We went to the Austin Zoo and animal sanctuary today with a big group of families. I wasn't too sure if I was going to be up for it because I had a outpatient surgery yesterday, but surprisingly I seem to be healing fast. Poor baby still doesn't get any bath time with mommy for a full month. A month is a long time for babies so I'm fairly upset about that.
But back to the point... the zoo is a little place to the west of Austin, with a beautiful view of the countryside from one side. I wish they had an overlook. It would have been a nice addition. To get this picture I had to stand on one of the many picnic tables that were scattered around.
It is filled mainly with rescued animals, many of which look a bit sad to be there. A few different cages had explanations of lifespans of various animals and information about how much upkeep the animals take to make people think twice before adopting animals they won't be able to continue to care for.
I had read online before leaving that it was a bad place for strollers... turns out I wouldn't have minded having one, but the ground was indeed rocky and there were steps here and there that would have been a pain to get around. We brought the Ergo but Lorelei didn't stay in it long before starting to fuss, so we just carried her over our shoulders most of the time.
The lions were full of piss and vinegar- one even jumped up against the cage and roared scaring a little boy to tears while the zookeepers were getting their meal ready.
All the bigger animals had empty beer kegs to play with which was pretty amusing. Tigers were out and entertaining the crowds when we first got there. One fat one was in and out of a murky looking pool of water and playing with the kegs, others were paceing and eyeing the crowd.
The big cats are always a bit difficult to get a good look at in a zoo because they hide out and sleep a lot typically. The leopards were so sacked out taking sun baths when we saw them that I didn't even bother to try to get pictures. I did get a neat picture of the panther.
One drawback I have noticed with my new camera is that it likes to autofocus on the wires of the cages, and the manual focus is very touchy and hard to use for some reason. I'll have to figure that out better sometime.
There were tons of turtles, which made me wonder who is abandoning or giving up all these turtles. Also there were a lot of monkeys scattered about as well as parrots of various types. Somehow I had never realized that monkeys made chittering sounds like small birds. Made them cuter, but I know that allowed to run free they would be hellions.
One part that seems like a big draw was the goats and other farm animals, but I am not exactly sure why they have them there, other than the fact kids like seeing and feeding them. They had a petting pen and there were a bunch of older kids running in and out of the cage having a ball. I'm sure when Lorelei is older, she'll have fun feeding the goats and deer and other tame herbivores... but I enjoy seeing the more typical and exotic zoo critters more. There were lots of both types of animals though so it was a good mix.
All in all it was a nice afternoon- and for less than the price of going to the movies. Tired out the baby though. She went down for a nap as soon as we got home and has woken up twice to nurse but is still sleeping as of 7pm. She's probably not going to sleep much tonight.