Before we headed up for the day we stopped at Emerald Fields and grabbed some fast acting gummies from Wana. Do you remember those peach ring gummies that you could get for $2 at the gas station? They tasted exactly like that. It was nostalgia on nostalgia. Nostalgiaception, if you will.
We both ate 3 or 4 gummies, got ready, and headed out. Personally, I'm partial to sunnier days for the zoo or hikes, well at least until this particular day. We went later in the afternoon since the zoo does deals for non-peak times, and while it wasn't a torrential downpour it was certainly raining. We battled on, got an umbrella, and went for it.
The edibles were already kicking in and we were having a blast. For the first hour or so we were inside with the animals taking cover from the rain. Have y'all ever seen a bull giraffe up close? Because I have now and let me tell you, even without being stoned they are enormous! My boyfriend had never fed giraffes before so of course we got some lettuce and giggled our baked butts off at the giraffe's huge tongues as they reached for that leafy treat.
As we zigged and zagged through the zoo, the rain started letting up more and more. We got to see the lionesses grooming each other in some sort of cleaning ouroboros, the meerkats were peeping their little heads out of their tunnels to see what the ruckus was, and the peacocks and peahens were grumpily standing around under any cover they could find to preserve their fine feathers.
While we were looking at the reptiles in their cool modern enclosures (if you haven't seen it yet, go soon as you can) the rain stopped completely, the sun came out and so did all the animals. They must have been feeling cooped up because as soon as that rain stopped they were out and eager to be seen.
For the first time in my many visits to the zoo I got to see the snow leopard clear as day. Spoiler: he's gorgeous! He must have been feeling lonely because we sat and looked at each other for around 10 minutes before I won our staring contest, no small feat with how high I was at that point. Then, as if he knew we were walking up, the tiger right next door to his snowy cousin came out playing in his pool, siting in front of the moon window grooming himself and chasing the birds that were either stupid enough or brave enough to land in his enclosure.
By this point we may as well have been the only people at the zoo. It was rare that we saw another group of people, and the animals seemed to sense how empty it was because even the Canadian Lynx, notoriously shy as they are, were out and relaxed, sunbathing and letting us see their little bobtails. They stared at us sleepily, completely unbothered by our presence and enjoying the quiet.
Other natives will know that the penguin and hippo house was the place that needed the biggest facelift of any other enclosure. While we didn't get to see the hippos that day, we did get to see the new penguin house. They have a beautiful outdoor pool and their inside enclosure is all windows with a breathtaking view of the city below. The hippos now have a huge outdoor pool and there is a fun little play area and a bridge to a little overlook, so on days the hippos are out you can walk up there and get