The Little Miss has an ongoing love affair with animals.
We are regular visitors to Auckland Zoo, going so far as to have an annual pass for the Oh Waily parents. It is easily the best value for money we have spent on “family outings” in the past year.
We go so often now that I am convinced that one day I won’t be able to remove her kiddie tattoo (aka giraffe stamp) with soap in her bath.
And while I’m on the subject of loving animals, the Schleich animals that she received from family at Christmas have been an absolute hit as well. They are so much more than just model animals, they are key participants in nearly all of Miss Oh’s current imaginary play. As noted earlier, they are talked to, interacted with and treated like real “people”. They have a big role to play in Miss Oh’s nightly bath routine, where they are washed, swim and have watery adventures of all sorts. Without fail they are well mannered and are able to wait their turn, as you can see from the photograph below. Miss Oh taught* them their manners beautifully.
Naturally she has her favourites, these are currently giraffe, elephant and rhino. When we go to the Zoo, the answer to my question “who shall we go see first?” is nearly always the rhinos or Burma.
All of her favourites have been very large animals. Dogs and cats she likes, but she can take or leave them. But large land mammals seem to hold a fascination. On our last visit a few days ago we were very lucky to visit with the rhinos at a time when they felt the urge to walk in the ditch less than a metre away from their fenceline with the footpath. It was the closest I’ve ever been to them, and best of all they were happy to just stand there looking at each other and listening to us all oohing and aahing for the kids.
It was a great experience, but Miss Oh was elephant oriented on this visit and after a few minutes looking at the obliging Zambezi and his two sons Inkosi and Mtoto she requested we “go have snacks with Burma”. Unlucky for us, Burma was having a snack at the back of her enclosure and while we could see her, it would have been hard for her to be further away.
Making up for that though, the sea lions and seals have been terrific the last couple of visits, not only doing their speedy swim past but hanging around the viewing glass. Literally. The seals were doing their best impersonation of synchronized swimmers with nose down and tail up, turning like corkscrews. The sea lions were scrounging around in the shells on the bottom of their man-made home. I’m thinking that they and the hippos are probably next in line for Schleich purchases.
We even managed to visit “the noisy monkey” at the visit before last. Iwani, the Siamang, was on his best behaviour long enough for us to visit him without tears and fears. Perhaps his new girlfriend has been having a mellowing effect on him, even if you can usually hear him from one side of the zoo to the other.
Hmm. Maybe it’s not only Miss Oh who enjoys going to the zoo then. I wonder if she’d be keen to go again on Monday.
* who says kids have to be messy? Some like lining things up in rows. The animals here are only one example of many rows created by Little Miss Oh.