The Penguinarium

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A few weeks ago Ted was studying penguins at school. He would come out of school waddle over to the car and tell us all about the new trivia facts he learned about penguins. I remembered there being this “huge” penguinarium at the Detroit zoo so on a day off the boys and I loaded ourselves into Nana’s truck and went with her to the Detroit zoo to see the penguins.
It was probably 15 years since I last visited the Detroit zoo. The penguinarium was not as big as I remembered, but it was still pretty cool. There are 3 types of penguins there: King penguins (which look like emperor penguins but not as big), Rockhopper penguins, and Macaroni penguins. We were lucky enough to be there at feeding time. Did you know, penguins will only swallow fish head first? It they swallow them tail first the scales will scratch their throats.

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The boys all thought the penguins where very cool and funny to watch. But our trip didn’t stop there. We went to just about every open building there. Jensen’s favorite was the reptile house. I think that was because it was warm enough in there to take off his coat and walk around. Also the animals were all at eye level in there. This long necked turtle was just as interested in Jensen as Jensen was interested in the turtle.

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A really neat exhibit is the Arctic Ring of Life. Oddly enough it started snowing as we stepped into the Arctic Ring and stopped as we exited. I thought the arctic foxes were just too cute!

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The exciting part of the exhibit is the underwater tunnel. There is space for both seals and polar bears to swim around and right over head in here. We spent a long time watching the seals, which were so kind as to delight my boys long enough for this great picture with Nana.

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The polar bear was all curled up off in the depths of his exhibit so we didn’t get to see much of him. He did stick his nose up in the air and sniff around when we walked by eating granola bars. The boys thought he might be hungry. He was not the only animal interested in our granola bars though:

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This peacock was very interested in us, especially Jensen. I would guess that he steals food from babies on a regular basis. He followed us from the Arctic Ring in the middle of the zoo almost all the way to the back where we visited the giraffes.

I don’t have any pictures of the giraffes, but I wish I had been able to get a good picture. The female giraffe was due any day now (I was unable to find any information on if she has delivered yet this morning). The poor thing looked so uncomfortable. She was hanging out in a more private area of the exhibit but we could see how large she was. As we were getting ready to go we also got to see the baby kick. I thought that was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Life is amazing, and this was pure life ready to come into the world.

 At one time there were a few wallabies at the Toledo Zoo, but there moved out when Nature’s Neighborhood opened, but it was nothing like the Detroit Zoo’s kangaroo exhibit. This is an open exhibit. The animals can hop right up to you if they want. One hopped right past Kaelen, within arm’s reach, while he read a sign. I was surprised how active the kangaroos were on such a cold day.

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 Even thought it was really cold we had a good time. I think we might go up again when it is a little warmer out. I would like to get a better view of the wolverine, which was one of Ted’s favorites even though we just saw a little tuft of fur, and see a baby giraffe. It’s (back) on the list of things to do.

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