What it is, is very hot. The sun is fierce and so bright that it's hard to see some of the animals in the exhibits because the glare blinds you. And whether or not the zoo is hospitable to its animals I can't say, but it is definitely quite hospitable to its insects!
In one [disgusting] word ... FLIES.
Hundreds of them. Biting bare skin and congregating on my little boys' stroller, especially in the sippy cup holder. Ewww! I hadn't gotten twenty feet from the entrance before I turned around, took Ian and Alec out of the stroller and stashed it - unfortunately along with many of its flying visitors - back in the trunk of the van. From there on the little boys walked or were held, but I just couldn't stand the idea of their little hands touching the hordes of nasties that were glued to that stroller. (Needless to say the stroller underwent a complete disinfection upon our return home!)
who incidentally has the hugest creepy eyes
Besides our five kids I also had Kari Spink, our colleagues' daughter, who is one of Eva's best friends. The two of them claim to be nature lovers and have great plans to become veterinarians someday. They, along with Owen, kept up the faster pace at the zoo while Isabel and I managed the little guys (although Ian seemed to think he was quite capable to be counted as one of the big kids and did his best to keep up!) Isabel was a great help with Alec, patiently holding his hand as he waddled behind the group and carrying him when the going got rough. She was also my backup photographer and thanks to her I even managed to be in a picture or two on this trip!
Isabel wanted a picture of the bunnies
Owen seemed to enjoy the visit to the zoo even though he unfortunately fell into an "in between" spot in the group, not quite big enough to chum around with the girls but too big for his little brothers. On a couple of occasions he tried to help discipline Ian and Alec by swatting their hands when they came too close to an animal's fence, but that only resulted in reciprocal swats and a trio of angry little boys!
Owen taking a break
All in all it was an okay experience, although one that I don't imagine we will repeat too soon. Perhaps I am more germophobic than I realized because every time my little guys stuck their hands into their mouths I cringed thinking of everything those little fingers had come into contact with on our walk around the zoo. But I am glad we gave it a try and look forward to introducing the kids to a bigger and better experience someday elsewhere. :)