Tuesday, April 3, 2018

You Can Pet Kangaroos at the Nashville Zoo

Both kids love animals, so zoos and aquariums are sites that we always try to visit when we travel. Other than the hotel, indoor pool, and local pizza restaurant, then, the Nashville Zoo was the first place that we visited in Nashville.

Bonus (kinda): it was so freaking cold on this day that the ticket office gave us half-off our admission!

And because of the cold, some of the animals weren't out (the African plains, in particular, were deserted), but there were still plenty of beautiful critters to spy:



Especially in the nice and warm herpetology building!






This was pretty cool. The zoo was preparing to open a new exhibit the next day, and they were removing some of the rays from this exhibit to transfer to the new one:







Turns out that goats don't mind being cold, and there's nothing that my kids love better than a petting zoo!


These goats could even do some tricks!








Syd's favorite animal was the cloud leopard. She sat for ages and just watched these particular kitties chilling in a patch of sunlight:


The best place, though, was the kangaroo habitat. You could just walk through it freely--and so could the kangaroos!

Of course you, unlike they, have to stay on the path:




But, if you can reach them, you're allowed to pet them. Unfortunately, most of the kangaroos spent most of their time napping just out of reach of people's arms--I mean, of course:

But occasionally one would get so dozy that it would roll over near enough:





Found a punctuation error:



The zoo used to be someone's farm, and they still have the original house and the kitchen garden on display. You know how much I love a historic garden!


They also have one of the best playgrounds that I've ever seen. Matt and I were kind of tapped out at this point, so I don't have many photos, but trust me--it was massive and really cool:


One annoyance throughout the day had been some pestering flocks of wild geese that seem to have made their home at the zoo. They were pretty aggressive, not being fussed at all by the presence of people but instead quite interested in the contents of their bags and pockets and hands, and I kept seeing people encouraging them, feeding them junk and convincing their children to get close to them for photos, and it was pissing me off. It doesn't do any favors to a kid, to teach it to approach a wild animal and treat it like a photo prop, and it doesn't do any favors to the geese, feeding them crap and teaching them to behave aggressively around humans.

There were some geese piled around a primate exhibit, being encouraged by a dad with a camera who was trying to film his toddler interacting with them, and some dudes on a bench feeding them popcorn. I was soooooo ready to go, but the primates had just come outside, the kids were dying to see them, and this dad and the geese were completely blocking the path. I ignored the whole lot of them and walked straight down the path, through the middle of the geese. One goose started hissing at me--because geese are aggressive--and I ignored it while the dudes on the bench heckled me, and it tried to bite me, but I didn't care because I was wearing jeans, so I didn't even look at it, just kind of kicked it away from me as I kept walking. I heard the dudes screaming, but I figured they were just shocked that the goose actually attacked me, so I just kept walking and ignored them. When the rest of the family finally caught up with me, however, the kids were in hysterics with laughter. They'd wisely been more reluctant to walk straight through a flock of geese, so they had the perfect vantage point to see that when I'd kicked at the goose that was biting me, I'd actually unintentionally kicked it (the kids say kick, but I swear it was more of a very firm nudge) straight at the dudes who were heckling me. All the dudes (except for one dude--good job, Calm Dude!) immediately started shrieking, and both kids insisted that they had literally jumped behind the bench they'd been sitting on, fleeing from the goose.

That will teach THEM to encourage the wildlife!

And now whenever I am angry at someone, the children like to ask if I'm going to kick a goose at them.

Curious about the other zoos and aquariums we've visited? Here they are, and I promise that I have not kicked any of the animals at any of them:

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