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A couple of weeks ago I’m grinding away at work and get an email. It’s from my work’s social committee and we’re invited to go to the Toronto zoo for the day with your family. And lunch is provided. Sweet. The following is my attempt to document my day.
Early forecasts for the day had the temperature around 14°C (58°F), but it made it up to 20° ( 68°F) , so for me, it was a nice day. I got to be a true dad and wear jeans and running shoes. It was busier than I expected, but as it’s such a big place there weren’t too many places that there were crowds. We got there just before lunch was to start and we went straight to the site for lunch. From the map above, we were in Savanna West, which is a 20 minute walk from the main gate.
I didn’t get any pictures of lunch. It was BBQ chicken, ribs, baked potato and pasta salad for the adults, and pizza for the kids. The food was okay for what i paid for it. And as this was a family event, no alcohol. Probably for the better, as someone ( not me, i swear) would have ended up in one of the enclosures somehow.
Once lunch was finished, we got an animal encounter where the zoo brings a few animals to you. We got to see a ferret, a skunk and an owl. The ferret wouldn’t stay still long enough for anyone to hold. As skunks are nocturnal, it slept the entire time and as the owl still had it’s claws, so we just got to touch the animals. Gotta say that it was weird to be that close to the back end of a skunk and not be in trouble. And I was surprised in how soft a skunk’s fur actually is.
We then wandered off to see the animals
So, a few years ago, we had seasons passes to the zoo. We live about 30 minutes away, and used to go early and then be home for lunch. Anyway, we’re at the cheetah enclosure one day and it’s just my oldest and I. She’d be around 5 at the time. She’s running around and not really looking at the cheetah as it’s too far away. I’m watching the cheetah wander around, and then it stops and crouches down. At this point you can only see it’s face. Then after a few seconds, it just explodes towards us. It covered the 75 yards between it and us in a second, only to stop inches short of the glass. If we’d been out in the wild, there’s no way that i would have been able to cover the 10 feet or so between my daughter and I before the cheetah would have got her. Those things are crazy fast.
What it should have been hunting.
These are my favoUrite animal, and I’m assuming that it’s mandatory that any zoo trip includes at least a picture of one of these on this site.
I should have taken down the names of the animals, but i’m not that smart.
One of the new attractions this year is the baby pygmy hippo. We were there for 5 minutes and it slept the whole time underwater.
There are also exhibits inside, so that the climate can be closer to what the animal would live in when in the wild.
Some fish, and this is not just a shot of the aquarium channel on the teevee.
The otters were playing around and swimming when we were walking up but by the time i got to a good place to take a shot, this was all i got. They then just laid there for a while and my attention span of a goldfish (not pictured) kicked in and we wandered off.
One of the other attractions to see is the new baby gorilla. Caution the following image may be NSFW.
I wonder how many times these guys have escaped.
not a tire
Again, I wanted to see the sloth moving, but got bored waiting for it to move. As it was Sunday afternoon, I figure this best represents the DFO spirit animal.
There were lots of frogs, i think the first ones are poisonous
Lots of lizards in this exhibit. The little ones in here are crazy fast.
Similar to how bad the Jaguars played on this Sunday (Sept 23rd), this is the best picture I was able to get. The cage, lighting and angles all sucked here for a good picture.
Here’s a monkey that just doesn’t care anymore. Note that the dots are on the glass.
The balance shown here is amazing.
The polar bear was right against the glass. It’s huge, the picture doesn’t give much perspective. Each paw is the size of a larger frying pan
And the bear even put on a “show”. Possibly NSFW
Note that the bear peed for well over a minute after this. Not sure to be jealous or afraid.
These West Caucasian Tur were pretty active. But I’m not sure why you would want to eat the bark.
The audio here isn’t that good, but the clanging is the horns hitting the cage.
The frilly lizards remind me of a twitter argument. All show, no substance.
The jelly fish were in a quiet room, so kinda weird to have these luminescent things floating around when it was quiet.
Some random pics of animals
We had fun day at the zoo, and a better use of my time than watching the foot bul. We ended up walking around 12,000 steps or close to 8 km\ 5 miles or so says my phone. So, my choice of running shoes was a good one. If you do ever go here, do NOT go to the Canadian domain (top right in the map) unless you have the “zoo mobile” train pass. The map is NOT to scale and not shown is a crazy hill you need to walk up and down. If you zoom in on the map, it’s got a little warning about the distance, but it needs to be in big bold letters. I’ve made the mistake of going down there when walking before, so knew not to go this time.
And I’m proud that I managed to get through a whole zoo post without any Madagascar, Raffi or Wizard of Oz jokes.
(Map image via here)