A Trip to the Zoo with my Lucky Charm, Lily

I feel like I am forever playing catch up with my life on this blog, especially when it comes to processing photos. On May 31st, I took Lily to the Henry Doorly Zoo here in Omaha. I have been there several times, but we quickly realized it had been about 7 years since she had been there. There were not a TON of people there, as there was rain predicted, but there were definitely more than when I was going before if was completely opened and I was wearing a winter coat. We spent about 5 hours walking around. We had a blast. Lily really loves puffins. They had some in the aquarium near the penguins. She was pretty excited to spend some time watching them in action. They aren’t the most popular exhibit so we were able to spend quite a bit of time watching them on the way in….and then stopped again to say goodbye on the way out. She also really liked the red panda, which, I have to admit, is pretty darn cute. He doesn’t come out much but was out for about 20 minutes that day before going back indoors. I hadn’t had a chance to see him prior to this visit. Evidently he is shy. The bengal tiger who is always snoozing…was, well, snoozing. However, it is warm enough that the flies were out and bothering him enough that he got up and was pacing throughout his enclosure. This allowed me to get some good photos of him. Lily was certainly my lucky charm! The lionesses were out and when they hear the click of my camera, tend to look right at me, so that helps to get good photos…but it still makes me shiver on the other end of a telephoto camera to see a giant lethal cat like that staring me down. The rhinos were mud bathing. The pigmy hippos were blowing bubbles. The giraffes were making faces….although I found out later that the matron of the herd had died the day prior. These photos are of all the adult females…so perhaps they were feeling a bit lost. I know how that goes. The elephants were outside….Eugenia and Sony were with their moms for a big but then decided to give us all a show and have a bit of a romp. They were wrestling and playing. What a pure joy it was to watch them play together. I am guessing it is pretty rare to have two elephant calves to photograph that are so close together in age…they are only 2 weeks apart. They are still nursing. Sony is the youngest, but as a bull calf, is now bigger than Eugenia. She tended to be the one on top of the elephant calf pig pile though.

Now that the zoo is fully open, we were able to get food and drinks there. If you live here in Omaha, I am warning you that when they say “elephant sized pretzel” they mean it. It was literally the width of my forearm and came in a medium sized pizza box. It was the best pretzel I have ever had, but it feeds a family of six. You have been warned. Lily and I had such a wonderful time walking around experiencing the zoo. I had over 22,000 steps by the end of the day (I did go to a cardio class and walk the dog in addition to the zoo…but still….lots of walking). We haven’t seen the seal lions yet. Maybe I will try and head out sometime soon for that. It is just beastly hot right now and I am not sure a lot of the animals will be out because of the triple digit weather. Anyhow, if you are tired of cute zoo animals, sorry to disappoint. There are several photos. Even the cheetahs were cooperating. I am going to have to take Lily more often!

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