Monday, July 11, 2011

at the zooz

Saturday we spent the afternoon swimming in the pool and playing in sprinklers in the backyard. Sunday we had a morning playdate and an afternoon at Zooz.

I used to joke about this place for the first years it was open because I didn't believe the animals could possibly be treated well. I think it was Marineland that instilled my initial distrust in the whole Niagara-Zoo combo.
But I've let my trepidations and assumptions go and had a full appreciation of how amazing it is to be able to be one-on-one with animals we spend every night reading about.

Owen loves animals like any one and a half year old does. Recently he's been not only emulating their sounds but he's also starting to call them by name. Eric Carle, Sesame Street and Dr. Seuss are prime examples of books that have made Owen aware of the animal kingdom.
I'm still in disbelief at how interactive and almost domesticated some of these wild animals are. Now I'm not saying that this is 'petting-zooz', but so many animals make eye contact and really connect with you. It's also cool because Zooz isn't crowded, so it feels like a very personal visit when you go.
At one point the monkeys seemed to be lined up along the fence staring back at us the way we were at them.
It takes a while to work your way to the back of the park where the giraffes are. The two giraffes came right over to meet us and lowered their heads so we could really get an idea of how large they are. They were so gentle and majestic.

As were the tiger & lion!
The lion saw us and gave a huge growl as if he knew exactly what was expected of him. Owen's really into making a growl sound when he sees any illustration/photo of animals with pointy teeth, so this demonstration really thrilled him. 
It's very cool to make one-on-one eye contact with a lion only feet infront of you.

And we love the splash park at Zooz. 
I'm surprised Owen didn't find himself overwhelmed by the big kids splashing and running past him. He's still so small compared to all the big kids playing around him, but he got right in there and rode the whale with vigour!
And worked himself up quite an appetite. On days like this he deserves a treat like Goldfish crackers. And the kid is in love! 
So he saw zebras, lions, giraffes, tigers, bears, monkeys but on the way out Owen asked for the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz. Thanks to Dr. Seuss Owen's convinced he still need to find one at the zoo.

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