Thursday, June 6, 2013

Edinburgh Zoo

Thursday, May 30th, was a day promised to be full of sunshine and warmer temperatures (mid 60s).  Before our summer semester started with students, we wanted to make a trip to the Edinburgh Zoo.  We rode the bus to the outskirts of Edinburgh while enjoying the gorgeous scenery on the way.  One of the big attractions of this zoo are the penguins.  They have a huge area with King Penguins, Rockhopper Penguins, and Gentoo Penguins. We had fun watching them swim, play on a water slide, and waddle around.  We were pleasantly surprised that we made it just in time for the Penguin Parade.  Once a day they open up the penguin enclosure and any penguin that wants to walk around on the sidewalk can.  They do not force or coerce the penguins.  All penguins involved go voluntarily.  We were also told that some of the penguins are slap happy so to be sure to not sit down (or keep small children down on the ground).  It was SO fun watching them walk right by us.  In this particular parade there were about 25 penguins.  One did stop and stare down Amelie, which she proceeded to be very dramatic about and talk and giggle about the event to all around us. Thankfully, no one was slapped on this parade!

There were so many interesting animals!  We saw the largest pelican birds; they were actually pink!  Another draw to this zoo are all of the monkey exhibits.  Since there is ongoing research done as this zoo, all the monkeys wear a little necklace with two different color beads to identify them.  All of the monkeys have names and their pictures (with necklaces showing) displayed.  Amelie wanted to hear all of their names (dozens of them).  One of my favorite areas was the African safari.  You walked on a wooden bridge to a gazebo which was in the middle of a large field. The view was at the top of a mountain so you could see for miles.  The zebras were really close to the viewing deck.  There were other safari animals around, but none as close as the zebras.
The Meerkats were SO fun to watch up close.  Their habitat was open with only a 3 foot wall surrounding them.  Amelie and Liam both enjoyed leaning over the edge to watch them dig while listening to the noises they made.
There were two different playground areas that we had to try out.  You can see the open-air netting for the Baboon habitat behind Bobby's head.  You can see the love Liam has for his dad written all over his face!
Here a monkey is playing with Amelie and Liam in the window.  The monkey house has inside areas and large outside areas for the monkeys to play as well.  They can freely go in and out.  Liam would yell, "Watch Out!" as they would run by him.
The picture doesn't do justice to the beauty...but it was worth a try!

The zoo was one steep hill, as is Edinburgh.  Bobby had fun pushing the stroller up some fun hills! ;)  We had a lot of fun learning about new animals, familiar animals, and just being together.  

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