Friday, November 9, 2007

licked by an anteater

My boss set my coworker Colleen and me up with some behind the scenes tours at St. Louis Zoo. We had an AWESOME day!!! We first met with the penguin keeper. He took us on a tour of the penguin house and then took us into the keeper areas. We got to see the nest areas, the kitchen and the huge water filtration room. At the end of our tour he took us upstairs, had us sit on the floor and brought out two friendly Humboldt penguins. They waddled right up and let us pet them and then played around for about 10 minutes. It was a blast!

We then met with the head carnivore keeper. She happens to be the person in charge of the giant anteaters! Anteaters are one of my favorite animals I've always wanted to get a close look at. She took us into the anteater barn and introduced us to Willy and Wendy. (Their daughter was on exhibit. They take turns on exhibit because they are solitary animals and could fight if together.) Anyway, I didn't just get close to anteaters, I got to touch them through metal mesh. I didn't just get to touch them, I got LICKED by them! Their tongues are super long and they whipped them out to lick us. It was the coolest thing ever!

After about 15 minutes of watching anteaters close up, the keeper took us to Big Cat Country. We got very close (separated by chain link fence close) to a pair of tigers and a pair of adorable young lions. The male lion was just getting his mane. The big cats were fun, but since I already work/have worked with tigers and lions it wasn't quite on the same excitement level as anteaters and penguins :)

We spent the rest of the day touring the other areas of the zoo and having a wonderful time. When we got back to my car, the rear driver side "hatchback" window was broken. Just shattered safety glass, not actually broken out. Somebody actually left a note. If the number is good, I can't wait to hear what stupid thing their kid did to bust my window. I hope their 11-yr-old boy bought an animal head hiking stick at the gift shop and was swinging it around when he accidentally bashed my window. It held the entire drive home and just has a tiny hole. It's too late to call tonight and we're leaving early tomorrow morning for "Dindywynnafolis" so hopefully the window will hold over the weekend (taking other car) and I can call the window breakers on Monday.

I must comment on the Friday rush hour traffic in St. Louis! Wow! I was completely bummed that we happened to be leaving the city at 4:45pm on a Friday. I thought it would cost us tons of time. Nope. We slowed down to a crawl right in front of Busch Stadium and slowly made our way to the bridge over the Mississippi. Smooth sailing from there! We might possibly have lost ten minutes. I LOVE St. Louis! Nothing at all like dreadful Chicago traffic!!!

Yeah! Another big zoo tomorrow! Logan will get to touch sharks again :)

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