We are going to the zoo, zoo, zoo! How about you, you, you? You can come too, too, too. We are going to the zoo, zoo, zoo! Leading up to our day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium I kept humming that little song that I used to sing with the preschool kids. A trip to the zoo always feels like a great outing for both young and young at heart. Everyone has that one animal that they like to see or learn more about while visiting the zoo.
Many Saturdays, we tune in to watch Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown. He starts each show reporting from his base camp at the Columbus Zoo. Jack Hanna has been a tireless supporter of animals and animal conservation his whole life. Wild Countdown always shares different stories of those animals who are facing a crisis or have come back from the brink of crisis.
Our journey started with everyone talking about which animal they were most excited to see: lions, giraffes, monkeys, snakes. We were going to have to cover a lot of ground to see all of those critters at the zoo. Upon entering the zoo, it was nice to see that there was an open area with souvenir and snack stops. Families could make a game plan for how they were going to attack the zoo for the day. Traffic was not funneled in one direction, so even though many people were coming in we did not feel like we were being pushed along with the crowd.
The kids saw the reptile kingdom and were immediately intrigued. I opted out since I loathe reptiles, but mostly snakes. While the rest of the family explored, I sat outside and people watched. It was amazing to see not only families coming to the zoo, but also couples, single individuals, workgroups, tour bus groups, and we saw many zoo camps meandering through the exhibits while we were there.
One of the coolest things we encountered at the zoo was the kangaroo walkabout. We sort of chuckled as we entered because prior to entering there was a posting asking to open one door at a time and to make sure they were closed. What we didn’t realize was you were able to be in the midst of the kangaroo habitat. How cool to be on their turf! The kangaroos were pretty chill not being too bothered by the cameras and the squeals of delight to be up close and personal with these creatures. Of course, the kangaroos have the right away when they decide to move around their home. Two of the critters hopped right in front of us which was pretty cool. It left us speechless for a minute and then “Did you see those guys hop right by us?” Plenty of zoo workers were stationed around to answer questions and to keep people on the path.
We were left a bit disappointed with the aquarium part of the zoo just because we have really enjoyed the walk-through aquarium of the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE. Through a glass tunnel, you see all around you a view of the sharks, fish, and stingray going about their day. However, in Columbus, we saw a few stations housing Caribbean type fish. We went to the next building where the manatees are housed. It was confusing to understand what the aquarium was really all about. Bonus we did get to see the manatees munching on some leafy lettuce for breakfast. They looked so peaceful while happily munching away.
Each region of the zoo had plenty of areas to stop for a break. Some areas were shaded and others were in air-conditioned buildings. You could get a drink, something to eat, or just rest while visiting about all of the cool things that are at the zoo. When we finished our break, we decided we needed to find the gorillas. Wow! Was there ever a troop of gorillas! The habitat for the gorillas seemed to be outdoor playground connected to an indoor playground that wound around corners and then would continue on varying the toys, equipment, and environment in each area. It was unexpected and a very cool thing to see! Some members of the zoo were explaining that there were a few different troops housed at the zoo. A particular troop or family would hang out in one area. We watched as the gorillas either played, slept, or ate. It was a warm day when we visited, so with the exception of the younger gorillas, most of them decided to take it easy.
Our visit to the Columbus Zoo provided us with the opportunity to see penguins swimming, elephants munching, lions resting, and birds of all colors. It easy to navigate through the zoo with plenty of viewing space at the exhibits. There was a variety of indoor/outdoor hands-on interactive play equipment. By the time we decided to pack it in for the day, our family was hot but happy we decided to go to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How about you, you, you?
All my best to you,