Yesterday, the boys and I headed to Odense to check out the zoo. They had gotten free tickets in a kids meal one day while shopping, and I figured that it was a good way to knock out a summer day. I planned to get there between rain storms. It sort of worked.
We arrived a pretty soggy bit, but fared ok during the day. Thankfully, I wore galoshes and managed to convince the kids (well, forced them) to wear waterproof jackets. They REFUSE to wear “rain trousers”… I think rain trousers would make playing FUN… I get it though, the word trousers freaks me out… but saying pants around English folk is confusing. “Put on your rain pants” translates to “put on your rain undies”! But I digress… Back to the zoo.
First we saw tigers. One tiger by himself, and then as we circled around, we saw cubs! Naturally, when I went to take a picture, momma tiger had to go potty… But I managed another without her. Seriously though, poor tiger. When ya gotta go, ya gotta go, and because of her cute kids, there are always people standing around.
Next, we came to the giraffe house. We were about to pass through because it was empty, but this wall of pacifiers caught my attention. What IS this?!?! I read one of the postcards attached to one of the germ garlands ,and my suspicions were correct. Danish tots donated their binkies to the baby giraffes for when they are feeling brave enough to be a big boy/girl.
Later in the day, the sky-water stopped long enough for my two less-furry apes to climb on what looked like something designed for the chimp house. Every zoo should incorporate playground structures throughout. It really helps kids to stay interested and not complain about being tired. (So does food… E munched lots of carrots along the way)
This gorgeous mural was at the entry to where the tapirs lived. Beyond that, a structure that contained a tropical house with manatees, tiny monkeys, a sloth and more, as well as an arctic penguin house! We had to do this one twice. Perfect because the first time was super-crowded, and the second time we were nearly the only ones there. Cool!
Monkey, Monkey, Sloth, Monkey
During our first trip to the manatee tank, we saw a lot of bubbles. Our suspicions when we went back! I missed the photo proof, but here’s a shot of the residual bubbles. Take our word for it when we say we *know* that those bubbles are in fact manatee farts. Have you SEEN how much cauliflower they can eat? M felt that this was important to share here, by the way. Note the bubbles raising from the underside of the manatee. I think it noticed our talking and stares and giggles because it turned and swam away. Sorry manatee.
The kids really loved the penguin exhibit. The walk from the warm tropic environment toward the penguins was dark, and the temperatures plummeted. We wound our way up the dark ramp where we found a wall of ice. The kids thought that was pretty awesome. How is it here? WHY is it here? It was apparently great fun to touch the ice as long as you could then slap your cold wet hand onto your brother’s face or neck to see if they would let out a shrill cry. Yep, worked every time.
Inside the penguin house, there were boulders for the kids to climb on and slide down. Penguin life seems pretty cool to kids. Clamber up, lay on your belly and slide down the cold bumpy rocks. I noted some funny behavior between two penguins. One was sitting on a “nest” and seemed uncomfortable. The other penguin, a bit smaller (male?) seemed to be a nervous wreck. You could tell that they wanted to do SOMETHING, but weren’t sure what to do. Maybe they wanted to be on the egg?
Then the penguin on the next nest moved to reveal a teeny baby penguin! It seemed unsure of what to do with this thing that was no longer in an egg. It wasn’t still. She/he waddled a foot over a bit and stretched its beak down to push an egg toward their feet and the chick. It was the empty egg shell! It seemed in shock. (I can totally relate.) Now what?!
The kids stopped rock surfing a moment to see the baby penguin. They seemed less impressed than I was. LOOK! Look at it! It’s a baby penguin! In real life! Just a few feet away behind that glass! Isn’t it cool?! Amazing!?! …. All I got was ” mom, watch this!” and “Watch ME mom, watch ME!”….”Yeah mom, its cute… WATCH THIS” (slides down faux boulders complete with painted on penguin poop)
Lastly, we hit up the monkey house. M was more interested in the climbing wall and curious as to why there were butts on the wall. Butts? Half of this monkey house was in fact dedicated to hineys! Looks like I missed the 3D butts in jeans and Odense zoo t-shirts. There were adult, child and tot sizes… I’m not sure if you were meant to compare those to the little monkeys in the glass house? Oh well, no time like the monkey house to expose your kids to a pimpled hairy man-butt in a thong.
So during this rainy afternoon at the zoo, we learned a lot of answers. Let us take a moment to recap…
- Does a tiger cover their potty like a house cat? Yes. Yes they do. With 20 onlookers and pouncing cubs. Even tiger moms can’t go to the bathroom without kids interrupting.
- If a manatee farts in water, will anyone know? Yes. Yes they will. Particularly if they are 8, 5, or 38 years old.
- If a fussy tot drops her binky in the waterfall that leads to the manatee pool, will she been seen with the same binky again later that afternoon? Yes. Yes she will. IN. HER. MOUTH. Someone didn’t have a successful trip to the giraffe house! ;D
- Butts are funny until they are in your face unexpectedly.