Last weekend Ryan came up to visit me! On Friday night we went to dinner at the Gasthaus and then played ping pong at the Rec Center. Saturday we went to the zoo, which is something I've wanted to go ever since I moved here for college! I'm so glad we got the chance to go!
We started off by viewing the South American Humboldt penguins before moving on to the flamingos. This trip I decided to focus on learning about the animals since I normally ignore all the informational signs in an attempt to capture every moment on camera. That defeats the purpose of actually being there, so I tried to refrain from taking as many photos as I normally would and enjoy the moment.
On our way to the aviary we passed a giant pond full of Koi fish! I love how colorful they are!
It's amazing just how many species of birds there are! While the zoo only has a particular selection, I felt completely amazed reading about them all. One of the things I want to do this summer is learn more about birds and maybe try my hand at drawing some as well!
After the aviary we went to the great ape house, which I left feeling pretty unsettled. So many of these intelligent species who share upwards of 97% of our DNA are endangered due to deforestation and palm oil plantations. There were several information stations throughout the building that told you what you can do to help, and I've decided to take steps in my life to try and better this situation!
I have decided to remove non-sustainable palm oil from my diet and educate myself further on both deforestation and palm oil and further ways I can help the many species affected by it. If you have any interest in learning about the situation as well, visit www.redapes.org or deforestationeducation.com.
The sign had quite a bit a glare, so I'll spell out the highlights:
Use Your Power as a Consumer!
After the orangutans, we also go the chance to see bonobos and silverback gorillas. Both of these species are also endangered, but fortunately Milwaukee Zoo has one of the most successful breeding groups of bonobos! They have a verterinary team that provides extension care, even offering psychiatric guidance for them. I have no idea how that works, but how interesting!
I was amused by all of their "meet our family" plaques for the gorillas. Each had a short biography of the ape and some fun facts. My favorite was a male named Hodari, whose favorite things to play with were "pillow cases and bubbles." :)
Then we moved on to the big cats. Despite being large and powerful, many big cats are endangered too. I learned that the only predators to jaguars are the humans! Fierce!
The tiger on this display board is pretty hangry!! When I'm hangry I feel like roaring "GET IN MY BELLY" too!
We were having a good time watching the elephants when one suddenly decided the grass was greener on the other side! Everyone started freaking out and was worried she was going to try and cross over, but as soon as her trunk could reach the grass she settled down. It was such a surprise!
The free range peacocks are entering mating season! The males kept getting all showy when the ladies turned up! They didn't seem to mind zoo-goers very much because they let me get really close to take pictures.
Our last stop at the zoo was the aquarium! Fish are amazingly diverse, but the California Sheephead stood out the most to me in particular! Apparently they're all born female, but one changes into a male when the dominant male dies! They have no idea why either! Weird!
We wrapped our awesome day at the zoo with a trip to Belair for some burritos! Ryan ordered Pedro's Burrito and I got a Spicy Shrimp one. They were giant and delicious!
The trip to the zoo was great! It was well worth the anticipation and I learned about ways I can alter my lifestyle and take a step towards helping endangered animals. The day also ended with burritos, another plus!
And now we're already on another weekend! Time is really flying by as the semester wraps up! I hope your weekends are going great! :)
Hi my name is Emilee and I am a kinesiology undergraduate student. These are my adventures as a young adult living in Milwaukee. Here I will share my experiences as I navigate through college. Thanks for stopping by!