Yesterday was our much anticipated trip to the safari. We had the most wonderful time. I had three parents join our class for the trip, and that was such a blessing to have those extra helpers. We somehow avoided the heat of the day, which was my main concern. We began with the petting zoo and got to pet goats, chickens, and a VERY pot-bellied pig. We then continued on to the walk-through part of the safari. We saw all sorts of things, from monkeys to emus. We saw a giraffe, a zebra, huge tortoises, parrots, some sort of orangutan that was literally putting on a show for us, dancing and taunting us in his cage, and we petted a lemur. One of the workers took us into a barn that housed howler monkeys, sloths, snakes, and a baby hedgehog. He let those that wanted to hold the snake and teeny, tiny baby hedgehog. We continued on to see the lemurs and parrots. Just about then we began to feel the heat and headed back to the coolers to get our water bottles. On the way, a worker had one of the capuchin moneys on a leash so we sat around her in a circle to see if the monkey, Chloe, would play with us. She jumped on Sharae one time, and ran around the circle jumping and climbing all over her trainer, but clearly was not in the mood to be groped by preschoolers. We moved onto the car and cooled off at a picnic table for a minute, then went to the kangaroo exhibit. There were kangaroos, lazing on the ground in the shade of the trees, and one let us come up to her to get a closer look. We felt her tail, which was thick and strong. We all loved touching her soft fur and talking about her pouch. Just about the time we noticed her pouch and began discussing what it was for, we saw it wiggling. How neat that there was something inside! Instinctively, she must have known we were discussing it, because she moved her front legs to cover it. We were hoping the joey inside would peek out at us, but he or she was content to stay right where it was, comfy in its' mama's pouch.
We were ready to get in the car for the drive through portion of the safari in the cool air conditioning, but not before stopping to pet a zebra and giggle at the baby monkey wearing a diaper and drinking juice from its' bottle.
Our three vehicle caravan began the 4 mile tour of the safari with anxious occupants peering through the windows to see whatever animals we could. There were lots of deer, and emus that blocked the road so we would stop and they could come to the windows to look in and stare at us. It made the children shriek in excitement. We couldn't help but stop for every emu in the road along the way. The same happend when we came to camels. It was so neat to come literally face to face with them. We saw more zebras, buffalo, cows, and monkeys along the way. We saw 8 tigers, two lions, and a porcupine. We passed through a prarie dog area and tried our best to count the heads popping up from the earth. We saw bears and Keegan spotted the alligator in the murky green pond. We were told after we were through that there was a hippo, but our carload didn't spot it. Maybe next time.
This was such a great field trip, and I am so thankful to the parents that came along to help. I know the childen had a great time seeing all the animals we have been talking about the past few weeks. What a way to reinforce the lessons with real life experiences!
I have to brag on my kids...one of the safari workers came to our picnic table as we were taking a water break and complimetned our group for behaving so well. She said we were one of the best groups she had seen this summer! I was beaming...