Wednesday was the day for all the kids' annual checkups at the pediatrician. Happily, they are all healthy and growing as they should be.
With that out of the way, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at the Valley Zoo with our tickets from the Edmonton Attractions Pass. All the way there, Rz joyfully announced: "We're going to Kazoo! We're going to Kazoo!" which of course is what we will always call it from now on!
Our first stop once inside was to see the River Otters and it was feeding time! Apparently they have vicious bites and strong claws - they and the tigers are the only animals at this zoo that are only fed with the zookeeper on the other side of a fence. It was really neat that they had been trained to keep their nose on a little ball (see below) while the zookeeper put drops in their eyes, checked their fur and even trimmed their claws. (I need to learn some of those techniques for child raising!)
The mother was considered a "rogue otter" because she kept leaving the river and getting into people's basements, then biting them when cornered! She was brought to this zoo to keep her and people safer. We learned that otters have this rare and very cool feature called "delayed implantation" so that after being impregnated, they don't actually begin gestation unless they are in a safe habitat.
At this zoo, she was well fed and without predators, resulting in her pregnancy. Sadly, the mother died while still nursing her babies, so the little guy you see below still sucks the tip of his tail to self-comfort when he is stressed! I asked what the mother died of and they said she had all kinds of tumors inside, which is also probably why she was so unpredictable and aggressive. Reminds me of our experience with Domino! :(
|Visiting the Lemur Family|
Ry and Kia are almost too big for this little carousel, but since it was a school day, hardly anyone was here. The attendant was happy enough for them to just let them ride around and around to their hearts' content! Rz doesn't know about all the fancy, sparkly carousels out there so his experience was pure joy on his little plastic horse! Parenting tip: Keep expectations low!
Ry was absolutely thrilled to see the Red Fox in its small zoo habitat, but unfortunately we didn't get a photo this time. That was definitely his highlight of the day though!
Ry and Kia split the cost of a bag of cotton candy to share, then we took a very short ride inside a very mini train.
The Valley Zoo is certainly not a world-class destination, but we had such a pleasant few hours seeing some of Jehovah's creations and enjoying each others' company. Just look at those sweet faces!