John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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We Went to the Animal Fair, To See the Animals There...

Another local furry trip, this time to the National Zoo for Panda Day! It was Camstone, Otter, Bearhug, Woof!, Laurie (Mrs. Gneech), and myself. I was rather expecting to see PandaGuy, but Camstone says he's a bit under the weather.

Laurie and I rode the Metro down into town; we had hoped to get there by 11:00 so we could see the tiger cub, but we didn't actually arrive at the zoo until 11:40 or so. Since the furries were all supposed to meet at the Otter Pond at noon, we had just enough time to check out the big cat enclosure generally before we headed over to see Otter.

As it was, we were the first ones to get there besides Otter himself. (He is a volunteer there, one of those people who stands around and repeats the same 30 seconds of statistics to every group of kids who comes wandering around.) Bearhug got there a bit later, so we all hung out at the otter pond, listening to Otter tell us about his research. Apparently he's working on the problem of "stereotypic activity," which is to say, the animals get into a routine of repetitive motion (like pacing back and forth in front of the bars) and their brains shut off. Besides being boring to watch, it's very not-good for the animals, and they're working on ways to combat it.

Otter's a very interesting kid, actually. He's still in high school, and he does this stuff. When I was in high school, I was doing bad local theater! Oh well. :)

Anyway, we all migrated over to the Zoo Store and hung out there, and Woof! wandered up -- he had lost all hope of finding us, apparently -- and Camstone arrived shortly thereafter. From there, it was a fun day of wandering around the zoo, being silly, and checking out the critters. The pandas were very cool ... I saw more movement from the new pandas today, than in all the previous 30 years of going to see Ling-Ling and Sing-Sing combined.

Otter, of course, wanted to go back and look at the otters some more. ;)

All in all, it was a nice day, even if I did manage to get sunburned -- in the winter -- walking around in the shade. Being one step up from an albino can be quite irritating. I bet if I stayed out all night, I'd get a moonburn!

-The Gneech
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