Sunday, December 03, 2006

More Animals than People

Yesterday I got to the Zoo and was scheduled in the Work Shop first, where we do arts and crafts with the kids. One kid came in. Then I moved over to finish making some of the Christmas decorations with the kids. No kids showed up to help so I was making a giant papermache dove by myself. I think my supervisor felt sorry for me since he said he'd take over with the dove and sent me over the the Children's Zoo Barn to see if they needed any help.

When I got to the barn, there were ..... no kids in the petting zoo area. They keep the baby chicks inside the barn in the winter, in a big open pen full of woodshavings and tiny bales of hay. The volunteers can step right inside the pen with them when you are trying to pick one up. I stepped into the pen and a dozen chicks swarmed my shoes, pecking at my shoelaces and one of them climbed up into my shoe and fell into the cuff of my khaki's. Too cute. They have some new black leghorn chicks that are a chocolate brown with yellow spots - imagine tiny dalmation chickens. I picked up a few of them - my favorite was the all brown chick with one yellow spot on it's face like an eye patch. He was very content to sit in my hand and look around until he fell asleep.

Then I went back to the Play Zoo, asked the two kids I saw there which animals they wanted to see and we took out Blizzard the Rat. He groomed my watch band and then fell asleep on my lap. The kid that picked out Blizzard thought he was boring and his little sister said "Well you're boring when you sleep plus you drooooool". *hah!* She picked the next animal, one of our new baby guinea pigs.

After they left I took out Lemon, the yellow rat snake. I love him - he's so mellow and he wraps himself around your hand and arm and just hangs out. Banana, the old rat snake, would try to launch himself out of your hand when you held him. Usually I get to take out one or two animals for handling but so far I had
3 baby chicks, a rat, a piggie, a snake, and a half hour to spare before I went home. There are a few housecats that live at the Play Zoo so I took Boots on his harness and leash for a walk around.

Supposedly, during Holiday Magic, people come to the zoo around 3 or 4 once it gets closer to being dark for the lights and the lazer show. I guess there isn't anything half bad about getting to spend more time with the animals because there are less guests.

[ edit = If anyone that reads this is in the Chicagoland area, (or wants to travel this way) I have a large stack of free passes to the Zoo that I can send you. 1 adult or 1 child free admission for each pass and they are good to use until Dec. 31. 2006. ]


At 12/03/2006 10:58 PM, Blogger Eva said...

Oh my god, cuteness overload ....POOF!!!

The visual of a swarm of baby chicks attacking your shoe and the cuff of your pants. I just feel warm all over. Yum. And does the brown chick have a name? Like Patches, or Captain Jack Sparrow? Captain Jack Leghorn! Heehee. I'm so jealous of your job.

At 12/04/2006 6:28 PM, Blogger meno said...

I love it when snakes get all cuddly. It's one advantage of then being cold blooded.

At 12/04/2006 7:14 PM, Blogger Weaver said...

The guided tour sounds amazing! We have a pass to our zoo here (the Milwaukee County Zoo) and the kids love it. We are planning to check out the lights there on Saturday. I don't know if we'll be able to head down that way until late winter/early spring, but I will definitely let you know.


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