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Jul 7, 2017

Animal Adventure Park ~ Field Trip Friday {AKA Z is for Zoo}

This week, Dad surprised us all with a little three day trip.  One of our stops was Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY.  Yep.  Home of the infamous giraffe, April, who gave birth live online this spring.  All Malachi wanted to do was get a drink, see April, and go.  He was a bit disappointed that we saved April for nearly the very last stop.  That was intentional on my part.  If we saw April first, I'd have to hear, "Can we go now?' the whole time.  As it was, once he was able to get a drink, I only intermittently was reminded we needed to hurry over to the giraffe barn.  Only slightly less annoying, but less annoying all the same.

So, we avoided the giraffe barn by heading right once we went through the gate.  There we checked out the many other exotic and not as exotic animals.  Most of them had signage on the fences telling all about each critter and it's conservation status.  Quite a few of these first animals were members of the bovine and a couple of the equine families, goats, sheep, deer, and some kind of short cattle I didn't see a sign for.  One of my favorite enclosures housed the tortoises.  If you watched many of the April videos this spring, you may have seen the tortoises overwintering in the loft in her barn.  Some were quite large and we loved watching them nosh on lettuce leaves.

We watched Alyssa (April's keeper) and a friend go fishin' for a gator.  There were two in the tub and the water was fairly clear, but the second the keepers entered the pen, under the water they went, stirring up the murk.  (I was afraid this young man might be trying to lose some fingers.)

Jordan records a Tuesday/Thursday educational video and we watched live as the American Alligator segment was filmed.  Standing in the tortoise enclosure is apparently dangerous, as Jordan was nearly tripped by a pair of the shelled critters fighting over some romaine.  Don't worry, Alyssa separated them off camera so the littler guy got to keep his treat.

We were able to see lots of little monkeys, lemurs, a honey badger, wolves, bears, hyenas, and a ton of other critters.  The boys asked lots of questions.  Xav decided if he was a bear, he would spend all day in their "pool."  It was pretty warm Thursday.  Pretty birds were everywhere, on the grounds and in enclosures. 

We did, indeed, eventually get around to the giraffe barn.  Oliver's door was closed and as we came around to the side of the barn, we saw that outer door was open and April and "little" Tajiri were also coming in.  We all popped in there and fed April and Oliver some of the carrot sticks we had purchased onsite for them.  Every time I saw Merrick, a different woman was handing him a carrot stick and lifting him up so he could feed one of the giraffes.  He and I even received one of April's famous "hay showers."

The following morning, we got the sad news that Maxx the Camel had died in his sleep that night.  I am so terribly sad for the AAP family.  I'm not even telling the boys.  They fed Maxx some nibbles while we were there and Xav and I had a photo with him. (While I sang Alice the Camel Had One Hump and Dad looked at me like it was an odd thing to do.)

I wish they had sold postcards and souvenir spoons (I'm up to 33 or so right now).  I think a giraffe spoon where the handle was a neck would have been perfect.  (Patent pending?  LOL)  Maybe they did, but the shop was pretty chaotic and I didn't see either item there.  I think they're experiencing some growing pains, but they're doing a great job and I was very happy to get to see our famous giraffe friend.

They have a couple of small buildings set up to accommodate nursing moms, diaper changes, and kiddos with sensory issues, which was very thoughtful.

Homeschool Discount - Only during the traditional school year or as a group of 20 or more.
Educational - Absotootly. - Zoology, geography, ecology.
Family Oriented - Yes.
Duration of Visit - About two hours.  (I could have stayed longer, but it was hot and Malachi was *done*.)

A Net In Time Schooling

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