Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cameron Park Zoo

Since our idea of stopping at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center after our camping trip didn't work out, we stopped at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, instead.  We hadn't been to this zoo in several years, but I remembered it being fun for kids because the exhibits are set up where they can get pretty close to the animals. We also realized Secora has never been to a zoo at all!

Another thing I like about this zoo is that it's set up in a loop fashion.  While you're never all that far from the entrance if you decide to leave, you can easily follow the loop and see every exhibit without worrying about missing anything or crisscrossing all over the park.  It minimizes the walking for little legs and eliminates debates over what to see next. 

The first stop was big birds.  Eagles, vultures, and parrots, oh my!  Sedona tried her hardest to get the parrots to talk to her, but they weren't going for it.
The tortoises were impressive...and hungry, one was pulling up every weed it could find.

Just outside the first bathroom there's a photo op to keep waiting kids entertained.  Everyone pretended they were butterflies.

Next up was the playground area.  I didn't let the girls play here last time because we had gone during spring break and it was really crowded.  This time around, we were there on a weekday and it was about 2pm, after all the school groups had left.  We pretty much had the whole zoo to ourselves, including the playground.

Of course, they ran right for the giant snake and wanted me to take a picture of them being eaten
Which meant "me too" had to be next
Balance beams are tricky
This is shaped like a shark.  Sedona jumped on and yelled, "Do not try this at home folks! SHARK BACK RIDING!!!"
The big girls tried to entice Secora to go down the tree house slide, but she wasn't having it.
She wouldn't slide with the otters either.  This is a slide that goes through the otter habitat.  Otters, being playful creatures, will swim alongside the kids while they slide.
Spotted one of the otters
An otter is swimming circles just above her hand

One of the indoor exhibits.  Lots of salt water tanks, including the Nemo tank.  You can't see, but there's even a mask at the bottom that's labeled P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney Australia
Outside, Sedona liked the alligators.  While everyone else backed up a bit as it swam towards us, Sedona stayed right where she was, 'cause it's Sedona.
Anyone else remember when she was 2 years old and already staring down alligators?  Here's an old pic from our trip to a herpetarium in South Carolina
Another indoor exhibit housed the freshwater aquariums
Here kitty, kitty, kitty....
No, I did not know that, but I'm feeling compelled to try it out.  I had to come home and research this one.  Found this little article about the search for the reason behind scorpion fluorescence.
  Snakes and lizards oh my.  Don't you get the impression she might just crawl into the enclosure if we don't watch her close?

Leaving, the herpetarium, Sedona shouted out, "a BUG! In the WILD! Take a picture momma!!"
This is about when vacation caught up to Secora.  She fell asleep on Josh's shoulder for a while, but she woke up to check out the rhinoceros (who had just had a lady friend added to his enclosure and was being watched closely by zoo keepers to be sure he behaved), and the giraffe. 
Over in the asian forest exhibit, Secora was most interested in the Orangutan.  She was fascinated with watching him play.  Sedona and Sierra skipped right past him, over to the komodo dragon.
Secora wasn't as interested in the giant lizard, but she found herself a nice nap spot while she waited for her sisters.
Turns out this particular komodo dragon was hatched just a few months after Sedona was born.  They sat face to face for quite a while sticking their tongues out at each other, I was kinda waiting for our own little Harry Potter moment to happen.
The last exhibit we stopped at was the tiger. 
Overall, this zoo is a great set up for younger kids to get around without getting exhausted and they enjoy the exhibits being set up so they can see almost everything without a grown-up having to lift them up higher.   Well worth a visit if you're in the area!

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