Some of you may have noticed that I post "Zoo Day" a lot on Twitter, or if you follow my personal Facebook. We have been going to the NC Zoo every week since July 3. Why? Ty (my 12 year old) is working on his Reptile & Amphibian badge. He finished most of the requirements (all but one) at summer camp back in June. The one requirement left? He had 2 choices. 1) Get a reptile or amphibian pet. Observe it for 30 days. Or. 2) Visit a zoo once a week for 3 months. Pick a reptile or amphibian exhibit and observe it at each visit and note changes, behaviors, etc.
At first we seriously considered #1. But as we have cats and nothing reptilish or amphibianish it would mean getting a lot of new pet supples. Also we have cats. Four cats. That like to eat all the things. And to add to that there is a six-year old and an increasingly mobile one-year old, either of which would be more than happy to help the eternally hungry cats to a snack--they wouldn't intend harm, I don't think, but... I had serious doubts of any new pet making it through the 30 days alive, and then we'd have to start over. I saw the potential for a long string of dead reptile amphibians a la Kisa.
So, I started to consider the zoo option a little more seriously. Zoo tickets weren't a problem. We purchased a membership back in April since it was only $5 more than full ticket price for the whole family. One more trip would make it more than worth wile. Needless to say whether it would be worth while or not is hardly worth considering given the number of trips we've made. The other consideration was time and gas. With my husband's school starting up, that becomes less of an issue because the zoo is only a half and hour or so beyond his school. One morning a week, I'll drop him at work, head for the zoo, then pick him up on my way home. Most of the drive would have already been made, so it won't be that much of an extra cost. All in all, I think we determined the zoo would probably cost less than the pet (even if it lived the whole 30 days the first time through) since we'd have to get all the stuff for an appropriate habitat, plus the animal.
So, that's what we've been doing. We're almost finished with the 2nd month. We'll be finished come the end of September. It's not been that bad, aside from outdoor temperatures exceeding what I find personally comfortable. It's actually been pretty fun, and we've gotten to see some neat things. You'd think it would get boring, but each week has been a little different. We'd see different animals, like last week the rhinos were actually close enough to get a good view of them. The NC Zoo tries to replicate the natural habitat for the animals they have, so the pens for the rhinos, gazelles, elephants, and a lot of the other African animals in particular are really expansive. This is better for the animals, plus it also gives you a better idea of what they're like in their environment. On the down side, it does mean it's hard to see some of the animals. Over all, though, this has been an excellent experience. Although, if you're wondering where some of my blog posts are disappearing to, chances are, on the day I meant to write and post them, I was probably at the zoo. =P