We had a zoo day this week! We took the children to a local private zoo in Limestone, Tennessee called Brights Zoo. We have been to this zoo several times in years past and have always enjoyed it. You can read about our very first time going to Brights Zoo here. It was quite a memorable experience. This visit, too, was memorable because it was our daughters first experience at Brights Zoo.
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I love that Brights Zoo offers “Keeper Talks” and animal feedings at certain times of the day. When we first arrived we headed straight for the Giraffe feeding area. We only had to wait a few moments before the Giraffes made their appearance. Our son didn’t believe me when I told him a giraffe was walking up behind him. He seemed to think I was pulling his leg. Best Photo Bomb EVER!
The children each got to feed the Giraffes a carrot from their hands. Our daughter, Jade, thought this was the most tremendous part of the whole day. As we were leaving the Giraffe area, the big male seemed to take an interest in our little girl. She proceeded to tell him how long his neck was and how long his legs were and that her Papa had bought her a cherry slushy and did Mr. Giraffe like her new pink shoes? It was the cutest conversation!
Everywhere we turned there were new and exciting creatures to discover. Ostriches, Arabian Oryx, Zebras, Baird’s Tapir, Bactrian Camels, Lemurs, Spider Monkeys,Capybara, Coatimundis and Red Pandas were all represented. It was an extremely hot day, but the extra large slushies seemed to make it more manageable. We paid for the over abundance of sugar later that night, but while at the zoo they were a sweet treat.
Our son met his old friend, the Southern Ground-Hornbill. The first time we visited the zoo, this very same bird tried to give our son a pebble from his beak. This time was no different. As soon as he spotted Gabriel, the Hornbill picked up a small rock and walked back and forth in front of our son. Gabriel was so pleased that his friend remembered him. He plans on making a journal entry about it and researching more about the Southern Ground-Hornbills of Africa in his encyclopedias back home.
The spray stations made wonderful pit stops around the zoo. The cool mist was really inviting. Even Papa couldn’t resist!
We even hand fed the pygmy goats! At one point another little girl was feeding them from a paper bag and the goats grabbed the bag from her and ate it! The Whole Bag! I’ve heard that goats will eat anything, but I had never witnessed it before!
We were thrilled to make it to the African Crested Porcupine Keeper Talk. We almost missed it due to our own navigational error, ha! We all got to pet this 6 month old Crested porcupine and learn some interesting facts like:
- Baby porcupines quills are soft at birth and harden after about 1 week
- Porcupines are in the Rodent family
- Crested Porcupines are Nocturnal
- Crested Porcupines very seldom climb trees but can swim
- When bothered, the Crested Porcupine will stamp its feet, whirr its quills, and charge the disturber back end first. These attacks are known to have killed lions, leopards, hyenas, and even humans
I foresee us adding these interesting facts to our nature journals!
We had a grand time at Brights Zoo this week. The kids made some fun memories with quite a few unexpected animals. We also made memories as a family. We can’t wait to research all of the animals we saw and learn even more about each species!
When did you last visit the zoo?