17 January 2006

A Day at the Zoo

Yay for Martin Luther King Day! Spencer had the day off yesterday (yay, for banker's hours) so we decided we were going to make the best of it and do something together as a family. So we went to the world famous San Diego Zoo. Spencer got me passes to the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park last year for Mother’s Day and it has been such an awesome thing. I think I've been to the Zoo five times and the WAP probably 8 or 10. Plus, each time I go I can bring a guest for free. Our passes have definitely paid for themselves multiple times!

Anyway, so we packed up the stroller and Rachel and headed down to San Diego. It was pretty crowded there-because of the holiday, but not too bad. We went to the children's zoo area where they have otters, naked mole rats (I don't recommend those), homing pigeons, nasty bugs and spiders and other little things. Then we headed down to where the monkeys and apes are. The first exhibit was not exciting at all. The monkeys were way up at the top of the tree and they weren't doing anything. So we moved on to the orangutan exhibit. There were about 5 orangutans in this area and they had tons of energy. First we saw the old man named Clyde. He had huge cheeks that were pitted and sagged around his mouth. His hair was matted and ratted like someone who hasn't washed their hair since the 70's. Here's his picture:
He just moseyed on around the ground taking in everyone that was gawking at him.

After he passed by we saw another one on his way. This guy wasn't walking though. He thought he could get to the other side by rolling. Yes, he was rolling the entire length of the glass. He had us all laughing!

Also in this enclosure were a few other orangutans who showed off later by swinging back and forth from the ropes and trees. There was even a mother swinging from the ropes with her little baby hanging on for dear life! Rachel loved watching these animals move around and even tried to kiss them through the glass :).

Next we moved on to the gorillas. When we got to this enclosure we could see a couple gorillas hanging out right next to the glass. The only thing is they wanted nothing to do with us humans--they had their backs to us. I brought Rachel up close so she could see and she put her hand on the glass. She was just having a good time looking at this creature and babbling away when the gorilla turned toward her. The gorilla reached up with her hand and tried to touch Rachel through the glass. Apparently there was something that told this gorilla that there was a baby nearby and she (I'm assuming it was a she) wanted to be close to her. Rachel kept tapping the glass and every time she did, the gorilla would turn around. She even put her nose up to the glass and it seemed like she tried to snuggle up to and kiss Rachel. It was the sweetest thing. This gorilla wanted nothing to do with us adults, but as soon as a baby was near, she came alive. It was very touching.

I was amazed at the reaction of this particular gorilla. I always try to figure out what these animals are thinking. It was very cute to see one of them interact with Rachel in a very motherly way. Rachel and the gorilla's interaction was a small window into who this gorilla was. All in all, a great day at the zoo. Yay for days off and passes!

2 comments:

Mo Mommy said...

What a fun experience. The last time we were at the zoo(in Seattle) the gorillas were all sleeping, except for one. He was~Warning:Very Gross!~ sticking his finger in his butt and eating his poop. My 3 year old thought it was hilarious and I spent the next 2 days watching him with the fear that he would try it. So glad your view was obviously better than mine. The Zoo is always so nice, sigh.

Jamie J said...

haha, I'm glad we didn't have any poop eating gorillas at our zoo! That is too funny!