Kids Say The Darndest Things: Zoo Edition

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OrangutanEvery weekend during the spring and summer, my daughter and I have the same tradition. Saturday mornings, we wake up early and head over to the zoo.

We’re lucky enough to have an amazing children’s zoo about ten minutes from our house. It’s always been our favorite place. Why go for a walk in the neighborhood when we can take our morning stroll with giraffes and alligators? We never make it through the entire zoo, but we pick a couple areas to wander through each Saturday morning. Then we come home and have lunch and start our normal weekend chores and social engagements. But the zoo always comes first.

This weekend, our zoo opened for the season. After five long months without our Saturday morning tradition, my daughter and I were pretty ecstatic about heading back to see the leopards and sharks. I even let my daughter bring along a friend to celebrate the big day.

So often, I find myself playing docent as we walk through the zoo. I remind my daughter of all the interesting animal facts we’ve learned through the years of visiting. I bring up lessons from her zoo-sponsored summer camp. I remind her that the Binturong smells like popcorn. (It really does!)

But during this trip, I decided to let the girls be in charge of the commentary. In fact, I asked them to tell me about each animal. As kids who had grown up at the zoo, they’re pretty familiar with the animals. They’ve been listening to random facts about each exhibit since they were being pushed through the zoo in strollers. So how would two little girls describe Siamang apes or Sumatran tigers?

Lucky for you I kept notes. Bill Cosby would be proud.

This trip was a lesson for me that the kids have interesting facts to add about the animals they see every week. I just couldn’t help but share it with you all.

Go ahead, share your child’s animal adorableness in the comments. I know you have a story of utter cuteness that you’re dying to share.



  1. Jenna

    April 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Hi Lindsay. I stumbled across this post via FB and I smiled at most of them. However, as a zookeeper, I’m disturbed that you included the first image of the hyena with the accompanying comment. I’m sure you didn’t let the kidlets throw anything and hopefully took the opportunity to educate them on the importance of predators (was pleased to see you playing docent in the blog post 🙂 ). It’s just that in our profession we often *do* deal with people throwing things at our “kids” and it struck a nerve. Hope y’all continue to have fantastic zoo trips!


    • Lindsay Cross

      April 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      Hey Jenna! Thanks so much for commenting. You’re completely right, I should’ve clarified there.

      We have had plenty of talks about the importance of never throwing anything, food or otherwise, to the animals. And in general, we’ve talked about the fact that animals aren’t evil simply because they eat other animals.

      Unfortuantely, my daughter is a little obsessed with cheetahs right now. And I’m not sure if you’ve seen Disney Nature’s African Cats movie, but hyenas kill some of the cheetah babies. My daughter has not forgiven them yet at all. She got a little carried away with her emotions…

  2. Nancy

    April 25, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I loved this post! “Why does he have such a big pee-pee?” LOL kids are hilarious

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