Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Milwaukee County Zoo Trip

Last Tuesday Tom had a Solar Class at WE Energies in Milwaukee. It was a gorgeous day in the 70'sF so I decided that would be an excellent time to take the boys to the Milwaukee County Zoo and have some good bonding time with them before the baby arrives.
Can you believe we have 4 more weeks to go???? Jeesh I got a a lot to get ready!
Zoos can be a really difficult place for an eco-friendly family, that's for sure. It's a difficult moral dilemma...are the animals well taken care of? Are they better off in the zoo than in the wild? Well the wild is the best place for them, but a lot of them are not safe from poachers and human activities. The zoo does spend a lot of money on conservation and education, so that does help ease my guilty conscience. The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the few zoos in the United States to have Bonobos...a relative of the Chimpanzee. There were 3 Bonobos that we saw, but they were so very active and having a grand time just goofing off it was really hard to get a good picture of them. Here is the only picture I got:

There were 2 gorillas that we saw. This one was very sleepy, probably bored out of his gord. We did make eye contact with him, and the kids and I signed "I love you" and when we did he would close his eyes and kind of smile back, like he knew what we were saying...probably just our imagination, but it felt good.

The cheetahs were outside, but the Lions were in their winter enclosure. I really liked the indoor enclosure for the Big Cats. They were behind a thick wall of glass, but they were so close!

Most of them were sleeping. There is a sleeping Tiger behind Reeve and Kyle in this next picture:

Here is a sleeping Leopard:

Most of the time I was way behind Reeve and Kyle. They just were so excited, and the weather was so beautiful, that they just couldn't walk slow for their pregnant Mom.

I was relieved to sit on this cramped little safari train for 20 minutes. (Reeve took the picture...don't I look exhausted?)

Reeve LOVED the train, but we really didn't get to see the animals very much. The train at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL was better...actually so was the train at the Indianapolis Zoo. I didn't care I just was glad to sit down!

Kyle was pretty pleased with the train too:

Look how small this train is...we felt bad for the train conductor, he looked really cramped. Reeve and Kyle had to help me in and out!

Reeve felt bad for the polar bear...thought it was way too hot for him, and wondered why he wasn't swimming.

The Grizzly decided it was a perfect day for a swim:

It's always neat to see free roaming animals at the zoo. However, this goose was not kind! I didn't get the picture, but he started to attack a little 2yr old girl...she was traumatized!

The peacocks and peahens were friendlier and more interested in each other.

I forgot to mention we went to the zoo on St. Patrick's Day...that's why the boys are decked out in their Green Bay Packer t-shirts & sweatshirts...actually most of the folks wearing green at the zoo were wearing Packer paraphernalia.
The Giraffes were looking tall and beautiful:

Here are the pregnant pics...Reeve took this one:

Kyle took this pregnant picture of me by the giraffes:

A woman saw Kyle taking the picture and offered to take a picture of the three of us:

Anyone who has ever spent any time around Kyle knows that he is obsessed with Zebras. The two things he really wanted to see at the zoo were the vampire bats (too dark and scary to take a picture of were they FREAKY!) and the Zebras.

The elephants were LOVING being outside...we had to stand back because they were really flinging the mud around!

We got a kick out of seeing some solar panels at the zoo, since that's what really brought us there in the first place. This was a tracking panel.

Tom had a great time in his class, and says he learned a lot.