Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SUMMER BLOG CHALLENGE

Visit Plumpton Park Zoo - Link
Plumpton Park Zoo is located in Rising Sun, MD not too far off of 95, it's much quieter and more relaxed than other Zoo's I have been to, and it's why I thought this would be a perfect summer activity for the girls and I to go and do. The Zoo's website has tons of information on ticketing, visiting hours, and group rates - so go and check it out. The prices are very reasonable and affordable and there is even a playground and picnic area. I knew my eldest niece would love it there because she loves peacocks right now and there are many there just roaming around, she even found a feather that she got to keep. My youngest niece kept saying this was her first real trip to the zoo (that she could remember) so she was beyond excited; she absolutely loves animals and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if she was a Veterinarian or somehow works with animals someday. Both of the girls actually love animals, so it was a win-win.



First things first though - we had to read the rules! The girls are very respectful and well mannered. It's nice too that they could read all the signs, which animals they could pet and feed, and anything else. Another thing about the zoo that I really liked was that there were various hand sanitizer stations throughout the park. I could just hear my mother - their grandmother - in the back of my head "make sure they wash their hands". Especially too since every time we walked by the bathrooms there seemed to be an never ending line of groups or field trippers in line waiting to use the bathrooms. The girls read and followed most of the rules - I even had a hard time not calling the animals or mocking their sounds - which I believe was one of the rules. We did purchase the feeder cups (the orange cups in the pictures - they were $4 - they have cheaper options too) which I liked that they could keep them.



Arden feeding the ducks
When you purchase your tickets make sure to grab a map. You might not actually need one, the zoo isn't that massive, but it helps to make sure you've visited all of the enclosures and each animal. I'm glad that we did grab a map or else we would have missed out on an entire section. Another thing I love about the zoo is that it wasn't crowded and we could navigate around in our own pace and in our own time; we weren't being sucked into a mass crowd movement - if you know what I mean.

Eryn's turn feeding the ducks

SOME OF OUR FAVORITES


Peacocks are everywhere and they're lovely

They loved the little baby pig

Close-up of the baby pig - adorable!

Mr. Tortoise chomping on his lunch
Jimmie the Girraffe
You can pay $5 to feed him
The girls loved the Zebras

He didn't appreciate my question:
"Excuse me Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Lollipop?"
The world still may never know...
Compe-e-e-eting for food - the girls loved this area...

Timber Wolf - she seemed so sweet and attentive - but I kept letting the girls know which were carnivores...

Both the White Tiger and this one were sleeping exactly the same - precious!
While we aw'ed the Tigers and other carnivores that were adorable, I made sure the girls understood and respected that they were still wild animals; In the wild that we would be considered food! I think it's really important to teach kids to respect animals in this way. Yes, we get to see them and we get the chance to aw over them, but in the wild it would be a different story. Right across from the Tigers were the bears, and it actually scared me that I couldn't see the bear at first, it had been in the corner (nearest us) and once we repositioned ourselves to see him better, the look on his/her face actually was giving me the sense of: if I weren't in here I would be having you for lunch. I backed up and respected his space. Most of the animals enclosures are double-fenced, so you feel perfectly safe. I'm just sayin' Mr. (or Mrs.) Bear wasn't having it! :)


The girls loved that the Gibbon Apes came out to hang with us

Ms. Bobcat was taking an afternoon nap

This adorable Arctic Fox came out of her little house so that we could visit with her - so sweet!

This was the girls favorite area because it was full of enclosures where you could feed and pet the animals. There were lamas, alpacas, goats, baby goats, sheep, lambs, and donkeys. We had been warned by one of my friends before we went to watch out for a particular alpaca because he's a klepto! Sure enough he tried to take the feeding cup right out of my nieces hand. It was hilarious actually. Even one of the goats tried to snatch it away from her too. They loved how the animals would follow them around. Overall it was an amazing experience and we had a wonderful time. I think the girls would definitely go again!

Right now Plumpton Park Zoo is attempting to raise money in order to build Jimmie the Giraffe a better enclosure. So please help by sharing this post and getting the word out about a great cause. This is a wonderful zoo and if I had the money I would definitely donate to their efforts. There are amazing staff there that were working so hard, and there are a lot of different programs going on there too. While we were walking around some of the volunteers or staff would help the animals interact with us. The girls loved when a staff member was playing with the porcupines. Overall too, I was thoroughly impressed with how much the animals interacted (even on their own) with us. It's an amazing zoo and they definitely deserve the funds to continue their causes and efforts. So - help to support them if you can monetarily - if not, then help by spreading the word. Thanks!