Last Friday, we drove up to DFW for my nephew’s 3rd birthday party. On the way, we decided to stop in Waco for lunch and a trip to the Cameron Park Zoo. Jessica has been to the Austin Zoo, but since it is more of a rescue zoo this was her first trip to a zoo with animals like elephants and giraffes. We’d never been to the Cameron Park Zoo before and I had heard really good things about it and they all proved true. The walkways have a lot of trees alongside so there was a fair amount of shade. The animal enclosures were fantastic, especially the giraffe and orangutan exhibits (too bad the orangutans were snoozing). My only complaint is it would have been nice if the exhibits were in a loop layout. As it was, we had to backtrack to leave the zoo. However, there were some walkways closed for construction, so maybe that will improve.
Our first stop at the zoo was the restroom to change Jessica. After washing her hands, she wouldn’t let go of the paper towel. Then we let her look at the second map while we decided what we were going to see first. She would not let go of the map. She spent almost the entire time at the zoo with the paper towel in one hand and the map in the other. She also wouldn’t sit in the stroller, so she walked a good portion of the zoo and then was carried by either James or me. She’s in a phase where she doesn’t like to be strapped in unless it is her choice and then if it is her choice she usually doesn’t want to get unstrapped.
Unfortunately, we didn’t see the Gibbons and only saw one of the Ring Tailed Lemurs on their respective islands. But our visit was in the warmest part of the day (12:45-2:30) and it was a rather warm day for April, so they were probably taking a siesta. The turtles were enjoying the sun though.
Jessica loved watching the Koi near the orangutan habitat.
The two Sumatran Tigers were gorgeous.
All three of the lions were snoozing. It was rather funny how the male was lying.
The Meerkats were some of the most active animals we saw. Jessica thought they were pretty neat. One was even digging a hole.
Jessica loves it when her Daddy makes elephant noises when he reads her Inside Noah’s Ark. It is one of her favorite books, partly because of all the animal noises her Daddy makes (I so need to get a video). Jessica will even imitate her Daddy, especially with the elephants, so it was neat watching the two of them watch the elephants since James got her excited with the elephant noise as we approached them.
The Reticulated Giraffes have a super cool enclosure. You first see them at ground level. Then you walk up this treetop path where you get closer to their eye level. You can even view the inside of their barn, where one of the giraffes was resting.
By this point, I had gotten the paper towel away from Jessica, leaving her just holding the map. Near this bird exhibit, James put her on his shoulders and Jessica was kinda playing peekaboo with me using the map. She accidently let go and a breeze floated it away. I feel bad that we littered, but it flew past a barrier that we couldn’t go past.
At the River Otter exhibit, there is a clear tunnel slide that goes through their habitat. I’m not completely sure that Jessica grasped how cool this was. I wish I was a kid and could go down that kind of slide.
Overall, we had a great time at the Cameron Park Zoo and I think we’ll try to go back sometime, but we’ll try to go earlier in the day.