I would love to say that we are so glad we went, but honestly I was regretting those ticket purchases. It would have been probably 80% more enjoyable had it not been The Hottest Day in August. BUT, the other 20% (or more, don't check my math) was just the fact that this zoo is not the most enjoyable. The exhibits are old and rundown and many seemed too small for the animals. TJ actually said, "I've decided I don't like zoos. The animals deserve better." While we realize that zoos do a lot for conservation and research and public awareness, it really was kind of depressing. It wasn't just the animals either. Some of the staff were kind of off-putting (the petting zoo guy barely talked to us, only when we spoke to him), and it really just wasn't worth the drive for us when the Phoenix Zoo is so much closer. Maybe it just needs some "We Bought a Zoo"-esque treatment (and they are making some improvements, the signs told us).
All that being said, it was fun to watch Jake and see his interest in the animals. He especially enjoyed the aquarium portion of the zoo, which was also a welcome relief from the heat. A lot of the animals in the other exhibits were out and about, and the small enclosures meant they were easily visible even if they weren't active, which was nice. He liked seeing the animals in the petting zoo, but refused to touch them, as is evidenced in the photos.
Oh you know, just me practicing some boring compositions.
These baby goats were only a few weeks old and so cute.
Looking at, but not touching (never touching) the tortoise.
There were a couple of baby sea lions that Jake loved.
That monkey backpack is a leash. I said I would never, but I've learned that one of the main dishes in the meal of motherhood is one's own words. It was awesome.
I've decided that hyenas are really kinda creepy, in-bred looking creatures. But they kinda look like dogs, too. They were the most active animals we saw, though they seemed to be taunting us.