Friday, August 9, 2013

Turtle Back Zoo

At the end of June the Trynosky girls had another exciting adventure.  From Aunt Kiki's suggestion, Jackie and Catherine were able to experience the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange, NJ.  Even though it was summertime there were not a lot of people.  However it was a Thursday.  Whatever the reason we were able to experience everything the park had to offer for an almost three-year-old to have a good time.
After first checking out the penguins and prairie dogs, Jackie's first interactive experience was the butterfly exhibit.  Catherine wasn't able to partake since the stroller did not look like it was going to fit in the narrow aisles in the exhibit.  So Jackie went with Aunt Kiki into the butterfly garden.  They started out holding hands and by the time Catherine and I met them at the exit Jackie was in Aunt Kiki's arms holding on for dear life. Apparently butterflies and the misting water was very terrifying and they couldn't have exited sooner.  The next stop was the ground hog, bear, and fox area and the only thing we were able to see here was one sleeping fox.  After the lone fox were the wolves and they were hiding too.  As you can see this trip was not starting out on the right foot.  It was a warm day, not too hot, but obviously too warm for some of the animals.  We journeyed up the hill to check out the jaguars and cougars.  Since these animals are indigenous to Central and South America we had a little more luck.

Jackie meets a cougar
I wish I had video of the beginning of this encounter.  Jackie ran up to the glass trying to find the animals.  She hadn't noticed that the cougar was pacing right in front of the glass so when it turned around and popped out at her she nearly jumped out of her skin and ran for cover.  Once she realized the cougar was not going to break through the glass she was comfortable getting a little closer, but only with mommy's assistance. Next it was a stroll past the porcupines and a bald eagle with Aunt Kiki.  Catherine missed out since the path was very muddy.  After a quick bathroom break we stopped by the petting zoo.  Most of these animals were inside the barn, resting in the shade.  The sheep were outside and since they were the only animals out by the feeding area they were living it up like kings.
Aunt Kiki shows us how its done
A little nervous

Goes in for a slow approach
Really starting to get the hang of it
Tries to give a kiss
Ready for 4H!
On our way back down the hill we passed the Pony Rides.  This had a little bit of a wait so Catherine and I decided to wait on line while Aunt Kiki and Jackie checked out the aviary.  I heard this was a similar experience to the butterfly garden.  ::Insert Alfred Hitchcock joke here::  With some prefect timing Jackie was able to get right on the pony for her turn around the track.
Very excited for a pony ride
Giddy up, partner!
After all this excitement we got to see a bunch more sleeping animals.  The gibbons were a little active, but that is probably because they are used to the climates of the tropical rainforest.

Next Jackie and I got to enjoy a trip on the train, while Kiki and Catherine hung out with the peacocks that roamed the park.  We only had the one camera with us, so no photos of the beautiful peacocks.
Train ride to adventure

Dad last rode this train in the 1st grade

Following the train ride through the forest was a stop by the 'touch tank'.  This was unsuccessful since Jackie needs about 4 more inches to her arm length to remain dry.  But right next door was the brand new sea lion exhibit which she thoroughly enjoyed.
This looks like a sea lion or something...

After a quick pit stop at the gift shop our exciting day at the Turtle Back Zoo came to a close.  Definitely a fun place that we will visit again next year.
Three lovely ladies

Safari with Aunt Kiki

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