Saturday, May 3, 2014


I had the opportunity to visit the Indianapolis Zoo on Friday with Darci and the girls. Kirsten had given Darci passes to a 'Friends and Family' event, which included a visit to the brand new orangutan exhibit, that officially opens on May 24. The event didn't start until 1:00, so we had time to enjoy the other parts of the zoo first.

Ella liked looking at the elephants. We also saw giraffes, lions, rhinos and the rest of the plains animals, before making our way back to the carousel.
With our special wristbands, we got to ride the carousel for free.
There were happy smiles all around.
Even Aunt Betsy took a ride, side saddle, Mary Poppins style.
Happy Haleigh.
Ella chose to ride a tiger. ROAR!
Haleigh loved her 'dolphin-whale.'
The orangutan habitat is an impressive church-like structure, with lots of glass. There are also outdoor towers where the orangutans will be able to climb and swing, and visitors will ride ariel cable cars to watch the action. That part wasn't open yet, and the orangutans were all indoors for now.
Inside, Haleigh got to compare her hand to a model orangutan hand. They have long fingers, a short thumb, and fingernails just like ours.
It was hard to photograph through the glass, but they were so interesting to watch as they came right up to the window to interact with visitors.
There are 8 orangutans total, and there were six in the large enclosure yesterday. They range in age from 36 year old Azy to 9 year old Rocky, the 'little boy' of the group.
I learned from an online news article, that Rocky and his adoptive mother, Knobi, recently found their way out of the enclosure. They are clever ones. Thankfully, they didn't get far before they were discovered and returned to their home.
The kids were fascinated, and the orangutans seemed equally so. They must get a kick out of watching all the crazy humans on the other side of the glass.

Hellloooo Haleigh!
Rocky roamed all around the enclosure, and seemed to like showing off for the crowd. I read that he was raised by humans in the entertainment industry, and did not live with other orangutans until he was 3 1/2 years old. He loved to pose with his two hands and one foot hanging on above his head.

This one hugged himself, and the kids did it right back. I love the little girl's face.

They are shaggy and expressive, and I was so interested in watching them, that I didn't even take time to read the information on display in the exhibit area. Next time.
This is 36 year old Azy, who reminded me of Chewbacca. He didn't move around much, but he is said to be the peace-keeper of the group.
Haleigh posed in front of Azy.
It was such an interesting exhibit, and I know it will be a favorite attraction at the zoo.
After the orangutans, the girls were excited to have their faces painted.
They both chose (with a little direction) the princess mask.
Looks good, Hay!
Next, it's Ella's turn.

Great job holding still!
Pretty pretty princess.
With faces painted, we saw the tigers and the bears. When Haleigh asked if she could see the bats, her mom told her that she didn't like bats much. I told her that I thought they were creepy. She took my hand and said, "Granny, I will be right by your side." We went to see the bats. :)
We finished up in the waters building, where we saw the polar bear, then circled back around to see stingrays, penguins, and the sharks.
I don't think they actually touched the sharks, but they did watch them.
Here, sharky sharky.
We had a great day, with lions and tigers and orangutans, oh my! And two pretty princesses with their mommy.

1 comment:

Terri D. said...

Great photos and beautiful little princesses! What a nice day you had! Zoos are so much fun to visit.