Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Second stop on our recent road trip was the Indianapolis Zoo. 

This was a spontaneous stop, decided upon when we realized we had a couple hours to spare before we really wanted to reach the bustling metropolis of Detroit. So we googled various options on our smart phones and randomly decided to veer off into the bustling metropolis of Indianapolis to find some animals. After all, the kids had just been asking if we would get to see any Polar Bears on this trip, since we were traveling north and all. We didn't want to disappoint.

Be warned: The Indianapolis Zoo costs an arm and a leg to get in (figuratively, of course). But we found it worth the splurge and were happy we went. They had some neat animals and exhibits that the kids had never seen before.

One of my favorites was the walruses (walrusii?). I liked watching their blubber jiggle as they swam, and envisioned them discussing why the sea was boiling hot and whether pigs had wings.

Another highlight was the shark touch tank inside the aquarium building.

 But the kids' all time favorite was the dolphin show. They had never seen anything like it and I was torn between watching the dolphins or the sheer joy & awe in their faces.

Look carefully - there's a dolphin touching the orange ball. Pretty impressive.
Afterward we went down below to the underwater dolphin viewing area. Again, the kids were enthralled and could have spent a lot longer down there. 

 There were also white rhinos and orangutans, grizzly bears and prowling tigers. 

Harbor seals & sea lions....


Playful elephants....

Crazy reptiles and fun reptile house exhibits....

 Penguins (and yes, the kids did get to see a polar bear)....

Cricket eating Meerkats....


 The big kids worked so hard trying to convince a parakeet to land on them. But the birds only chose to land on Harriet. And try to steal her tennis shoes out of the backpack.

She was not pleased in the least.

There were weird bird heads to pose with....

Flashy flamingos....


And then -- there was the maniacal flamingo.  (See initial photo at the top of the post.)

This guy was hilarious. And extremely intense. 

Territorial and in your face, he stalked the fence line with an obsessiveness that was endearing.

And this is what happens when you let your young son walk over to the fence to watch the flamingo, and he gets out of instructional range:

Yep. Our son patted the flamingo. 
I, naturally, took a picture before going over to give better instruction. The flamingo quickly recovered from his brief shock at being touched and resumed his parade with no further problems.

His job, obviously, was to make sure everyone kept their hands away from the railing at all times.

At this point everyone was feeling pretty worn out. We made it through the whole zoo within our allotted time frame and enjoyed ourselves. A quick stroll through the gardens....

And we were ready to call it a day.



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