Cockadoodle Zoo

June 14, 2008

This morning the Zoo hosted its annual member-appreciation event, Cockadoodle Zoo.  One Saturday each summer the Zoo opens early to FONZ members and allows them to see how the animals and keepers start their days. There are on-going events such as How Do You Zoo? in which kids get to dress up and see what it’s like to be a keeper, a vet, or a nutritionist at the zoo and there are also scheduled demonstrations and activities with the animals throughout the morning.

I was able to attend the event in order to help the Zoo’s photography intern document the morning. I had to be at the Zoo before 7:30 a.m., which meant getting up extra early, but it was worth it!

We were able to see the fishing cat, Alexis, pretend to be interested in the live fish in her pool only to go back and take a nap instead of satisfying her hunger. We also saw the six Asian small-clawed otter brothers playing in their exhibit and the lions and tigers lounging in the sun. We even saw all three giant pandas – Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Tai Shan – munching on bamboo in their outdoor yards.

As part of Cockadoodle Zoo, visitors were invited to sneak a peek at the keeper area in the great cats exhibit. Since we were photographing the events of the morning that meant that we were able to go behind the scenes as well.

We rounded out our morning with a trip to the Kids’ Farm where young visitors got the chance to brush goats and donkeys and then a stop at the How Do You Zoo? area in the visitors center.

Even though I wasn’t attending the event as a journalist with the goal of writing something up, it was still really exciting to walk around the Zoo and say good morning to all the animals.

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