A night at the zoo

A couple of weeks ago, Ava and I traveled to Omaha with her Girl Scout troop for a night at the zoo. Roughly 18 sets of mothers (or fathers) and daughters met in the Old Market for dinner, then headed to our home for the night – the Hubbard Gorilla Valley (made semi-famous the day before, thanks to this “breaking” news).

The night began with tours of the nocturnal exhibits (where it was as light as day at 9 pm in order to be dark as night 12 hours later), as well as a very dim tour of the rainforest. As fruit bats flew at our heads, the tour guides reminded us to remain calm and avoid flailing (not possible, as it turns out, when a bat dive-bombs your person).

Here, Ava and her best friend Sophia come close to a stingray.


The Desert Dome (home, at least temporarily, to another set of campers that evening) must look pretty impressive on an evening approach to Epply Airfield.


At midnight(!) we were finally able to settle in. Ava selected a spot under a window to the gorilla enclosure. The occupants made their presence known at night via thunder-like noise.


An incredibly short six hours later, our guides woke us up for the morning tour, which delivered on the promise to include very active animals. We wore ponchos to ward off he rain, and visited the aquarium to find sea turtles and sharks pretty thrilled with their breakfasts.



The cats were also very active (and vocal) that morning, and Ava snapped this photo of a three-legged tiger. Lions (including the mountain lion Omaha) were all engaging. The kids (and really, I think, the parents) were pretty impressed with this behind-the-scenes look of this remarkable zoo.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Karyl on May 3, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Looks like a very rewarding experience – and lots of fun!

  2. Posted by Gramma Great on May 4, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    I love the mother/daughter pictures!

  3. Posted by Rebecca's Mom on May 14, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    I agree with Gramma Great!

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