Let’s Go to the Zoo

“Go to the zoo,” they said. “It’ll be fun,” they said. Clearly they haven’t been to the zoo when the wind chill puts the temperature at -10°. Saturday was the start of another freezing weekend that was much too cold to ride, so instead of hibernating inside all day, José and I drove down to Rhode Island to go to the Roger Williams Park Zoo.

Like our last mid-winter zoo adventure, this one was barren and relatively inactive. We joked about how the ticket attendants were probably laughing at all the people who thought the animals would be out (aka, us), as a large portion of the exhibits were closed due to the day’s freezing temps. Of the animals that were out in their enclosures, most of them were huddled inside their shelters or pig-piled on one another for warmth. Thankfully, a few of the buildings like the Tropical America exhibit and the Elephant and Giraffe Pavilion were set to balmy temperatures which was a nice break from the cold wind biting at our cheeks.

After having a good laugh about the first animal we spotted, an audad, and its unusual name (pronounced ow-dad), we found a temporary building that held some of the rainforest animals and a tiny cotton-top tamarin was particularly interested in José.

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The zoo is home to three African elephants and a few Masai giraffes that were much less active than the tamarins and all huddled inside a large pavilion. Because they were only behind a small fence and some ropes, it let you get a closer look than normal—you could see all the little cracks in the elephants’ skin and their long eyelashes. We spent quite a bit of time there as I was awestruck with being so close to something so huge.

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The rest of the day consisted of us meandering through the rest of the outdoor exhibits.

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The last enclosure we passed was my favorite and the main reason I wanted to go—the bison. Ax is my buffalo, but these guys are so big and fuzzy that I can’t help but want to bring them home with me.

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