Sacramento Zoo January 12, 2008

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My family and I took a trip to the Sacramento Zoo this morning, leaving our home at about 10am (when the zoo opens), and arriving there at 10:25. We walked around and looked at half the zoo before leaving and eating lunch at a place called “China Buffet”. The buffet turned out to be quite tasty (but $11-12).

I enjoyed walking around in the zoo, and looking at the diversity of life that God created. Seeing animals like giraffes, the big cats, and primates in real life is much different than seeing them in a photograph. Sometimes I would stare at an animal and think, “Oh man. I can’t believe this thing actually exists.”

Ostriches are huge. Giraffes are gigantic. Didn’t see elephants. There was a talking parrot that we returned to repeatedly. When it talked with my dad, it would say, “Ni Hao”. We couldn’t really get it to say anything new, but it said things like, “Hello”, “Polly want a cracker?”, “Here kitty kitty kitty”, “Hah hah hah”, and some other pretty typically phrases.

Some of the monkeys we saw were obviously old and basically immobile. I expected to see even old monkeys running and swinging around, but it was literally hobbling around like a really, really old person. My brother referred to them as, “old-timers”.

When we we came across a chimpanzee eating brunch, he noticed us, picked up his food, and walked away. My brother and I thought that was pretty amusing. Many of the monkeys turn their backs on you when they see you looking at them.

Later in the afternoon, we saw a large crowd of people gathered around the tortoise pen. When we walked over, we saw two of the tortoises ramming each other, one of them on its back. After a while, the right-side-up tortoise walked away, leaving the other one stranded on its back. It tried to get up, but the mud and slippery ground prevented it from doing so, and it couldn’t do much aside from flail around helplessly. Someone in the crowd went to get help, and a zookeeper finally came over, gave the tortoise a push, and helped it get on its feet.

She told us that the smaller tortoise bullies the bigger one, getting under its belly and flipping it over. The bigger tortoise was flipped over all night once, and wasn’t discovered until the zookeeper came across it in the morning. The other tortoise was comfortably sleeping inside the tortoise house while its companion was stranded on its back outside. Silly tortoises.

Anteaters are weird.