It’s All Happening at The Zoo

14 May

doe

“Enough of this, let’s go to the zoo,” Caitlin exclaimed after a frustrating couple rounds of go-karting. If there’s one thing Caitlin and Brittany unabashedly love, it’s animals, so even though Austin isn’t famous for its zoo, we figured we had to go check out the Austin Zoo & Animal Sanctuary. This isn’t the fanciest zoo, but the four of us loved that it’s a rescue zoo*, since we all got our dogs from a shelter. It was sad to see so many animals with a missing leg or some deformity**, but comforting to know they’d gotten a better home and they were awfully cute. Just look at those doe eyes.

*It makes it much more palatable that these animals aren’t simply there for our amusement or enjoyment, but they were actually rescued from being kept as pets (!!!) and brought somewhere where they could be properly cared for.

**Or even just really, really tired and seemingly depressed animals. It’s not an easy thing to see, and you could tell these babies were hot in the Texas sun. But Brit made the good point that, at least for the big cats, they were from Africa which is a much hotter place.

one cool goat

The zoo had lions, tigers and bears (oh my), but they, the panthers and pretty much all the big exciting animals were hot and tired and were totally not up for a photo shoot*. The goats, llamas and deer were way more into interacting with us and once they realized we’d bought a bag of food to feed them, we became their new best friends.

*We still got crazily close to the panther, who was leaning up against the fence with his face out to us, and did some big paw stretches and rested on his leg just like Scooby does. My heart melted.

me feeding

Feeding animals was the highlight. The deer was our favorite and the llamas were pretty sweet too, even if we could never get “Ed” to nibble. So “Ed” was the name we gave to the white llama that we don’t have any pictures of. He seemed so sweet and cuddly, but he kept his distance and no amount of food held out in his direction swayed him to join us by the fence. I tried very hard to bring him to me using my strongest telepathy skills, but even though there was a moment I felt him swaying, there were too many other people around and I lost him. Another day, Ed … another day.

goat

Well, this guy wasn’t friendly. Disagree — he was just desperate to get near to us/the food. Sorry, bud. We’re sign-readers.

pig

This pig was gigantic and wanted nothing to do with us. I called him bacon. Not sure that helped. It definitely didn’t. We wanted to ride him into the sunset, which probably also didn’t help. He kept his back turned to us the whole time like the diva he was.

caitlin feeding

Caitlin really did love feeding these guys. That made me happy. I was like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty or any of those other princesses that talk to animals. Magic.

peacock

Peacocks were everywhere! They just kinda waltzed around the park, often not even in enclosures. It took a while to get one showing the full monty, but I finally nailed the shot. Zack was obsessed with the peacocks, and given the fact that they kept showing off for him, it seemed that they were pretty impressed with him, too.

Post-zoo, we tried to find a good location to catch the Bulls game. We started at our beloved under-the-apartment bar, the Hi Hat, but sadly the owner wasn’t in and our favorite waitress wasn’t working and it was full o’ hipsters who couldn’t help us change the channel to the game and gave up after about a minute of “trying” so we decided plan B was this super shady bar that Zack had always jokingly talked about going to, “Buckets.” Zack was convinced this was specifically a basketball bar because of the name*. Nope. It was a bar where you could buy buckets of beer, and …  let’s just say we changed the demographic of the bar by being there and it was uncomfortable and incredibly loud. We walked in, looked around, got one fist pump from a woman who said, “Go Bulls!” and walked right through to the other sound and out of the bar. Time for plan C, which was really my plan A, which was Austin’s Pizza. This ended up being an amazing choice, and even though the Bulls lost a tight game, it was a great way to end our busy day.

*Buckets! I once got that nickname after making some shots in basketball. I assumed they knew about it and named a bar after me. I’m still gonna have to go there one time and take down a bucket, even if Caitlin isn’t game. Half kidding.

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