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Of Giraffes and Pythons and Hungry Fish

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During my few days off, we went to visit my step-daughter to celebrate her birthday. As part of the celebration, we went to the Zoo. She used to work there and really enjoyed the job but circumstances forced her to have to leave.

Much fun was had at the Zoo. First off, we went to feed the giraffes. You can get lettuce leaves to feed them. We were feeding the male of the group. His head was huge! You think about giraffes being tall, and having long legs, but you never really think about the size of their heads. Up close you get to see how truly large they are.

You aren’t allowed to touch the giraffes, which makes sense. They are wild animals after all. You hold the lettuce leaf out to them, and they lean in to take it. You’d think they’d grab it with their teeth. Instead, they stick their tongue out and take the lettuce leaf from you with it. Then they pull it into their mouth and chew. It was a short but very fun activity.

Next, there was a lake filled with catfish. You can buy bits of food to feed the fish. When you lean over the railing, you see all these fish at the surface, holding their mouths open. It is both fascinating and creepy.

Finally, we went to see the pythons. The two of them shared a cage. One was sitting in the small pool, while the other lodge under a stone shelter / ledge sort of thing. The one in the pool kept hiding his head, but eventually came out. He yawned, which looked impressive. I tried to get a photo but by the time I could grab the camera and snap a picture, he’d finished his yawn.

The other one hiding under the stone shelter would twitch every 15 – 20 seconds. The whole body would twitch. It looked like the python had the hiccups.

There were many other great exhibits, like Albert, the oldest alligator in captivity in the United States, the macaws who would sometimes say something, the jaguar climbing its tree, and more.

My step-daughter enjoyed the birthday, as did we all. While it is sad to see the animals caged up and kept from their natural habitat, it is amazing to have a chance to see them up close.

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