We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reid Park Zoo

          The elephant habitat is the focal point as you approach the zoo via 22nd st...you cannot miss it.  They've erected a large, metal piece of elephant-like art work on the corner, marking the edge of the project.  Each week, you can see the progress being made and the bambini are anxious to see the completed work.  They remember that their Mama was a part of the petitions and drive to keep our elephants.  Kim thought they were an integral addition to our zoo and did not want to see them go.  And, she was able to help this project grow legs - she was so excited when the effort won passage and the funds had been secured to build the elephant's a new home that would satisfy the latest requirements for elephants in capacity.  The Philadelphia Zoo couldn't even keep their elephants - Kim was ecstatic to have been a part of the winning effort to keep ours in Tucson!
            This morning, we said we'd meet everyone around 9ish at the zoo entrance...Karen joked 'does that mean I leave my hotel at 9?'  Exactly.  However, the morning was tricky and soon, it was 9:30 and I was just leaving to pick up Lexy and Breanna from Mario...we detoured, briefly, for breakfast jack's at Jack in the Box...and coffee for me, and made it to the zoo by 10:00 - but, we pulled in just as Janene and Kristie were unloading...Karen and Betsey were already camped out in front of the zoo.
          Between us, we had 14 kids, ready to get into that zoo and to see some animals...the tiger exhibit was empty, with a crew working on the fencing...it looked as though a tiger or two had broken free...The girls always move quickly to get to the giraffes, one of Kim's favorite stopping points.  We made it in time to feed the giraffes.  Each child got a handful of carrots from a long time zoo employee, Jed.  After they made their way in, I introduced myself to Jed - reminding him of a time, at least five years ago, where my family came to feed the giraffes, Kimmy leading the way and getting there moments late.  Jed saw the dissappointment on Kimmy's face and the bambini and told us, 'follow me'.  He proceeded to take us behind the scenes to the polar bear home, and we were able to pet the polar bear through the chain link fence.  Next, we went to the backdoor of the rhino habitat, where he had the kids feed the rhinos and showed them how to pet them on their horns.  It was an incredible experience we've never forgotten.  Jed was thankful that I took the time to remind him of that day...    
                         The giraffe nips at Tonio's head...Breanna Autumn and Lexy enjoyed feeding the giraffes!
                       The kids lingered at the polar bear exhibit, as the huge bear put on quite a show for us today, stomping around the rock area of his home and then plunging into the waters right in front of the protective glass that the kids stood behind. 
                       As it got hotter, we sought shelter in the zoo's little water park.  I think the kids would have stayed there all day if we had let them!

                     There are fountains and sprinklers in this area and it sure helped to cool the kids off and keep them going for the second half of the zoo.  The otters sure were frisky today!

             Trinity, Taylor and Lexy got their faces painted like giraffes at the zoo school!
             It's such a great zoo, just the right size, nice exhibits with good variety of animals, plenty of shade for these hot days...and they had each other, to enjoy and to laugh and to make a great memory...the kids had a super time today...

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