Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Zoorassic Park

This Memorial Day weekend our friends Ben and Carolyn, and their daughter Elsie, were up from Las Vegas. Saturday morning we met them at the Hogle Zoo. This summer they have a dinosaur theme, which they've entitled Zoorassic Park [1]. Scattered around the zoo are 10 animatronic dinosaurs next to plaques telling you a little more about them. I thought that was pretty exciting. Since Leann interned at the Hogle Zoo two summers ago, she was excited to see some of the animals she worked with and some of her friends who are animal keepers at the zoo.

Along the way we saw (left to right, top to bottom): Allosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Dilophosaurus (with baby), Kentrosaurus, Megalosaurus, Suchomimus, and Tyrannosaurus rex. The Dilophosaurus periodically spat water on the passers-by, but the plaque acknowledged that this was an invention by Michael Crichton for his book Jurassic Park and that there's no fossil evidence for such a behavior. In addition to the dinosaur animatrons that we saw, there were also models of: Coelophysis, Parasaurolophus, and Styracosaurus (with baby). Unfortunately, we didn't manage to find them while we were there.

But there were also plenty of non-extinct animals at the Hogle Zoo for us to see, like the tigers, the elephants, the orangutans, and the rhinoceroses.

Leann was particularly taken with the baby animals that we saw, like this baby prairie dog (top) and this baby eastern black and white colobus monkey (bottom).

Left to right: Kipenzi, Pogo, and Riley.

Leann was able to see Lisa and Holly, a few of the friends that she made when she was an intern two summers ago. Holly, who is the giraffe keeper, was kind enough to let us feed some bread to Daphne, one of the giraffes. As you can see, Daphne had a really long tongue. Ben, Carolyn, and Ben's sister Amy also got to feed Daphne. Amy's little boy, Andersen, was too shy. The other giraffes weren't interested in eating at the time.

All in all, it was a lot of fun, and if you get the chance, I recommend that you visit Utah's Hogle Zoo this summer.


[1] You can learn more at the public announcement, here. You can see the Zoorassic Park Survival Guide here (.pdf) but be warned that the name of one of the dinosaurs is spelled wrong in the word search (p. 12).

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