A Visit At The Dallas Zoo On New Years Day

At this morning, we still had some rain clouds hanging around the Metroplex. But the weather forecast seemed promising for today. Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I made a trip to the Dallas Zoo. What could be better than starting the year with a visit at the local zoo? From December 1, 2016 – February 28, 2017 the zoo has the “Penguin Days”. Admission is $7 for adults, and kids from 3-11. Kids under 3 are FREE.

When we arrived, I mentioned that I wanted to see the lions first, before it gets too crowded. And then I won’t have the chance to get a good photo of these majestic cats. Said, done! The giraffes and elephants weren’t out in the exhibits, yet. We decided to look at the other animals, and come back later.

The Dallas Zoo has a swap shop named the “Hillcrest Foundation Nature Exchange”. It opened in 2000 and has inspired over 25,000 zoo-goers to go outdoors and look with a closer eye at nature. The reason it is called a swap shop: As a zoo guest you can bring up to five items (per trader) to the shop daily. Items can include fossils, rocks, shells, … etc. You can earn points by bringing these items in, and use the points to get another cool fossil, shell, rock, seed(s), snake-skin, … etc. The purpose of this shop is, you can learn something about the items you want to trade. And other visitors have the chance to learn about these items, you left at the shop. Katelynn’s eyes started to sparkle, when she entered the shop. And she was fascinated with that huge tortoise shell. 😀

Next to Nature Science, Katelynn loves birds. Every time we go to the zoos (Dallas or Fort Worth), we have to go inside the bird cage. In Dallas, she wants to pay a visit to Christine, the Green Woodhoopoe. Christine is a very friendly and smart bird, which loves to climb up Katelynn’s jacket sleeve and just sits in there. On a cooler day, this is pretty cozy for an exotic bird. Katelynn and Sara think, this is funny …not so much the zoo keeper. Green Woodhoopoes are very delicate birds. And sometimes it can be a pain in the rear end to get Christine back out of the sleeve. Not because she might be stuck, she doesn’t want to come out. 😀 😉

As soon as it was warm enough, we went back to see the giraffes and the elephants. This time we were lucky. We had the chance to see the new addition of the Dallas Zoo. Ajabu (Swahili for “Wonder”) was born in Spring 2016. He is the first African elephant born in the US in more than two years. Mlilo and Ajabu stayed close together. We watched Mlilo nursing her son; and Ajabu copied his momma by scratching his belly on the same stone, Mlilo did just seconds earlier. He’s such a sweet and handsome young elephant. ❤

It was a good first day in 2017. 🙂

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