Where the wild things are / by Jessica Lee

We went to visit the Melbourne Zoo today.

After entering through the gates, like a little kid, Lachlan ran to see the animals and we didn't see him until a while later when we caught up to him near the elephants.

Clearly the zoo has a special place in his childhood. I had never seen him so excited for anything before.

Though I am not particularly enthused by animals usually, I was pretty keen to go just based off of Lachlan and Tom's excitement.

I loved just standing around and watching how each animal moved. For example, monkeys tend to swing care-freely from rope to rope, some use their tails to balance whereas with bigger apes, you can see their shoulders rotating when they walk around on their fists.

The tigers at the zoo were a highlight. They were raised in the wild and aren't tame, so they moved in a really fast pace when getting their food like they were hunting. The animators of Disney got it right with the shoulder bones of how jungle cats move in their movie The Lion King. It was pretty cool to compare the similarities!

I got hungry in the middle while walking through the zoo so Tom told me to buy a sausage roll.

I have no clue what I ate.

I think it's supposed to be minced pork (see photo below) with a pastry baked around it, but it sure didn't taste like pork to me! Oh well. I am not dead yet! And it was also pretty tasty.

I thought this was pretty cute so I stopped to take a photo.

When I have kids, I am going to make them do cute things like sit on stone elephants.

Speaking of elephants, we arrived just in time for their feeding.

It was a pretty hot day and I was kind of jealous that they got to bob in the water for fruit.

Imagine being an elephant and being able to play with your friends all day in the sun and have zoo people feed you fruit. They look like they are having a ball! It's not like they have to worry about paying the rent or if they will have enough food so that they don't starve.

Yes I am envious of elephants. Who wouldn't be?

I am also jealous of the monkeys too.

I mean, look at this!

Their playground looks really fun to hang out on.

I would love to swing from rope to rope!

These animals have it good.

Another cool thing about the Melbourne Zoo is the butterfly garden, where butterflies just fly around a greenhouse. I spent quite a bit of time in there pretending it was my own personal garden and that all the other people in there didn't exist.

It was a pretty difficult task to accomplish since I kept bumping into people. Lots of people stood still in there because they believed if they stood still, a butterfly would eventually land on them.

After the garden, we headed to see the giraffes, which are quite interesting to watch. They are kind of awkward, but in a beautiful way.

Here is a picture of a giraffe with its neck bent. It looks pretty weird with the hump on the back of it. Watching the giraffes made me think of Lamarkian theory and Darwin from psychology class. They really should organize class field trips to the zoo. I mean, all we study in psych class anyway are animals. We have been learning about conditioning in rats, pigeons and dogs salivating (thanks Skinner) for the last two months.

Sorry to get all academic on you. I just had a bit of steam to let out.

Something cool (that isn't part of my curriculum) that I learned at the zoo though is that they keep zebras (Australians pronounce it "zeb-bras" instead of "zee-bras" here) and giraffes in the same pen. I imagine they are best buds, just like in Madagascar.

And since we're in Australia... we went to see Kangaroos!

I wanted to give this one a hug. Look how soft and fluffy it is!

We also saw Koala bears, which were sleeping (typical), which was also the reason I couldn't get a good photo of them. So instead, here is a picture of an emu (also an Australian animal).

Not satisfied? Here is a picture of cute kids.

This here is a picture of a warthog (just like Pumbaa in The Lion King).

This is us walking on a bridge to look at some lions.

I wish I were these lions. They look so relaxed, snoozing in the shade. I would probably feel self-conscious though, sleeping in front of so many strangers.

We had a pretty good day at the zoo. The only thing we missed was seeing the seals. It also would have been nice to have a picnic on their lawn.