The Blank Park Zoo

Hi everyone and welcome back.

This weekend we didn’t have much planned as I needed to service my car at the dealership since we drive my car everywhere and anywhere. That being said; my car needed a small break and also since we were at the dealership, I took the opportunity to talk to a couple of TDI ambassadors about my vehicle. Yeah! Sadly, my SUV was affected by the VW “Diesel gate” and I needed to sort a few things out. Eyra ran around everywhere at the dealership, she was grabbing magazines, she ate, she laid on the floor, she kissed a bunch of cars and she called some random tires “cute”. I can actually say…She might be hooked to the awesomeness of VW’s. (Got to start them young).

For the past week, we have encounter nothing but rain and Saturday we finally had a break for a change. We wanted to do something outdoors but didn’t know what to do. Well… we decided to do something small, simple, reasonable, close to our location and awesome. The Blank Park Zoo was our first choice, because there is no such thing as seeing too many animals back to back weekends.  We really enjoy the zoo and it seems that now, Eyra enjoys the zoo even more or at least pays more attention than she used to. The coolest part is when Eyra tries to mimic the animal sounds (we encourage it) and she nails the monkey sounds and she is proud of it too.

What can you expect at a zoo besides animals? Well let’s see. The service of course!! I am assuming that since the weather has been pretty dreary this past week people thought they weren’t going to take any risks and go outside, which was great news for us because I can literally say, we had almost the whole zoo to ourselves. The zoo is always exciting but the Blank Park Zoo has a freshly new addition since October 11th, 2016. A female baby rhino! She is super adorable and playful and yet so fragile. I read the header of an article once or maybe I saw a post on Facebook, I honestly can’t remember where I saw it but it talked about how the majority of big mighty animals are vegetarian. Who said you need meat to be big and strong? Look at the rhino, the hippo, the bison and let us not forget, the elephant. All of these animals are big, strong and of course, total bad a$$es! My point is this, when the baby rhino was born, she weighed 80 pounds. 6 months later, she now weighs 500 pounds according to the zoo keeper and mama rhino weighs 2 tons. Someone from the crowd said, “feeding a rhino must be very expensive, now I know why the tickets are pricey”. The zoo keeper responded, the rhinos are vegetarian, therefore it’s not as costly as people may think. A single non vegetarian person may spend more in food in a year than what it would cost to feed a rhino solely because of the 2 different diets.  Yet these animals may look like tanks, their hearts are as soft as a pillow, not bad for a vegetarian if you ask me. Abby and I have reached our 8 months of becoming vegetarian and we feel great.

One of the things I love about this zoo is their exhibitions, yes, they may be small but we are happy to support them, never underestimate the size of the zoo. Yes, the Blank Park Zoo is not as big as the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium or as fascinating as the San Diego Zoo or even as impressive as the Shedd Aquarium but let me tell you, the Blank Park Zoo truly is amazing. It was built to show the world the beauty of the animal kingdom and to save animals who are endangered in the wild for many reasons, one of them being poachers. Another example for dwindling species is almost the complete opposite, let’s take a look at the Snow Leopard, there are more Snow Leopards in captivity than there are in the wild and that reason is because the Snow Leopard has a rough time finding a partner of the opposite sex to reproduce. Despite the size of the Blank Park Zoo, they have a common goal with all the other zoo’s in the nation and that is to help conserve and maintain animal’s habitats around the world.

Eyra Got to feed some goats and I avoided the llamas because I didn’t want to repeat the spit shower as I encountered that the year before. It was pretty gross and sticky and the funny thing is I just looked at it and said; look babe, this llama seems like it’s going to spit on me and BOOM, the spit was all over my face, I think I got some in my mouth too. We then walked over to some small cow looking things and Eyra really wanted to touch the “puppy”. I totally thought this cow was going to nail Eyra, I was about to wrestle it down if it made one wrong move and believe me I was ready. Eyra touched it and scared the crap out of it and it looked like it was going to charge. Pretty scary and my dad instinct kicked in. Fortunately, nothing bad happened but Eyra did get scared and ran to mommy for some snuggles. I maintained eye contact with the cow as if we were in a Mexican standoff, I like to say that I won. It just makes me feel better.

Out of the 4 times that I’ve been to the Blank Park Zoo I have only seen the otter once and this time I got pretty close and chatted for a bit (mainly about fish) he really liked that (I am assuming that since he didn’t walk away) and was making funny noises as if he was talking back at me. I also mentioned if he has ever seen the super hot Galapagos’s tortoise from around the corner, he said no.

A year ago I saw a red panda sleeping on top of a pagoda, funny enough the red panda was sleeping on that same location again as if it never moved since the last time I saw him. My picture looks the same now as it does last year’s. It makes sense, it’s not like they roam around the zoo throughout the day, I probably would do the same thing.

I had to take a picture with an FJ40 Land cruiser that the zoo has in display and that is because I own one. Right now it’s just sitting in the garage with a bunch of camping equipment on top of it, I have yet to clean my garage since we bought our new house. It may be Eyra’s cruiser when she grows up, I am not sure yet, it depends if she appreciates it as much as I do. I haven’t used mine in a while, maybe soon!

I can honestly say that the Blank Park Zoo has a ton of poison dart frogs, maybe more than the Shedd Aquarium, and I took my time taking photos of them since there was literally no one there, the turtles looked as if they were going to procreate and I decided to give them some space and proceeded to the aquarium section that the zoo has and paid a visit to (Dory’s family) the Blue Tangs.

The Flamingos are always cool to see and its impressive to see how they sleep. They sleep with one leg up and maintain their balance the entire time. I wonder if bored Chilean’s play flamingo tipping just like Americans play cow tipping, which is harder than it sounds (so I hear).

Eyra loves the seals, I think the big sea lion at the Shedd Aquarium left quite the impression because she was glued to the underwater exhibit at the Blank Park Zoo and she was there for quite a while, we had to carry her out of there to conclude our day. As we were leaving we stopped of course by the gift shop. Just as we walked in, the lady at the counter received a prank call that a lion had escaped from the zoo, she said it happened numerous times last year during April fool’s day but she had to treat the call as a serious threat and call it in. Those cheeky bastards (pranksters). We had an excellent day and stayed close to home. I wonder what adventure will come next??

To be continued…

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