Sunday, September 1, 2013

Zoo Rat Adventures: Volume I

So it's no secret that I've been at the zoo a lot recently.  In fact, I've been there just about every weekend since May.  I hadn't really noticed til the third or fourth time I went but....the zoo seriously brings out the funniest people.  Having been there so many times I've learned quite a bit about the animals. Cheetah's can't jump very far. Sea Lions have ears while Seals do not. White Lions are not actually white, they just have lighter manes and bodies. Penguin babies are the same size as the adults to keep them from being picked off by predators. These things are perhaps not your most basic knowledge. But there's a difference between knowing specifics about the animals and just being...well...silly to put it nicely.  
Like this incident at the Columbus Zoo.  I'm standing next to the Aye Aye exhibit when two brothers run up to the glass, the first excitedly shouting "What is it?! What is it?!" His brother, obviously the genius of the bunch pointedly tells him "It's a nocturnal chicken. Duh." Duh indeed.  This little guy is the AyeAye:

And if the Nocturnal Chicken exists I've yet to see one. Now listen, I know zoo rats like me know all about the crazy different animals. In fact, I can even tell you the names of most of them and I don't mean White Handed Gibbon or Red Crowned Crane.  I mean as in Bobby the Sifaka and John the African Lion.  But let's face it...while most of you might not know the difference between a Potto and a Grey Lemur (ours are housed together and as our Grey Lemur is an expert at hiding they're almost always mistaken for one another) I'd hope MOST of you can tell the difference between basic animals.

Here's a more recent incident:

These gorgeous guys are White Lions. In the past two weeks I've been to the zoo twice and both times this exhibit illicited silly conversations.  The first when a woman pointed excitedly at them while saying to her family "Look ya'll!! Them lions got manes this week!!"  Yes, indeed male lions do have manes.  But come during the week and sometimes they have out the two female lions instead which is undoubtedly what had been the case on her last family visit.  I can assure you most definitely that those female lions did not magically "grow manes".  Then today yet another fabulously silly conversation took place next to me.  The scene: same as usual, both of our male White Lions sleeping in the sunny spot on their deck. A woman and her husband approach and the rest is what followed...
"Look at these!!"
"Wow! Are those lions or tigers?"
"I don't know, it's hard to tell when they're laying down."
"Yeah it is."
"Looks like they've got manes though. So..."

Ladies and gentleman....I give you one lion and one tiger:

Clearly not mistakable no matter the species nor position. But hey, a cat is a cat right? What about this gem that came up while I was visiting the Ocelots today:

"Whoa!! Look!!"
"What is it?!"
"It's a baby leprechaun!!"
"NO! It's a baby CHEETAH."

No boys, that's an Ocelot. But kudos to the second one for at least recognizing that it's a cat and not a small, magical, human-like creature with a pot of gold.

The kids are funny but understandably mislead. But then, their parents don't help.  At the Komodo Dragon exhibit a child asked his mother why it wasn't breathing fire. Rather than give him the correct answer, that Komodo Dragon's aren't THAT kind of dragon, she offered "He's too small to breathe fire yet. He will when he gets bigger."  Thanks for always being honest, mom.  

*Sigh* I guess the animals aren't the ONLY reason to go to the zoo!!! 

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