Shark Therapy Day at the Zoo

The Webmaster and I decided to get the boys out of the house for the holiday yesterday, so we took a drive and spent part of the day at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  And because it was a rainy, drizzly day, we spent a lot of time inside the aquariums there.  Tad was in dire need of some shark time, and had been asking to go to the aquarium for a few months.

When we arrived, we actually saw something quite fun – the stingrays and sharks at Stingray Cove (the touch tank experience) were getting lunch.  The keepers were tossing in pieces of shrimp for the rays to eat, and using long metal tweezers to hand-feed each of the sharks.  The cove has both epaulette and bamboo sharks, and Tad was able to “pet” both today.

Petting the epaulette shark

Petting the bamboo shark

He also petted several rays, and was quite good and gentle.  The entire experience was a deeply focusing one for him.  Then we went down into “the Batcave,” as he called it – the shark tank downstairs.  (I am sure that if he were Batman, he would keep a shark aquarium in the Batcave.)  We found the wobbegong shark, which we have not been able to find in our last couple of visits, and that made Tad happy.

Tad and his friend the wobbegong shark

We eventually wandered upstairs to the North Pacific Aquarium, and saw the new jellyfish exhibit.

Rerun looks at flame jellies

Pacific moon jellies

After we left the aquarium, we wandered over to the Asian forest, where we saw the tigers…

Kali the tiger poses for us

(incidentally, Tad now thinks all tigers should be named “Hobbes”)

My name is not Hobbes, strange boy

… and the elephants.

Suki and Hanako, the Asian elephants

Since Woodland Park Zoo closed their elephant barn and exhibit, Point Defiance is the only zoo in the area that still has elephants.  And both Rerun and Thumper LOVED seeing them.  The Webmaster was holding Thumper up so he could get a good look at them, and Thumper kept saying, “Effunt.  Brrrrrr,” as he tried to mimic an elephant’s trumpeting.  It was so cute!

Thumper on the go!

We let Thumper do a lot more walking than usual, even though we brought the stroller with us.  Thumper’s getting older, and it’s better for him to be burning off energy by wandering around on his own two feet – so long as we can keep up with him.  With Tad going one way and Rerun another, sometimes that’s not so easy.  But our efforts were rewarded by Thumper and Rerun both taking naps in the car on the way home.

So, Tad’s gotten his shark fix, and that should help for a little bit.  Now to keep them from killing each other for the rest of midwinter break.

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