Sunday, May 22, 2016

Portland Zoo Snooze and Troop 45078

The girls of troop 45078 decided to use some of their cookie money to attend Zoo Snooze. This is a behind the scenes tour and overnight field trip. The forecast had been clear right up until the day of our trip. Then that morning it POURED. I was really worried, but thankfully it cleared up most of the way, with just a few sprinkles on us during the tour.

 The rain worked with us and it would rain harder during our indoor activities! Here the zookeepers brought out some unusual animals for a close up animal encounter.

 We got to see the new elephant exhibit. The elephants did come out, but apparently I didn't take any photos of them. Go figure.

 This was a decoration and the troop wanted to see if they could wrap themselves all the way around, which they did!

 The lions were loving the weather and were particularly frisky.

 I was wearing my Carmen San Diego Hat.

 At one point one of the lion cubs came up to the window and started pawing up and down on it. Thank goodness for safety class!!! He was really going at it!

 Bethany stayed calm, but it eventually even made her squirm.

 In the classroom we learned how Zookeepers train their animals and why. They need the animals to do certain things for when they need medicine, xrays or even teeth cleanings! If they don't train them while they are healthy, well, you ask an elephant to show you their hurt tooth.

 Since animals don't speak English, the zookeepers asked for a nonsense word. So for instance if she wanted Taylor to tap her head to the stick, she'd say, "garbage" which to Taylor does NOT mean, "tap your head to a stick." But she'd show Taylor the stick say the word and if Taylor moved towards the stick she got a cheese cracker reward and a click from the reward clicker. She did this over and over until Taylor knew that if the zookeeper said, "Garbage" it meant "touch head to stick.

 Izzie got up and was an animal volunteer too!  The kids learned behaviors similar to what was expected of the animals like, put your paw out, turn around, back up, move over, etc.

 We also got to tour the Vet Clinic and got to see some xrays of different animals. And we toured the kitchens, which the girls were surprised to see had no stoves or ovens... because animals don't cook their food! I was surprised to hear that they have several MONTHS of food in storage in case of a disaster. Their emergency plan is pretty rock solid. Some of those animals require a highly specialized diet! After a short video on animal enrichment it was time to get ready for bed. '

 The next morning after breakfast, they set up an Lion enrichment for us to watch, then we got to tour the zoo on our own time with the crowds of the day.

 They add things to an exhibit that are a bit out of place to make the animals ponder and explore. Lions are not used to encountering snow for instance! They really had fun checking it out and seeing what it was all about. The zookeepers also put bits of meat around the exhibit for the lions to find. A baby version of hunting if you will.

 Yum, meat on a window. Lick!

 We got to the crocodiles right at feeding time. And we saw the zookeeper using the training stick before he fed the croc. Pretty cool to see it in action!

 Giraffes! and Maddie!

 This is Conrad. He's was an elderly polar bear. He was still feeling well when we were there to visit in May, but typing this up in October (I am SOOO behind!) He has since passed away. He was old and had lived a pretty happy life.

As for the Troop? They were a great bunch of kids. I'm glad I got to be one of their chaperones! GO TROOP! I highly recommend the Zoo Snooze event at the Portland Zoo, it was a blast!

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