First let me start out by saying we aren't zoo people. We have been to several and just have usually left underwhelmed. Our favorite zoo before now was the Topeka Zoo. I suppose that must mean we like small zoos where there might not be a lot of variety but things come more quickly and they are closer to you. I am sure that the enclosures aren't ideal for the animals, which leaves me with a slightly guilty feeling for prefering the small zoo.
When discussing our ocean visit, Jack said he wanted to see a sea turtle and a crocodile. Now, knowing that neither of these were likely, I set about trying to find ways to make it happen. I found the website for the Gulf Shore Zoo and decided that Reptile Encounter would be perfect for it. It rained Friday morning, but the storm had passed and so we headed out. We went there and because of the rain, the encounter was closed. We almost decided to leave. But we decided to stay, paid for the lemur experience and got a cup of food. And that's when the fun began.
We started out seeing this ugly duck. Jack tried to offer it some food, but it wasn't interested in much.
Next up was the lion. I was still pretty underwhelmed, but Jack wanted my phone so he could snap this pic.
Next up was a Bengal tiger who was sitting in a perfect place to see him up close.
Next came a good set of animals who wanted the food. There was this cute llama.
But Jack mostly loved the goat who liked who was super demanding and always seemed like he was trying to shake.
Next there were some deer who liked food, but they didnt hold Jack's interest.
Next we saw Charlie the Crocodile. He has been at the zoo since 1989 when he was rescued because he kept trying to take people's picnic baskets at a state park. He wasn't moving much while we were there, but he was still a pretty amazing site to see. He is about 11 feet long. His eyes popping up from the water were pretty freaky.
Next we headed to see the black leopards. Jack was totally fascinated by these two, but I'm not sure why. The older cat did walk to us once, but there wasn't much action.
There were several smaller monkeys in the middle with animals to feed on the outside.
Aunt Jess, we were wondering if these were ugly enough to make your favorite animals lists. They look like should be a cousin to the tapir.
Here is a another angle just to help you decide.
Jack fed another burro. The girl in the enclosure was blowing bubbles at him, but he didn't care. I guess maybe he likes to play with them sometimes.
Next up was the highlight of the zoo. I wish we would have known how awesome it was going to be so we would have paid for Nick to be in there too. Here follows a picture overload from our lemur encounter.
We didn't walk much further and there was a baby kangaroo experience. Nick and Jack did this one. It was pretty awesome too. Here is our picture overload from that experience.
One had just used his back legs to hop away and Jack was literally taken aback but it's power.
They had one in a pouch you could hold. He was a bit heavy and awkward for Jack.
But Nick did well.
They also had an experience where you could play with Baby Bengal tigers, but that experience had over a month waiting list. We were still able to see them and get only a wires cage away.
We looped back around and took a couple more pictures, including one of the mama of the baby lemurs that we had loved on.
As we were leaving, the male lion had came out and was walking around. He was quite the impressive beast.
I hope you've enjoyed our picture walk through our new favorite zoo.