A few weeks ago, we went to the zoo to help celebrate Packy the Elephant's birthday. Packy is a legend at the Portland Zoo, so there was a huge turnout for the birthday party. Plus, there was free cake and free paper elephant ears, so there's that.
We had a bit of hard time maneuvering around because there's a ton of construction going on right now, but we'll excuse the mess because it means they are bringing back the lions and tigers. Building big, strong cages to keep big, strong animals away from visitors is pretty important. And considering the lions have been away from the zoo for more than 10 years, it's worth the construction.
After singing Happy Birthday to Packy, we meandered around to see some of the exhibits. We have a zoo membership, which releases us from feeling like we have to see everything. We can skip past all the Pacific Northwest creatures (which somehow seem kind of boring to me), and head straight to the exotic animals. We saw the polars bears, which characteristically did nothing. That's okay. We had more fun with the life-size portrait of the bears.
We saw the penguins--or "pingus" as Jules calls them--and paid a visit to the naked mole rat cage to see if any of them were wearing clothes (ala Wilber, the naked mole rat who gets dressed). They were all predictably naked. Oh well.
Then we finally made our way over to the safari area to see the giraffes and zebras. Most of the animals were taking naps--presumably having stayed up too late the night before celebrating the elephant's birthday--but then I saw the hippos having a little moment.
I have to say that I usually don't pay much attention to hippos, but they really endeared themselves to me on this trip.
Sometimes you just need a little snuggle time. Sometimes you need a shoulder--or a backside--to lean on. Even hippos.
That's one happy hippo.
And now that Jason just got home for the weekend (only five more weeks of living apart!), I think I know exactly how Mr. Hippopotamus feels.