Lions, Koalas and Bears, oh my!

On Labor Day, as we headed home from Mom’s house, we decided to take a detour and go to the zoo in Columbia, SC.

SuperMan and I hadn’t been to the Riverbanks Zoo in over ten years and we wanted the girls to experience it – it used to be one of our favorite day trips from Savannah.

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It was a fun little excursion. We were rained on as we went through the park, but I was determined to see the animals in spite of the rain.  Which made for quite the adventure. Apparently, the zoo animals are not as adventurous as I am – most of them went into their “barns” once the rain came.

We had fun regardless.img_1974

I loved watching the big cats. (they were hot – it was before the rainstorm)

And the koala bears were just adorable. img_1975

They were sound asleep (apparently, they sleep 20 hours a day – why wasn’t I born a koala?!?) and they looked like stuffed animals, not real creatures.

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The giraffes were trying to get in out of the rain – Little Bit and I didn’t care.

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And the gorillas were being anti-social. I can’t say as I blame them. Bunch of tourists gawking at them…

I love this picture of Little Bit’s reflection superimposed on the gorilla – purely accidental but it turned out great.

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And her hand in the gorilla’s handprint.

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Wet people preparing to go get in the car and dry off:

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And then it was the three hour drive (in the rain) home.

I can Zoo, can You?

I'm a little under the weather, so rather than a big post, I'll be finishing up my story from last weekend’s little adventure to Chattanooga…

After a very restful and relaxing evening in our beautiful (free) hotel room (thanks, Mom, for the hotel points!) we woke early (I was up at 6AM, what is wrong with me?!?) and headed downstairs for breakfast. Being post-surgery girl that I am, there was not much on the carbohydrate and sugar-laden buffet for me to eat. But, I was prepared and had my trusty protein drink ready in the room just in case that happened. 

The girls and SuperMan dined on reconstituted eggs, blueberry muffins, biscuits, yogurt and grapes (yum, not.)

Then, we headed out to the Chattanooga Zoo to see the animals before it got too hot.

I am so glad we did.

The zoo is fairly small (tiny) and has about 20-25 exhibits. Most of the animals are of the smaller kind – no zebras, giraffes, or elephants here. But that is part of the charm of the zoo, to me. It’s full of all sorts of animals you would not normally see in a zoo of a larger size. 

There were capybaras

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and coatis

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spider monkeys

IMGP3052 This little guy wanted to eat my glasses through the glass.

and red pandas

IMGP3071 They look like stuffed animals, but they were real. Just real lazy, too.

But the most fun part was the fact that we got there so early in the morning. We got to see all of the animals having breakfast.

The jaguars were awesome to watch. They were a pair of male brothers, about 18 months old. The zookeeper had just hung boxes of food in their pen and we got to watch them DESTROY the boxes as they ate their breakfast.  They were right in front of the viewing area, just on the other side of the glass. If the glass hadn’t been there, we could’ve pet them while they ate (pet? petted? which is it?)

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The zookeeper also put some treats (cheese) in hiding places for the jaguar boys to find.  This was on top of about a 7 foot high pole. He just climbed it like nothing and ate the cheese right away.IMGP3055The other neat thing was, surprisingly, this crow (of all things) . He had a fixation with SuperMan and kept sticking his head out of the cage and looking at SuperMan like he wanted him to do SOMETHING.  Finally, SuperMan decided to try scratching his head (nothing like risking a big bite from a big beak).

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The stupid bird loved it.

The girls were afraid Daddy was going to be arrested by the zookeepers. (hee hee)

The first (and last) thing we saw at the zoo were the chimps.

They had just been fed and this female kept grabbing PILES of food and holding in in her hands (and feet) like she was hoarding it.  It was really funny to watch as she fussed at the boys whenever they went by.

IMGP3046 “Hey! This is MY food! Go find your own!”

And then there was Hank.  He’s their “special” chimp who gets an exhibit all to himself. He’s old (40’s) and reminded me a lot of my late step-grandfather (hee hee) with his grey, balding head and arthritic legs.

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He came right up to the window to see the girls and had a (mute) conversation with them through the glass. It’s a little eerie to see so much intellect in his eyes when he looks at you. Makes you wonder what he is thinking and what he thinks about all this zoo stuff.

We had a great morning at the zoo. If you are ever in Chattanooga, you should carve out a few hours of your day and visit. It’s worth it.

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