoors. Our local zoo has been remodeling for what seems like forever. Finally, after three years of work there is an entire new section of the zoo, Hogle Zoo's biggest expansion ever.

Rocky Shores.

It only opened last weekend and E and I just couldn't wait any longer. So after a long Sunday nap we decided to head up to the zoo late in the day. The weather was a touch cooler (so perfect for walking around the zoo) but the crowds were still crazy.

That said, it was totally worth it. Rocky Shores is amazing. So well put together, so many beautiful animals and such great attention to detail. Plus, the Tibetan themed tiger exhibit was practically empty and the elephant area was a ghost town. So, while we fought the crowds near the polar bears and the otters, the other areas were easy to get up close and personal.

As soon as we got there we high-tailed it to Rocky Shores. We were first met with eagles and otters. The eagles were chowing down on fish and the otters were swimming around and being oh-so-cute.
The enclosure includes above water and underwater.
The seals were mostly chilling in the sunshine (and yawning). One seal was swimming around and he was so awesome to watch in the underwater viewing area.
The polar bear exhibit was AMAZING and we didn't even see the bears (sleeping in some far off corner). It will be so so so awesome when we go and see the bears swimming. I love this photo, it has such an eerie quality to it.
The grizzlies were awake and active, so that was quite fun to watch. Made me think of seeing that cute grizzly cub in Canada.
The entire area is themed like a rustic fishing village. I love it. Made me think about visiting Alaska again. Haven't thought about Alaska in awhile, but it's up there on my "must see" list.
James thought the waterfalls were much more interesting to watch than the otters. That said, he did quite like the otters too.
And this little girl didn't sleep a wink! To much to see! To many animals to coo at.
The tigers were all napping late in the day, the the Tibetan style tiger enclosure is one of my favorites. Must get to Tibet too. Another "must see".
James has only ridden the merry-go-round once but he loved it last time. This time (just like last time) he chose the tiger to ride.
And just like last time he loved it.
He told us later "I choose the tiger! Up and down and around and around!"
Near the end of our loop we visited the elephants (see her over my shoulder). At this point Juliet was done with the stroller and wanted to be held. Jeez! Of course! Can't see the elephants down in the stroller.

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