Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Zoo (a.k.a. Citizen Scientists Unite)

The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is a fun place to visit. They have added many things through the years. (Although I'm bummed that all the Beluga Whales are gone.) We took the kids there to explore one day. Yikes! Expensive. You are welcome zoo. We donated to the cause.

Here are all my monkeys.

We went over to the kids area first and let the kids play. The meerkats were so cute. And Tyler touched a Lemur. His foot was sticking through the fence, so Tyler just reached up and got him. (He disdainfully moved away after.) The kids enjoyed the animals, but also all the things to climb on and swing around in.

Tim and Miranda came with us to the zoo. Miranda was really nice to come even though she wasn't feeling well, so I offered to wheel her around. This was a great idea, until you remember that Point Defiance Zoo is built on a large hill. Oddly, downhill was harder than uphill because I didn't want to lose control and have her go crashing to her doom. But we were careful and there were no casualties.

I love how many zoos (and Lagoon) have peacocks wandering around.

There were many animals at the zoo, but lucky you, I'm not putting all 98 pictures of them on here; just our favorites. We liked the Rays. The touch tank was new from when I last visited. June even got to touch a shark in there.

Speaking of Sharks, they are always a favorite.

We paused in the middle of the day to watch the animal show. I would call it a show with a VERY STRONG AGENDA, and some animals in it as well. The first twenty minutes were SOOOOOOO boring as they told this story and tried to brainwash all the kids into wanting to be citizen scientists. And even when they did the rest of the show, they kept throwing in comments about citizen scientists throughout. (We get it!) But there were some cool animals to see. I liked the Serval.

And the owl.

The show was about Indiana Bones, a dog, who specialized in Barchaeology. He was hunting for a hidden Geo-cache. (Also a lot of geo-cache promoting in the show. Sheesh. Do they think no one will want to do these things unless they tell them?) Dr. Bones was a good dog, but a little feisty. He ran off at one point in the show and a whole group of zoo employees were out looking for him. We got to hear quite a few extra owl facts while the people stalled to give more time to find Dr. Bones. Those tufts on the owls head are not his ears. His ears are lower on his head and uneven; one is higher than the other. (See, facts about animals. I think that is what an animal show should be about.)

Indiana Bones was found eventually and brought back for his spectacular finale in which he flies in and saves the day.

And the treasure was very fitting.

After the show, we headed back over to the aquarium, by way of the budgie cage. The budgies were cool and close up. But don't touch them unless you buy a seed stick. (Come on zoo. I already spent enough to get in here. I should not have to pay extra to feed the birds.)

The aquarium was fun. We found a red knobbed starfish that I have never seen before. This picture is off Wikepedia since I forgot to take one at the zoo.

They had a cool touch area where the kids could touch starfish, anemones, crabs, urchins, and other interesting sea creatures. (The water was freezing. You had to be tough just to get your hand in there, let along touch a pokey critter.)

Meanwhile, we put Tim in the Hurricane simulator. On the back wall you can see the wind got up to almost 80 miles an hour. I was hoping it would be stronger, but I'm sure Tim was glad it didn't go too high. (Oh, and yes...we had to pay for that.)

Group photo in the shark's mouth.

After the aquarium, we went down to Rocky Shores, where I found out the Beluga Whales were gone, and Pearl had a huge tantrum. Good times. At least the walrus was kind enough to come up close. I took several pictures of him, but I'm going to post one with his eyes closed. (His eyes were really bloodshot and scary.)

No Polar bear, no arctic fox, as we circled around the zoo. But amazingly the Red Wolves were out. We have NEVER seen them before. I used to joke that they had made this big pen and put nothing in it. But there were plenty that day.

They were almost extinct over in the southeast of the USA, but Point Defiance has tried to increase the Red Wolf  population and introduce them back into the wild. (A better goal than trying to get everyone to be a citizen scientist, in my opinion.)

The sun was dipping in the sky, and everyone was hungry, so we decided to go home. (Sorry elephants and tigers. We'll get to you next time.) I love this picture of June and Daisy. It looks like she is holding a big rag doll.

Tim wanted a ride in the wheelchair.

I love this picture of Pearl running. She looks so free and happy.

We saw one last special resident in the parking lot.

Miranda found a perfect peacock feather on the hillside. It was beautiful. I meant to take a picture, but forgot. But I laugh to myself. I bet peacock feathers cost at least $15 in the gift shop. (Bwah hah hah hah.) And we got one for free. (Good thing Miranda was being a 'citizen scientist' and observing the world around her.)

* To be clear. I don't think it is a bad thing to be a citizen scientist. I do think making everyone watch a boring twenty minute story about it before the animal show was a bit much. And I do think the zoo was overpriced. Although our zoo at home is about the same. I just have a big family and that gets expensive. Hence why we look for free activities during the summer. But sometimes you just gotta go to the zoo.

1 comment:

meganmushrat said...

Next time I know you're coming I'll buy a zoo membership that includes a lot of family members. I think it would be cheaper than paying for all of you to enter. Sorry I wasn't able to go - it looks like a lot of fun.