We went to the Abilene zoo today and while it was disappointing in many ways (the giraffes weren't out yet so we didn't get to feed them and the monkeys were blocked off so we couldn't see them) it was a visit we will never forget.
One of the benefits of going to the zoo on a chilly day is that the animals are more active. The last couple visits, the lions just slept and that's kind of boring to see. Today they were awake. As we walked up, they just stared at us. There was kind of a grumpy look to the male, but I just figured he always looks like that when he's awake.
So the kids were talking and laughing and trying to get them to eat crackers. The lions were completely uninterested in the crackers. All of a sudden there was a roar and the male lion pounced. He seemed to be after Joy, our 7 year old. If it weren't for the fence between them, she'd have been a mid-morning snack today. It was very scary for her and she wants everyone to stop talking about it. But I think in time she'll be okay and realize what a cool story she has to tell! It was scary for me to see and he wasn't looking at me!
We hope to go back in a few days if it warms up a little. We really wanted to see those giraffes. The Abilene Zoo is small, but what an awesome experience it is to feed the giraffes! They have this walkway that goes up over the giraffes. You can purchase crackers at the gate when you arrive and you can feed most of the animals in the park. They warned us the first time to save some for the giraffes. We were sure glad we did. They come up to the walkway and stick out those long tongues and wrap them around the cracker you hand them. Yes, you get licked by a giraffe! We certainly appreciate the hand sanitizer stations at either end of the walkway!!! Here's a picture from our visit back in October. I didn't bring the camera today or I would be sharing a picture of the lion sulking after he couldn't have his "snack."