Sunday, July 27, 2008

Oshkosh Zoo

A few things you might not know about Henry:

1.) Every day he has to wear something with a dog on it.
2.) Every day he has to go to the zoo.

We live about three blocks from the main park in town, and within that park is a small (free) zoo. We have been there just about every day this summer as long as it wasn't raining (heat and humidity don't stop us, much to my dismay) or super busy (think Sawdust Days for those familiar with the area). He LOVES the zoo. There are a few exotic animals there (lion, monkey, Coati, some little thing he thinks is a rabbit, but it's not - lol!) and then also typical petting zoo type animals - cows, pig, llamas, goats, and ducks, as well as two large exhibits of animals native to Wisconsin - elk and wolves.

Here's a typical conversation each morning:

H: Brrrrrooom? (remember we use more sounds than words still)
Me: You want to go for a ride?
H: Heh. (his version of "yeah")
Me: Where do you want to go?
H: Rawr!
Me: You want to go see the lion?
H: Heh.

So we go. I could say no, but why? It's free, and it's close, and it makes him happy... so we do it. Every day. Sometimes twice a day.

We went on Friday, and the lion was restless. She is a rescue animal, and is kept in a fairly small cage (though zoo personnel has informed me that she will be transferred after the zoo closes in September to a place with more space and more big cats to mingle with). She was prowling around the cage, batting her basketball around, and growling. It scared the bejeebers out of Henry! It really was pretty minor in the grand scheme of things, but now he won't even go near the fence that sits back about three feet from the cage. Then we took him to the Greenville Special Memories Zoo yesterday, and he didn't want anything to do with any of it - and especially not the lions! Yikes! I'm wondering if my zoo days are over. In a way, it would be nice, but on the other hand I think I'd actually miss it.

Here's a picture of the lion that will be leaving in September:

99% of the time, this is how we find her. Just chillin' out, without a care in the world. :o)

If anyone reading this is familiar with the zoo, I've also been told they are re-doing the whole thing so that they will no longer have any exotics (what will we do with the monkey cage? That has been there all of my life! *sniff*). They will be stocking the zoo with animals that are all native to Wisconsin, and the exhibits will all be more like the elk and wolf exhibits. This fall they are starting an Otter exhibit where the cows are now, and I'm assuming the cows will move over to the area vacated by the lion. She said the farm animals will eventually all be over on that side of the lake.

And yes, we are there so often that the entire staff knows us. lol. (sort of).

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1 comment:

Lorie said...

He is adorable so how could you ever say no to him? How cool is it that you live so close to something like that? Lucky girl!

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