Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Visiting the aminals* at the zoo

So The Texan, GI Jane, and I went to the SA Zoo on Saturday. The Texan has had to clock in quite a few hours watching the lemurs for a class project, and I'd never been to the zoo but wanted to, so it was a good excuse to tag along. We got there at 10AM and already there was a howling mob at the front gates. It reminded me of why I used to avoid the Woodley Park metro stop on weekends. It's the one most people used for the National Zoo, and I was tired of parents using their strollers as battering rams through the crowds. San Antonians are not any different when it comes to using their young to knock heedless pedestrians aside.

We walked through to the lemur** exhibit and watched them do....pretty much nothing. To be fair to them, they are nocturnal animals and thus can't really be expected to be doing backflips (not like the black spider monkeys, who were nonstop balls of action. Sigh). GI Jane caught up with us there and we meandered around the zoo together.

Overall, it's an old zoo - seriously, there was one exhibit that had a WPA stamp on it - and it shows. The pens are small and rather run-down. The zoo was making much of its new Africa exhibit, and it *was* bigger than the rest, but that was it. I guess being in SA you're stuck with a desert climate, but it still blows for the animals, a lot of whom had hard-packed dirt and little else to sit on. One in particular I felt bad for, as the exhibit card said it lived in moist environments (I forget what it was, but it looked like a mix between an anteater and a pig), but its pen was bone-dry.

GI Jane wouldn't go with us in the aviary exhibits, claiming she didn't want to get crapped on. I laughed at her...until I got hit by a vile reddish liquid and skidded into a wooden post courtesy of a yellow one.

By 1PM, we were all getting tired and ready to refresh ourselves with $5 Icees (fortunately, they had the only flavors for true Icee enthusiasts: cherry and cola). The Texan went back to see if the lemurs were doing anything noteworthy and GI Jane and I went off to go ride the train that goes around the zoo and through Breckinridge Park (which the zoo is a part of).

I was far too excited about this, and yes, we were the only adults riding the train without any kids. So I felt a little foolish, but also grateful, as apparently every child in the place had decided to hit its self-destruct meltdown button at 1PM. And riding around on the train was quite refreshing -it was the only breeze I felt all day. I don't feel like it's something I'm going to be rushing off to do every weekend though.

What I wish I could do weekly is get a massage. After the zoo, I went to The Texan's cousin, who's a massage therapist, for some work on my back. Sweet sweet bliss - it's 99% better now.

* Sorry, the title was an inside joke to my siblings, one of who as a young tyke had trouble saying "animal" and "cinnamon" - aminal, obviously, and cimmanon. To this day I still think of them that way.

** Did anyone see The Simpsons where Lisa is trying to break Maggie out of the barnyard rut that most kids are put in when learning their animals and instead was showing her flashcards of other types of animals? No? Well, one of them was a lemur, and Lisa said something along, "Look, Maggie. A lemur. LEEE-MUUR." The whole time we were at the zoo, I kept using excuses to say the word "LEE-MUUUR". Where would my conversations be without the Simpsons?


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