Sunday, October 7, 2012

Where the Wild Things Are

At 2, Brayden thinks animals are awesome. He knows so many different kinds and loves to mimic their sounds. So to keep his imagination alight, we spend time at the Sierra Safari zoo.

Sierra Safari is a small zoo in North Reno started by some local animal lovers back in 1990. It’s a little operation that’s run entirely by volunteers who take care of about 150 animals, and it’s perfect for toddlers. This post is part flashback, part current because we’ve been several times in the past few weeks.

The first time we went, back in late August, Brayden was literally in awe of being so close to the animals. Granted, we had been to the Animal Ark back in July, but at Sierra Safari you see many more types of animals and you are much nearer to them. One of the coolest things about the zoo are the peacocks that openly roam the property. They’re so chill and just trot right along you. Needless to say, Brayden thought they were so neat.

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Now, what wasn’t so neat was the petting zoo area where all the deer and goat are. During our first visit in August, I bought a feed cone and emotionally traumatized Brayden when we entered into the Thunder Dome with the hungry, hooved maniacs. I can still hear his screams.

But…flash forward to today’s visit, and I figured out that it works much better when you feed the animals through the fence, and Brayden is totally good with this set up. He’s actually quite brave about it compared to the other kids his age (and older) I’ve seen there. He says hello to all the animals and just giggles and smiles while they nibble his goodies.

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Here’s a short minute long video of today’s feeding frenzy.

Brayden enjoys seeing and talking about many of the animals but some of his favorites are the lion,

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…the zebras,

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and the big tortoise.

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On our way out during our first visit, one of the employees was showing the boa constrictor in the main building. Needless to say, seeing it was a first for b.

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Sharing these moments with Brayden is so special. Watching his eyes widen when the lion roars or the monkeys call is priceless. But the best thing happened at the end of today’s visit. Brayden turned me as we walked to the car and said, “Fun, momma. Fun.” and gave me a hug and a kiss. That’s the best review any mom could ask for.

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