Friday, August 30, 2013

Zoo Time

What kid doesn't love visiting the zoo?  As we drag our children around the world with us, we have decided that the least we can do is take them to the zoo in each city.  On Monday (Aug 26th), we decided it was the perfect day to head to the Lisbon Zoo.  The Lisbon Zoo was founded in 1884 with it's mission including the conservation and breeding of endangered species, scientific research, and educational activities.  I think they are doing an excellent job holding to their mission.  We were able to see a lot of information regarding Extinction is Forever.  I was impressed that Amelie came home talking about this providing great examples as she went.

In addition, they held different educational activities throughout the day that we were able to witness.  Sea Lion feeding, Dolphin Show, Enchanted Forest, and more kept us busy through the day. Understanding Portuguese would have been useful as the trainers lectured through each demonstration.  They did play fun music before each show to which Liam especially loved dancing to the beats!
At the sea lion feeding we were able to sit right up against the glass.  They had the sea lions do different tricks both in and out of the water.  At the very end, the very large sea lion on the left side of the picture stole the bucket from the girl and took it into the water.  They had to work for a while for the sea lion to hand them back the bucket.  It was not a part of the show and it was very funny.
The dolphin show was awesome!  It lasted about 40 minutes and was very entertaining.  
Liam would laugh out loud and become very excited each time the dolphins would do flips. 
This is after the Enchanted Forest bird show.  During the show, they flew many different birds.  These birds actually flew right over our heads a couple of times.  At one point they flew a falcon and even let a couple of volunteer children from the audience help catch the falcon.  We thought of Aunt Katie and knew this falcon must be very tame to have it near children!  It was a big one too!!  
This Emu ate lettuce leaves out of the first row of the audiences hands.
We were able to see this beautiful white owl up close too.  Liam and I actually had this owl and parakeets fly so close to our heads that they brushed our heads with their wings!
One of our favorite parts about this zoo was the free cable car rides.  You hopped on a moving cable car  (kind of like ski lifts but without the awkward skis) and circled around the entire zoo.  It was so fun seeing the animals from a birds-eye view.  We were able to see some animals better from this perch.  The ride was fun enough that we rode them twice (once when we first arrived and then once more before we left).

Some of our favorite animals of the day included the following:  the hippo family, watching the bison run around the pen, the sleepy rhinos blowing bubbles in the water, the monkey families playing with each other, the giraffes eating leaves out of people's hands, the grizzly bear swimming in the water, Pride Rock with lots of lionesses, and that's just to name a few.
There was another area with just baby hippos playing.
Watching the bison running around was exhilarating and funny at the same time.  In this picture they are just standing.
The rhino would take deep breaths and then go under water and let it out.
It was quite humorous for the kids watching the bubbles.
The snake and lizard house was one of Liam's favorite.  He LOVED all of the different turtles.

Liam napping under the giraffes.   

Not having a public library accessible in Lisbon has forced us to read our own copy of The Lion King multiple times.
  We counted 10 lioness and 1 lion in this area we deemed Pride Rock.
One of the creepiest sections of the zoo,  the Pet Cemetery was expansive and elaborate.  Crazy to think of the money people have spent to bury their pets here.
The entire family had an amazing time.  Of all the zoos we have visited, this zoo has been my favorite.  The amount of time it took us to see it all meant eating both lunch and dinner at the zoo.  A perk of eating at McDonalds at the zoo was that we were able to sit next to two crocodiles (in a cage) right next to us while we ate.  To combat a day of eating nothing but hotdogs, french fries, and cheese burgers, we've had to rely on an diet of almost all fruit and veggies for the past few days (almost ;) )!
Riding the train to the zoo.  As you can imagine, Liam does not sit still.  He climbs up and down and all over!
One of our transfers includes about a 5-8 minute walk in between train stations. The path in between is riddled with street art.  Our favorite is a face that is not spray painted, but is chiseled out of the building.
Really cool, huh?!  

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