Monday, June 01, 2015


Big outing on the zoo to see the two new lions!

To back up, LK is absolutely obsessed with lions. And sharks, specifically because they eat other animals (don't ask...) Her favorite book is The Tawny Scrawny Lion, and she owns at least a half dozen stuffed lions of various sizes (and the reviews for that book, they are hilarious. It's about talking animals who wear clothes, and these people are concerned because it is geographically implausible?)

Her favorite animal at the Franklin Park Zoo was always Christopher the lion, who commanded an exhibit at the center and highest point of the zoo. From there, he used to periodically stand atop his rock and roar loud enough for everyone to hear for a mile or two around the zoo...almost as if he had an internal alarm to remind everyone, every couple of hours, that he was in fact the lion. And you were not.

Christopher died in March...he was the oldest lion in North America and they had to put him to sleep because he had all sorts of old-lion maladies. I read about this in the Globe, but I never told her because I was kind of hoping that I didn't have to...she reacted fine when their favorite dog died two years ago, but I'd rather not explain that the lion went to heaven.

Wasn't I happy then, to hear that the zoo was getting TWO new male lions in early May! Not only do I not have to explain to her that the lion died, but the whole thing just got doubly good! Sadly, the lions are here because one of them killed his prospective mate in Dallas, and their interest in a breeding program led them to seek a new home for these lions and a new, hopefully less murderous, male lion to start their program. But, Boston had the facilities to take them and a gaping hole in their zoo landscape, Dallas had a need for a new home for their lions, and everything worked out for the best...

The lions made their debut on Friday, so we took the girls to see them on Saturday, and oh boy were they excited! From the time we got out of the car, LK was on a mission...she didn't want to see the baby gorilla, she didn't want to see the zebras or the giraffes or the flamingos. She stopped at the Ostrich for a minute, but mostly she was totally focused on seeing her two new friends! She spent no less than half an hour walking from one vantage point to another, looking at them, smiling, and holding up her stuffed animals for them to see. For their parts, the lions laid in the shade and periodically lifted their heads;-)

After that she was content to finally see the other animals, ride a camel, play at the playground and enjoy the day. All in all, a mighty successful trip to the zoo!

(Side note: the mother gorilla just gave birth to her third or fourth baby, which I am guessing is unusual for an animal in captivity. She is so comfortable with the zookeepers now that she allowed them to give her an ultrasound when she was pregnant...which I find pretty remarkable.)

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