We managed to score the elusive free tickets to the Minnesota Zoo from our library this past week. They're hard to get (and a huge savings--it would be over $40 just for admission, with Nils being free). And we've been content to go to the free zoo. But variety is good. So we jumped on the passes when we saw them available.
One of the first things we encountered was the deafening noise of a pair of gibbons as we entered the tropical zone. Nils was a bit scared, but it didn't take long for him to start echoing back with his own imitation (first picture). We also encountered a scuba diver talking to everyone from underwater in the coral reef. It was kind of fun--they also had a microphone so kids could ask him questions. Most of the questions were in line of whether or not the sharks were going to eat him. They weren't (of the over 400 species of sharks, very few attack humans. You have a better chance of dying from a coconut falling from a tree and hitting you on the head--or so the scuba diver told us).
It was a bit overwhelming for Nils at time, but the both enjoyed seeing animals that the other zoo doesn't have. And many of the exhibits were done well (like the mammoth dig in the Russian Grizzly Coast in the second picture above). We discovered the takin from China (third picture), which became a new favorite animal for us.
The funny thing for me was that the boys' favorite area was the farm. I suppose it's in part because grandpa doesn't have any animals on his farm. I think it was mostly because they could touch most of the animals (goats, sheep, cows, pigs and baby chicks). I enjoyed it, too. The smell of the barns took me back to growing up on the farm and showing livestock at the county fair.
All around, we thought it was pretty cool the variety of life (including the variety of people at the zoo) that God created. Nothing new for Beth and I, but it's fun to be able to see it through little eyes.