Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Daddy Adventure Day - Henry Vilas Zoo (again)

It's a beautiful day here in Madison!  We knew we had to spend our Daddy Adventure morning doing something outside, so we gave Amelia her choice.  Last night, she'd decided that we were going to go to the race car park, but this morning, she told Ben that we were going to go back to the zoo.  It was a perfect day for the zoo, although it was pretty crowded.

Amelia says her favorite animals were the prairie dogs again.  We got to hear the prairie dogs chatter this time.

But I think she really liked the porcupine.  As we were looking at the porcupine, Amelia informed us that the porcupine's quills are actually made of hair (a fact that she learned from her My Big Backyard magazine from Grace).  She also told us that a porcupine is a mammal.

Megan was very excited to see the monkeys again, but unfortunately, we didn't get to see them very well.  Most of them were not in their cages today. 

Ben said his favorite part of our zoo trip was watching Megan climb up the rope ladder at the playground.  She's a great little climber!  Amelia wouldn't attempt this, even though I know she could do it, too.

 But when asked what his favorite animal at the zoo was today, Ben said the giant tortoise.  He and Megan are looking at the tortoise in this photo:

The tortoises were outside today, and we were surprise to see the male tortoise slowly walk over to the other side of the exhibit.  "Wow," we thought, "isn't it unusual to see a tortoise walking around?  Aren't we lucky?"  And then we figured out what the tortoise was walking towards: the female tortoise.  Amelia asked why the big tortoise was climbing on top of the smaller tortoise.  We explained to Amelia that the two tortoises were wrestling.  Interestingly, the male tortoise made several very loud grunting noises.  I have never heard a tortoise make any kind of noise before, and if asked, I would have guessed that tortoises didn't make any noise at all.  Well, now you know, they do. 

I think my favorite animal today was the red panda, which we learned is most closely related to raccoons, weasels and skunks.  It is only distantly related to the giant panda.  There, you learned something today!  Amelia thought it looked like a cat.

We also enjoyed looking at the camel, who was resting:

the ostrich, who was trying to bite through the chain link fence:

and the flamingos:

Of course, the girls also liked "being" animals:


  1. Huh, what interesting encounters at the zoo. Did you leave the turtles alone?

    I actually knew that about red pandas. Can you guess where I learned that? It's so lame but from Zoo Tycoon.