Afternoon at the Zoo

After the nearly month of rain we’ve had in the Tampa Bay area, I needed to get out of the house. The Lowry Park Zoo is offering free entry for teachers through August 16, and a trip to the zoo sounded like just the thing!

The gibbons were putting on quite a show when I first arrived.

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Just hangin’ around.
C.M. Foust 2015

They’d sit for awhile, and then swing on over to the next part of their habitat.

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Checking out the crowd.
C.M. Foust 2015

It almost seemed that they were posing sometimes. Maybe they were…

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“I’m too sexy for this rope.”
C.M. Foust 2015

Then it was on to more mundane sorts of animals. On to the petting zoo!

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This goat did not look amused.
C.M. Foust 2015

All of the kids were playing in the fountains nearby, so I got to hang out with the goats and llamas on my own. Neither were impressed since I didn’t have food for them.

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Yummy, yummy hay.
C.M. Foust 2015

Next I got to see the wallabies having a snack.

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Super cute.
C.M. Foust 2015

The penguins were cute too. They were grooming each other, and a couple of them were swimming. They are so graceful in the water. Until they poop, that is. That doesn’t seem so graceful.

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All cute and innocent. Seconds before he (or she) pooped in the water.
C.M. Foust 2015

The meercats were quite active. They always seem very scared to me. But they were still digging their holes while being very attentive to the lookers-on.

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“Please don’t hurt me!”
C.M. Foust 2015

The Galapagos tortoises amaze me. They look so old and regal. Next to these old guys, they had a “dog house” with a youngster in it. He/she was so tiny in comparison. I’m not sure why they had them separated…

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They seemed to be listening for something. There’s so much going on at the zoo, it’s hard to tell what.
C.M. Foust

This big guy was quite impressive too. When he was over by the fence, he was putting on a more X-rated show. 

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He looks a little more dignified in this picture.
C.M. Foust 2015

The koi pond was a lovely image of color and movement.

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Fishes!
C.M. Foust 2015

I love this one I got of the the flamingos. Their coloring is so vibrant.

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So bright.
C.M. Foust 2015

The manatee exhibit continues to be my favorite at the zoo. You get to see them from above and below the water. They are really cool beasts.

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Little guy getting a snack.
C.M. Foust 2015

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Reflecting on life?
C.M. Foust 2015

I went back and saw the orangutans. They were a little more lively than when I first visited them, before I saw the gibbons. Still, it was so hot many of the critters were just avoiding the heat.

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Hanging around.
C.M. Foust 2015

I always have to remind myself of the sheer power of a komodo dragon. They’re big, but I would wouldn’t immediately expect the damage they can do to their prey just from looking at them. Still, this one had a sly look on its face.

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“I tricked her! She thinks I’m all innocent! And she looks delicious.”
C.M. Foust

Aside from the manatees, my favorite critters were the gharials. These are needle-nosed crocodiles. I don’t think I ever knew they existed before this trip to the zoo. And this turtle seems to not care about their needly, pointy teeth at all.

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This turtle knows he’s a boss.
C.M. Foust 2015

It felt really good to get out and see so many awesome animals. It was about 90 degrees the entire time I was out there. I was super sweaty after being at the zoo for nearly four hours, but it was completely worth it. I earned that strawberry cone I ate on the way out to my car.

If you are in the Tampa area, I do recommend the zoo. It’s good for kids, but good for adults too. Aside from the animals they have some small rides.

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