We took a rather spontaneous trip to the Columbus Zoo today. We were there less than three hours, but that is the benefit of having a membership(thanks to Pat and Bob, my in-laws, for providing it for us!). If we decide we want to go for just a little while, we can.
Today was probably our shortest zoo trip ever, but it was more than worth it. We finally got to see the new Polar Frontier exhibit. It opened late spring, and, once the weather gets hot, we usually avoid the zoo, so we hadn't been able to explore the new exhibit before now. The animals don't like to be in the heat any more than we do, which makes the zoo not quite as fun. Today, we went late in the day hoping that the heat of the day was past enough to encourage the animals to be more active. Somewhere around 5:30, they seemed to start coming alive.
The Polar Frontier is pretty cool. We've been waiting for what seemed like forever for it to open. They moved our favorite bears, the brother brown bears, to a new, much larger habitat in the polar region. They were entertaining, as usual. The polar bears were laying around for the most part, but it was still cool to see them. I think we'll enjoy them more this fall when the weather is more tolerable for them. The arctic foxes were adorable. They were chasing each other and playing. We briefly went into the tunnel under the polar bears. It was kind of cool to look up and see trout swimming over our heads, though I wasn't very interested in staying under there for long. Inside the exhibit there was so much fun, educational stuff to see. We'll explore that further on another trip since our time was rather limited on this zoo adventure. They designed this new exhibit so well, as they always do. The Columbus Zoo never ceases to impress me.
We left the polar region about five minutes before the zoo closed, but we took our time. Having worked in the zoo back in college, I know they allow you to meander through for an hour after closing, but they won't tell you that at the gate. Heehee! We made it to the gate by 7:30, half an hour past closing, but we enjoyed a few animals on the way through. The wolverines were out, which seems to be rare. The otters were back in their habitat, which was a thrill since they had three sweet otter pups! The otters smell so awful that I actually gagged several times, but they're still one of my favorite spots in the zoo. They're completely adorable.
Our family loves our zoo. We enjoy any zoo, of course, but our zoo is definitely the best we've ever seen. We're so spoiled, and we love it. If they keep adding new exhibits like this (which I hope they do. We need some hippos. I hear an African savanna is in the plans, and I hope it's true!), they're going to have to start offering 2 day tickets. If you're in Ohio, go to the Columbus Zoo. See everything I mentioned. Visit the manatees. The gorilla house is awesome. The reptile house is pretty cool (though I could avoid it altogether and not be disappointed). There are lorakeets to feed, okapi to arouse curiosity, giant tortoises, lion cubs, tigers...gosh. There's so much. It really is tough to squeeze it all into one day. It's so worth it to give it a try. Even if you miss something, you'll never be disappointed.