On April 26, the Cleveland Zoo had a free zoo day. We both had the day off, so Carson and I thought "why not?" and went. Both the zoo and the rain forest were free, and the latter is usually an additional cost so it seemed like a good plan.The zoo opened at 10am, but due to unforeseen circumstances (traffic) we didn't get there until closer to 10:45. There were lines and lines of cars just waiting to pull into the parking lot, so we went around them, parked on a side street and walked about a mile downhill to the zoo.
I checked later to see how many people were at the free zoo day and discovered that the number was over 35,000. So basically we missed the crowd. Oddly enough, looking through these pictures, it didn't look like that many people were there. As we were leaving, even more traffic was backed up and many more crowds of people were heading into the zoo. It was a zoo, if I may use a pun.
We first began by the lions, who were looked mildly annoyed that so many eyes were on them.
And next to the rhinoceroses, which Carson proclaimed were his "favorite". We sat and watched them do absolutely nothing for a long time because "they are so powerful and neat".
After watching the sea lions zip around in their little pool (one of them was asleep on the side and didn't move, which prompted many onlookers to question whether or not he was alive - but the zoo employee standing nearby assured us that he was. Jury's still out.), we headed over to the grizzly bears. "They're exactly like dogs!" Carson exclaimed happily. We watched this guy play with a stick and roll around for a long time while his fellow grizzly bear napped in the shade.
Next were the camels. All around the fence, mothers were asking toddlers to count how many humps this guy had. By the way, going to the zoo without a small child looks funny.
Next we saw the spectacled bear, which Carson said was "useless" and by that I think he just meant "small".
So many people were saying "here kitty kitty" and making cat noises at this guy. I felt a little sorry for him.
Some of these fish were bigger and creepier in real life.
I really couldn't tell you what sort of monkey this was, but it was showing off big time.
This barely conveys how crowded it was.
So this picture is supposed to have an elephant in the background, which it obviously does not. It's behind Carson's head.
A lady saw us struggling to take a self picture and offered to snap a real one. You can see the elephant's behind to the right of my head.
We took our foot picture, cotton candy included because the animal footprints in concrete didn't show up so well.
People on stilts. The one on the right is on her phone. That's talent, people.
After leaving the main zoo, we went to the rainforest. The level of humidity was much less than I anticipated, but it was a lot warmer in there.
The little yellow things here are tiny monkeys with orange faces, though I know they look like caterpillars.
Bats. My dad calls all bats "ding" as in dingbat. Or something. I've never actually asked why he calls them that, but I said "look, it's ding" to Carson and he looked at me quizzically and just took a picture without asking questions.
These are muskrats (one is swimming with his head up and the other is relaxing, feet up in that hole). I didn't know what they were but Carson said that's what they smelled like. Muskrats do not smell good.
It was a pretty decent day at the zoo. For all the traffic and how crowded it was, we were able to avoid most of it by walking, and we estimate that we walked about 5 miles. I was incredibly thankful for my once-in-a-lifetime decision to wear my running shoes instead of pretty shoes, as that would have made the day less enjoyable. We're glad we went and that the initial line of cars going into the zoo didn't deter us too much. It was a beautiful day (I really could have gotten away not wearing so many layers) and a fun way to spend the weekend.