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Philadelphia Zoo

Last Monday, Shawn's mom came to visit and we all went to the zoo! Even though we only live six miles from it, Shawn and I had never ventured over there before. Shawn's not a big fan of zoos, for the reasons you would think: animals in too-small spaces, hefty price of admission, lots of kids running around... But I always enjoy a trip to the zoo, and it was something we could do that his mom would enjoy too. So off we went!

We saw lots of different monkeys, some huge (and stinky) fruit bats, a few big cats, some big mammals from Africa, some small mammals from all over the world, lots and lots of reptiles (in particular - a lizard licking a rattlesnake!), a group of happy sea otters, two sleepy polar bears... and lots of other animals. The only place we didn't visit was the bird house because I think birds are a little creepy.

The meerkats were my favorite animal that we saw. They are so silly! And incredibly hard to photograph because they do not stop moving. One of them was running around in circles in front of us to get our attention, while the rest of the group huddled together over a paper bag. The small mammals were definitely the best part of the zoo for me... they even had some sleepy anteaters! Which were a lot larger than I thought they would be.

They also had a few art exhibits featuring sculptures made from materials that can't be recycled. There were bears made from spark plugs, a rhinoceros made from silver platters, small stop motion animals, and some shadow art made from old computer parts.

It was definitely the only zoo I've been to where the animals were incredibly active. Maybe it's because we went early in the morning when the zoo first opened, so they weren't all lethargic like they are in the afternoon... though I like to think it's because the animals are happy there! I did feel bad for some of the larger mammals... the animals in the African section didn't have much space to run around at all, and some of the monkeys looked like they could use more space as well. But Philadelphia zoo recently installed Zoo 360 - mesh trails that run around the zoo, allowing some of the larger animals to roam during the day! We saw a few monkeys using it, and at one point we went behind a food building to catch our breath and caught a tiger laying in the trail, watching the geese in the pond. We were about six feet away from him!

If you've ever thought about going to the Philadelphia Zoo, I definitely recommend checking it out! Apparently it's America's first zoo, too.