Monday, August 17, 2009

The animals we got to pet

Knowing my dad & his love for the zoo, why does it surprise me that we went to three different animal-themed places during our two week trip to Canada?

We visited:
-the African Lion Safari in Toronto, where you drive through the first portion, then get out and see even more animals.
-the Toronto Zoo.
-Marineland in Niagara Falls

I don't have pics of ALL the animals we got to pet and ride, but here are some of them.

Here are the kids riding a camel at the Toronto Zoo.
From 2009 August

You'd like a video of the camel ride, you say? Just click the picture below!
From 2009 August

This is also at the Zoo. This Kimono Dragon was a very popular photo spot for all the kids.
From 2009 August

Unfortunately, Merani became the keeper of the dragon and didn't like anybody else to have a turn. Actually, we had walked away from the dragon and were moving on to the next exhibit. But Merani was throwing a fit b/c she loved that darn dragon so much! So, I finally agreed to walk back to the dragon with her while the rest of our group moved ahead. She & I sat there by the dragon for probably 30 minutes while everybody else saw other animals. She would sit on there until another kid came along for a photo opportunity, then I would suggest that she come near me so that they could have a turn, but I often had to pull her away against her will. As soon as they were done, she would sit back on the dragon until another kid would come 1 minute later. It was a trying 30 minutes, for both of us. :)

We had brought walkie-talkies, so we could meet back up with our group afterwards.

This next one is pretty cool. The zoo had a special stingray exhibit - and we actually got to pet them! You can't actually see them too well in this photo, but there is one there that you can see in the water in front of Jacob. Some of them seemed very friendly, flapping their fin up along the side of the pool so that you could pet them easily. They were really soft & smooth. Jacob says they felt slippery.
From 2009 August

At Marineland, we paid extra for the kids to have the chance to pet and feed a Beluga Whale. Here are a couple of pics from that.

First, Erin, Jacob, & Merani next to the trainer.
From 2009 August

And Jacob having his turn to pet the whale.
From 2009 August

If you'd ask Merani about feeding the whales, she would probably tell you that she got to feed them fish that were dead. Then she'd ask why the fish were dead. All day, she wished she could feed them fish that were alive. When we saw some that were alive in a pond elsewhere, she wanted to bring one to the Beluga Whales.

Also at Marineland, they had a Deer area. Yes, they branched out from just marine animals. Here's Merani petting a couple of deer.
From 2009 August

From 2009 August

I don't have pictures of it, but at the African Lion Safari, they had pony & elephant rides. Merani rode a pony. I walked along beside her, and when she was done, she wished that I hadn't walked along next to her. She wanted to go again to remedy this, but I couldn't justify the price for that. :) Jacob initially wanted to ride an elephant but changed his mind later. They also had a small petting zoo area there, with goats and alpacas. Merani fed the goats lots of grass and loved the soft feel of the alpacas' heads.


  1. Just thought I'd clarify that the Kimono Dragon is not a live animal like the others featured. It's just a statue, but it seemed to fit into the theme of this post so I put it in anyways. :)

  2. I love riding animals, camels are interesting--bony and wobbly, but rolling. Sometimes I'm sorry for the time period I'm in for the loss of the more organic transportation.

    I could tell the dragon was a statue ;)

    I got to pet stingrays at Six Flags marine world, they really do feel awesome.

    I'm very jealous of the beluga petting ;)

    Lilly hasn't ridden a live animal yet, she's still shy of them. I've ridden elephants, too and they're strange because they're so big and the saddlebox is so big, but still that sense of living being beneath.

  3. Heather - I don't remember having ridden animals when I was younger. I probably didn't b/c I doubt my parents would have been the type to pay extra for those types of things. :)

    But it seems that the majority of the ones I've seen are directed towards kids. Do you think they would have let ME ride the camel if I wanted? Or do you have to go to a special place to find adult opportunities for that?

  4. Oh I am quite sure they would let you ride Nikki. At the Ren Fest one year I wanted to let Gioia ride, but she was too little so they said an adult had to ride also, but wanted to charge me for the extra person. I passed.