Saturday, May 22, 2010

Roars and Snores

Waco Zoo

Our reward this year for selling ALL those Girl Scout cookies, was a sleepover at the Waco Cameron Park Zoo. This was by far one of the most fun trips ever! We checked in an hour after the zoo closed, got to set up our sleeping bags in the salt and fresh water aquarium, one was a giant wall of glass with a lot of really cool fish, and a bright green eel that Regan loved. Then we had pizza for dinner, went over the ground rules, and then headed behind the scenes to see what the zoo keepers do each night.

We split up, and our group went first to the lion's bedroom and as we walked in, Sam Jack, the daddy lion, roared so loud and I have to say, being about a foot from a lion when it roars is an awesome, and scary experience! The zoo keeper told us all about what kind of food they eat, how often, and how they give them "enrichment" activities to keep them from being bored.

Then we switched and headed to the tiger bedroom and watched them stare at us like we were delicious. One tiger kept pacing and staring, and it made me very glad for that chain link wall between us! They are beautiful animals and I really would love to snuggle one! If it wouldn't eat me.

Then we got to go pet a white rhino! That was cool, and they were muddy and scaly and very neat. Next up, the giraffes which I thought was the highlight! They were super cool, they bent down and checked us out, got close to the gate, and we got to feed them some chunks of fresh fruit. It was hilarious seeing their long purple tongue curl up around the fruit and bring it back to their mouths!

Then we headed back to the ranch house for snack and got to pet a hedgehog, a ball python, and a Madagascar hissing cockroach (I passed on that one). Finally, lights out in the aquarium around 11. Regan, however, must have realized she wouldn't soon get another opportunity to see this kind of stuff up close and personal, she sat up in bed all night watching the fish.

We were up bright and early the next morning for breakfast, got a good laugh at a very annoying kookaburra who would not stop his chattering while we ate! Then we loaded up the cars and got the zoo to ourselves for about an hour before it was open to the public. It was awesome! We got to see all the animals that we saw the night before in their bedrooms out in the open, playing around and having a good time.

The girls had a blast, and for once, the parents did too! Even though there were no showers there and we all had a sponge bath in the public bathroom and felt disgusting in the heat and humidity, this was a really fun event, and I hope we can do it again sometime!

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