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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Zoo pictures

That's right -- we're not boring -- we went to the zoo! :) In fact, my kids will look back at all the photos we took (thousands!) and never think we were boring ... except when they're teenagers, that is.
Anyway, here are some pics from our recent zoo escapade.

We broke all the "rules" and let our kids go play first. That way we didn't forget to let them do it at the end like we usually do. :) They enjoyed the snake slide, the spider web ropes, etc. Here are a couple of pictures of them playing:
Yes, Zachary is smiling. As long as the spiders are fake, they're okay ...
That's the cutest thing I've seen hatch from an egg:
Somehow I imagined Utah Prairie Dogs would look different ... maybe darker ...
Okay, this next picture is still going to look like we're in the play area, but we aren't. This white alligator fascinates me! I think I've been a little excited about alligators since I saw them in the wild in southern Georgia and South Carolina -- in the wild and at Okefenokee Swamp Park and Savannah Wildlife Refuge. Anyway, this 21-year-old white alligator was found in the wild with 10 brothers who were also white and 8 brothers who were normal color:
The first time I saw this guy I thought he looked like a big plastic toy. He's very interesting to look at. He's not albino -- he actually has blue eyes. Although this was the first find of its kind on record, there is some old legend about gazing into the blue eyes of the white alligator that it will bring you good luck for the rest of your life. Shayla's good to go:
The Hogle Zoo has this big elephant "statue" that makes noises and squirts water intermittently out of its trunk. Tyler was fascinated! He insisted we stay there until he was able to get his hand wet when it squirted. I got a picture of the happy event:
Hogle Zoo's newest highlight is their new carousel. They have all kinds of animals on this carousel, including a lady bug, a snake on a log, a praying mantis and other misc. animals. Zachary insisted he get the zebra, and that worried me since there were about 20 people in front of us. Fortunately the other kids found other exciting animals to ride on so Zachary could have his zebra that starts with Z:
In the meantime Becca went to find a good animal for Shayla to ride. She found a polar bear, but Shayla wanted NOTHING to do with the whole riding on an animal bit. After this quick picture she wouldn't even get back on:
Tyler found a peccary to ride, which obviously made his day. It is a distant relative to the pig, and if you know anything about Tyler you know that he loves pigs. When we went past the live peccarys (or is it peccaries?) while we were there, Paul pointed out that they quite resemble ROUSes -- you know, rodents of unusual size. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you need to go watch Princess Bride right now!)
I don't know why, but I got quite a kick out of how this bear was napping:
And of course we had to find the zebras. It was this time that I realized how big their ears are! I guess before the stripes made them blend in, but they really do have big ears. Makes me wonder if they're more closely related to donkeys than to horses. In any case, apparently this time Zachary also realized that zebras smell. He was cracking me up:
Paul and I also got a kick out of this baby giraffe getting food dropped onto its head. Too bad in human society its the parents heads that get dropped on!
I could have had a cute picture of Becca, but she wouldn't open her eyes because "it's too bright!" I have three pictures of her smiling like this with her eyes shut. I'm still trying to figure out how she knew it was bright when she wouldn't open her eyes to see it! :)
And if my sister Rachel ever saw this van all glittery I think she'd go paint her own minivan. However, instead of glittery green, I think she'd go for glittery pink or purple. Funny that I found this van outside the zoo as amusing as some of the animals inside:

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