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The 5 Minute Pee

September 29, 2009

Saturday I went to the Toledo Zoo with Brad & Meghan.

It was the day of “The Big Feed”- a yearly event where they have feeding and enrichment demonstrations all day long. We arrived just after 10am, right as they were opening. The weather was *perfect*….it was cloudy and a very comfortable temperature. Due to the local weather forecast and overcast skies, many people must have assumed it was going to ran (I did), so didn’t bother coming to the zoo (fortunately, rain never stands in my way) as the crowds were lower than usual- especially for a weekend day with an event going on!

Many of the early feeding demonstrations were at the opposite side of where we entered (we thought that was poor design on the zoos part), so we skipped the first few time slots in favor of just walking around.

First was the Arctic encounter, where the seals and polar bears were so active. Another thing about going to the zoo on a cool, overcast day is that the animals tend to be more active. We were at both exhibits for quite some time. The polar bears were acting like giant puppies, particularly the one trying to eat the stick.

Next, it was over to the African exhibit, and wow! There was more animals out in the Savannah than I have every seen. Usually, they are all inside and you just see some birds. But everything was out this time…ostrich, zebras, giraffes. One particular giraffe was munching away on some plants at the edge of the exhibit next to a zebra. We were watching him then someone noticed (not me, but I can’t remember who) that the giraffe was peeing. He had already started by the time we started….watching? (okay, that sounds SO disturbing, but it was funny at the time, I swear). And he carried on for at least 3 minutes, probably closer to 5. He had already been going for awhile when we determined we should have timed him. A constant steady flow. We watched the other animals, talked, and occasionally checked back. Yep, still going. It was really quite comical…it just wouldn’t end.

Of course, I forced it to end, when I decided to take a picture. This giraffe had caused me a great deal of amusement so I figured I should take a photo. By the time I snapped, he was done peeing. I didn’t really need the pee in the shot, though…thanks, I’m all set. I just wanted to remember the Giraffe (that Meghan referred to as Steve) [for a 30 second video of the giraffe peeing, please talk to Brad].

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We realized that it was already 11:00am (by the time Steve stopped peeing), so we decided to start checking out some of these feeding events. At 11:30am are choices were: Electric Eel, Reptile, or Hornbill. We made the unanimous decision to go to the Electric Eel.

So, over the bridge to the other side of the zoo (after stopping to say “hi” to the bald eagles). If you’ve never been to TZ, I should explain…the zoo is on either side of the highway. They have a covered pedestrian bridge that takes you from one side, to the other. But since the bridge is quite long (its a big highway), they entertain you with…depictions of different kinds of animal tracks that “walk” along with you, and the infamous TZ song…

Oh shucks…I wanted to seranade you with the song, but I can’t find the lyrics on google.

It’s something to the effect of…..”I love my ZOO….hey how about you!”

Hmm…no youtube video. You will just have to use your imagination- or better yet, visit them yourself! (It’s a good zoo…I DO believe in the words to the song…I LOVE MY ZOO!).

Moving on…

The electric eel decision turned out to be a poor choice. Once we arrived, we realized… that feeds that occur in small tanks with large crowds probably aren’t going to be that easy to view. Yeah, didn’t see a darn thing.

We then walked around the aquarium for while, went through the rainforest, and then on our way to lunch stopped by the cheetah exhibit. Where they were sleeping…which is pretty much what cats do.

We considered our eating options…1) the Carnivore cafe…crowded, loud, crappy food…2) the Beastro…slightly better food, narrower menu, quiet…3) carts/stalls outside…same crappy food as in the cafe, just quieter and shorter lines. We chose the Beastro….until we looked at the menu. For some unexplicable reason, they narrow the menu down even further on the weekends (wtf)…there was only maybe 6 options in total. I would have been satisfied with a Greek salad, but not all members of our party could find something to eat, so we went to the Wild Dog stall next to the Beastro to see what they had. We all got the same thing…it has to be the most universal food…chicken fingers and fries. Well, at least we all found something we’d eat. As expected they were over-priced and not very good, but they did the job.

Next we were over to the primates to observe some Orangutan enrichment. We got there early enough to get some spots right at the glass. Meghan leaned her bag on the glass so she could get some things from it, and one of the orangutans bounded over and tried to look in her bag. He (?) was quite fascinated in it, it was adorable. I am not a huge primate fan, but the orangutans are so much fun to watch! It was interesting- they were far more active and entertaining before the enrichment then during it.

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Before moving on to the next event, we checked out the gorillas and the chimps. This one chimp was very interested in joining our conversation, and posed nicely for us.

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The 2:30 schedule contained the words “Hippo Watermelon Toss”…so clearly, we didn’t even consider the other 3 events. Unfortunately, everyone else felt the same way, and despite arriving there early, the place was packed and we couldn’t see the tank. Brad was hoping they would toss the watermelons directly at the hippos.

Not quite….and it wasn’t tossing so much as dropping. For the 1st little while we couldn’t see a thing. Then Brad found us a better spot, and people slowly started to clear out (particularly parents who had terrified crying children on their hands….What sane 5 year old wouldn’t cry when a hippo charging its food swims towards them…and opens its gaping maw (that a 5 year old could easily fit completely inside of) only a couple feet away from them?…jus’ sayin’).

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At the same time as the watermelon toss was the elephant enrichment…which was right next store to the hippos, so we managed to catch the end of that too.

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We had a bit of time to kill before the Meerkat Enrichment at 3:30. So, we went over to the reptile house and looked at the snakes, lizards and crocodile, and right at the end we got to see a very large snake eating a white rabbit. I was (pleasantly?) surprised to see something so cute and cuddly be sacrificed in such an open forum (not that I had any problem with it, but some people might, though.) Seeing the snake eat was pretty nifty.

Next we visited the lions, rhinos, and camels while waiting for the Meerkat event. We almost saw another rabbit get eaten, as one wandered into the lion’s exhibit. Fortunately for it, it dicovered where it was before the lions discoverd it first (one look at the lion and it ran like crazy).

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The Meerkat Enrichment only had one other group there (apparently no one else in the zoo, other than Meghan and I was a fan of Meerkat Manor?). It was nice to finally see the Meerkats do something other than holding sentry duty.

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(Kind of reminds me of Dixee)

We wrapped up the day with a walk through the aviary, and a visit to the tigers and penguins (I still have no idea why they are together).  Right before close, we headed to the giftshop where I purchased some fudge.

And that concludes my awesome day at the zoo!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brad permalink
    September 30, 2009 10:01 am

    I noticed you left out the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen a giraffe do…

  2. opicana permalink
    September 30, 2009 12:46 pm

    Nobody wants to hear about that. I’m just happy that you finally agreed giraffes were gross. 🙂

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