Spring Trip to the Zoo

Last week we talked about a few places to visit that combine flowers and art. This week we continue the theme of heading outside to enjoy the weather before it gets too hot to breathe (or too cold if you live on the other side of the world from me). This can be an excellent time of the year to head to the zoo as this is the traditional time for many animals to give birth, giving their young plenty of time to mature before having to figure out how to survive winter. (Of course if you live in the Oceania region the baby animals are getting ready for winter now but they're probably still very cute and would a visit from you.)

On the 24th of this month the St. Louis Zoo will be reopening its Stingrays at Caribbean Cove exhibit, which also features horseshoe crabs. This is an interactive exhibit where visitors can put their hands in the water and feel the rays swimming about. (The rays have had their barbs removed, which is supposed to be a painless procedure.) I'm not sure if there will be any baby rays present but the zoo does boast a baby Bactrian camel, born on March 11 of this year, weighing in at 98 pounds. Named Eli he is in the Red Rocks exhibit. Lots more information can be found here: http://www.stlzoo.org/.

The Cincinnati Zoo is spending the entire month of May focusing on baby animals, with special events all through the month. The bonus day to hit the zoo is obviously May 13th, when there will be an organic wine tasting. Wine and cute yet ferocious baby animals – what could possibly go wrong? Can't wait for May? Head over during the month of April to enjoy a gazillion tulips, concerts every Thursday, or try the Predators and Prey lecture on the 21st. http://www.cincinnatizoo.org/events/default.html

April is Farm Babies month at the Minnesota Zoo with cute little livestock infants ranging from the fluffy (chicks) to the fluffy (bunnies). There are piglets, calves, kids and lambs. There are also tram rides and of course once you get finished with the farm zoo you can head out into the rest of the zoo and enjoy seeing all the other animals. http://www.mnzoo.org/yearofthefarm/yearoffarm_events_farmbabies.html

The Montgomery Zoo is the lucky home to not one but two penguin chicks, which hatched in January and were scheduled to go on display this week. From the Zoo's press release "The chicks named Pen and Guin are growing and doing well because of the care given by their devoted parents. The chicks will be in the nest until mid-April. You should be able to begin seeing to chicks out of the nest with the rest of the colony beginning around April 11--18, 2010. After their initial debut the chicks will be out daily near the African Elephant exhibit pending any severe weather conditions or health related issues". Penguin chicks are super adorable and are well worth the trip. You can get more information here: http://www.montgomeryal.gov/index.aspx?page=67.

The Bronx Zoo is now the home of a brand new baby lemur named Ares, who lives with the rest of his family, including his brother Cupid, at the Madagascar exhibit. Ares is one of five species you can see in this slideshow, along with Daisy, an adorable spotted skunk, Gertrude the baby Mandrill, Sitka the brown bear cub and a spray toad carrying its tiny baby on its back. http://www.bronxzoo.com/multimedia/slideshows/spring-arrivals.aspx Be sure to get to the zoo before the end of June so you don't miss Animal Tales Extravaganza, which combines theater, books, music and animals. This Sunday is a Jungle Book reading and make-your-own pop-up book demo by Matthew Reinhart. http://www.bronxzoo.com/plan-your-trip/events-calendar/animal-tales-extr...

The National Zoo in Washington DC has some really special baby animals, including the very rare clouded leopards Ta and Sa, who just turned one year old. They're almost full grown but still maximally adorable. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AsiaTrail/?hpout=zn&xtr= Brand new at the zoo is an even rarer bird, a little baby girl brown kiwi, a super cute bird whose native land is New Zealand. You can see some pictures of her here: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Birds/Kiwi/default.cfm?hpout=homepage. She likes to vocalize, sounding like a squeaky toy according to her keeper. She may have a brother or sister soon as her mother has laid another egg, which if all goes well will hatch out later this year. You know what else is being bred at the Zoo? Strawberry dart frogs! Tiny, charming and brightly colored; these little guys are so cute you could eat them up, but since they're poison dart frogs that's probably not such a great idea. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Amazonia/Exhibit/strawberrydartfrogs.c....

One-Paragraph Review

This week's one-paragraph review is from Gleek, who writes in to say, "So happy that Glee is back on and better than ever. Dolphins are just gay sharks!" Do you have a one-paragraph (or smaller) review you'd like to share? Send it in to me for consideration. You can reach me at feedback@qualitytimeweekly.com.