Travis, my grandson, turned 4 years old recently. So my beautiful wife, his amazing Nana, decided what better way to celebrate than a visit to the Dallas Zoo. Travis has had many fun adventures at the Waco zoo, but this was to be his first exposure to the sites, sounds, and creatures of the Dallas Zoo. There was a lot of excitement from the little guy in anticipation of the the new experiences just beyond the front gates of this wonderful place. With so many acres to cover, we brought his red wagon to make the trek a little easier.
Travis’ zoo adventure started with a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel. Next he visited the Zoofari Market to purchase a souvenir, which turned out to be a very lifelike rubber snake. What little boy doesn’t like snakes? We then stopped by the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo which has received numerous awards and has served as a model for other children’s zoos across the country. Travis was so excited, he had a hard time trying to decide what to do first. Nana stepped in to help, choosing Travis and Zach’s Bird Landing which is loaded with exotic birds from around the globe. Nana bought a few seed sticks, for a dollar each, so she and Travis could feed the birds. They both really enjoyed their interactions with the different exotic bird species. One bird even sat on top of Travis’ head. He thought that was just great! He also got to ride a pony named Arrow, played with some goats in the petting zoo, and had a great time on the playground.
After lunch and a well deserved rest we hit the trail again to the Wilds of Africa part of the zoo. This is where my favorite exhibit is located, the Jake L. Hamon Gorilla Conservation Research Center. On many visits before this I have been rewarded with very active and inquisitive Gorillas, but on this day not so much. I did manage to take a few shots of a single male Gorilla as he sat and ate. Our little entourage continued on to view the Elephants, Cheetahs, Meerkats, Chimpanzees, and of course the Giraffe. The Giraffe became the highlight of our trip to the zoo because Carol was able to purchase lettuce for 5 dollars. She and Travis got to hand feed a Giraffe as I photographed the moment. What a thrill, for Carol and Travis to have that kind of interaction with such an big beautiful creature. This was, believe it or not, the second time Carol and Travis have fed a Giraffe. The first time came last year during an overnight trip to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glenrose, Texas.
Well after six hours of fun at the zoo, everyone was a bit tired. So we headed to the exit stopping for one last ride on the Endangered Species Carousel. All in all, I think everyone had a great time on Travis’ 4th Birthday at the Dallas Zoo. To view all of my images from our zoo adventure click here.