Lions, Tigers and…

Mom & I were only in DC for two days but, we certainly made the most of our time there.  One of the major reasons that I wanted to go to Washington DC was to visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park (or the National Zoo, as it’s commonly known).  I love, love, love animals and it’s been forever since I went to a zoo.  Plus, they have panda bears!

So, on Sunday, we checked out of the hotel, met my cousin Tori for brunch and then headed over to the zoo.  It was a beautiful day – sunny, moderate temperatures and a slight breeze – perfect for the walk around the zoo.  Mom and I were both a little sore from our bike ride around the monuments so we knew we’d have to take our time.

Entrance into the zoo is free but, parking is not.  The cost of parking is dependent on how long you’re there and is fairly reasonable.  There was a vending machine in the parking lot for zoo maps.  You can find the map online but, I didn’t want to fuss with my Blackberry and I wanted one for a keepsake so, I spent the $2 for the map.  They are updated each day so that you have a current schedule of events.

Walking up from the parking lot brought us to the Invertebrates and Reptile Discovery Center section first.  We got a peak at the Komodo Dragon but, most of the animals were inside because of the weather.  Inside the Discovery Center is a neat aquarium area that finishes with a butterfly garden.  One of the butterflies decided it liked Mom enough to hang out on her finger for awhile.

Next was the Think Tank, where they house the Macaques and Orangutans.  There wasn’t much to see there.  The Orangutans were in because ti was cold and the Macaques were snoozing.  So, we went straight for the Great Cats Exhibit.

This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  The lions are so beautiful.  Both females had cubs recently but, you can only see them via webcam in the visitors center or online (requires name and email for verification).

Next up were these cuties…

Mom loves lemurs (I think it has something to do with Madagascar) and I think Prairie Dogs are adorable.  Strangely, the prairie dogs were out in the open in a kind of sandbox.  You could literally reach in and touch one if you were stupid enough or they could walk right out.  They stayed in though and seemed intrigued by the people.

To be continued tomorrow with a furry yellow thing and a baby.

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