On Wednesday we enjoyed our first family outing to the zoo. A spur-of-the-moment idea saw us head off to ZSL Whipsnade.
We’d visited once in our pre-Reindeer life and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Visiting zoos, aquariums and other animal parks is something we’ve always loved and have been looking forward to sharing with Reindeer.
Our outing was more of a family affair than usual as my mother-in-law joined us. She’s staying with us this week as she visits the UK for the summer. It’s the first time she’s met Reindeer and they seem to be getting on well.
We began our tour with the lemurs; three of them leaped onto the rail beside Reindeer, who naturally put his hand out to stroke them (cue worried parents gently hauling the hand back to avoid bites!) and seemed generally confused as to what these creatures were and why we were all standing around watching them and getting quite excited.
Wandering through the grounds we found mara, rhinos, lions (they were seven of them right next to us and he slept through the whole thing), meerkats, penguins (they made Reindeer laugh but I’m not sure why!), giraffes, sea lions, cheetahs, lynx, firefoxes (last seen at Ocean Park in Hong Kong), gorillas, monkeys, flamingos, zebras (including two youngsters still nursing), otters, owls, moose, peacocks and lots of other creatures.
It was great to introduce Reindeer to so many animals and watch his expressions as he tried to figure each one out!
As usual I had Reindeer in the wrap, which is great because he always feels like part of everything that way, far more so than if he was in a buggy. The less great part is that, although I consequently spent several hours carrying a near-two-stone lovely around with me, my legs were protesting like crazy afterwards.
We’ll definitely be heading back to Whipsnade when Reindeer is a bit older. Along with other wildlife venues, I’m getting seriously excited about taking him to the British Museum and Science Museum before he’s much bigger. Aargh – so much fun to be had!