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The Columbus Zoo in Charleston.

May 14, 2012

This past Saturday our good friends and next door neighbors (mentioned here) held their son’s 5th birthday party at  a local park.  It was no ordinary birthday party though.  They called in the Columbus Zoo and a van full of animals!

The Zoo put together a private showing for my friend Amanda and her 50 party guests.  They brought with them 7 animals and one exclusive animal, not on exhibit at the zoo.  The first was a Dingo.  The Australian Dingo is a free-roaming wild dog unique to the continent of Australia, mainly found in the outback.

The birthday boy was able to feed the Dingo a treat.  It was 7 years old and very docile.  The zoologist walked him around so everyone could pet him and let him smell your breath (something they are apparently known for).

The second (and my favorite animal of the day) was a flamingo.  He was absolutely beautiful.  Two shades of orange and black hidden feathers under his wings.

Unfortunately the bird became a little spooked with so many young children and we could not pet his feathers.  I say ‘we’ but to be honest, I did not attempt to pet ANY of the animals.  Which I find strange since I love animals so much.

The third exhibit on our zoology lesson was an armadillo.  He was presented in a ball (just like a potato-bug) but eventually came out of his shell and expanded his legs for a little run.

So the armadillo was kind of cool.  Next up was a legless lizard also known as a ‘glass lizard’ which freaked me out.  I am not a snake person.  At all.  I know this squiggly creature is in fact not a snake.  It adapted to the conditions and changed color to camouflage itself in the mud.  But in my mind if it looks like a snake, acts like a snake, it is a snake!  Eeek!!

Needless to say, I didn’t get too close to our friend the legless lizard.  Many of the party guests had no qualms about any of these exotic animals….hence their smiling faces!

The last animal on the Columbus Zoo’s agenda was the one that freaked me out the most.  We were told to be very quiet (which is very hard with a large group of 5 year olds, by the way).  This was the exclusive animal not on exhibit at the zoo.  It was a Lynx.   Yep, a medium-sized wildcat (Go UK!).  Lynxes have short tails and characteristic tufts of black hair on the tips of their ears. They have a ruff under the neck, which has black bars resembling a bow tie (which wasn’t visible on this one).  This little guy was 7 months old and the most aggressive of all the animals.

He tugged on that  leash and wanted to play…or eat, whichever side of the glass you are on.  I kept hiding behind Ryan because I thought that little cat wanted to pounce me…over-reactor, I know.  Obviously he didn’t harm me or anyone else, but he was definitely aggressive compared to an armadillo, penguin and Kanagroo (I forgot to post pics of the penguin and kangaroo).  After the wonderful show by the Columbus Zoo it was time to (finally!)  blow out some candles and eat cake!

Amanda’s son blow out that #5 candle like a champ!  And you better believe that everyone else got their cake on.  Maybe a little too much since I left in a sugar comatose.

And it totally can’t be a party at the park without pictures of the kids on the swings!  They had so much fun and Amanda’s son was so cute pushing his best friend.

So that’s what we did this weekend!  What did you do?  Are you planing a kid birthday soon?  I totally urge the Columbus Zoo for anyone in the area looking for ‘entertainment’.  It was a HUGE hit!!


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