Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Panama City Beach Zoo World

Back when my oldest son was getting ready to go to his Grandparents' for a month, I was making plans for what to do with his little brother while home.  The number one thing on his summer 'to do' list was to go to the Montgomery Zoo.  When my oldest realized he was going to miss out on that, Mark promised that we would visit the zoo in Panama City Beach.

Zoo World is only 7 acres large, so it's quite easy to walk the entire thing without getting tired.  And even though they're smaller, or perhaps even -because- they're smaller, it's much more intimate feeling.  The animals are more engaged with the people who come to visit.

They have groundhogs, but more impressive, they have a little tunnel that kids can go through with see through windows that give them a more intimate view of the critters, as well as give them a bit of the feel of what it's like to be in a groundhog's tunnel.

They have otters, that even came out to say hello.

And chickens, parrots, geese, ducks, swans and peacocks just wander the park as they please.  I got to see a white peahen with two babies!  I'd never have known them for peacocks.  They looked like little awkward chickens.

When we visited the lemurs, they were right up against the mesh fence and let us pet them!  We spent almost 20 minutes right there.  They licked all the kids' hands and one of them kept smacking at Mark's hand when he put his palm up.  We decided it didn't like him (;

The also had New Zealand Dingos, aka Singing Dogs.  They are considered a living relic and are the only canine NOT related to any other canine!  They're also extremely endangered.  It's estimated that there are only 100 alive in the world, so when you look at the 7 they have at Zoo World, you're literally looking at 7% of their population!

As we got closer to the playground, we came across the only section I took pictures in.







We got to see wolves and Old World Monkeys called Mandrills (Like Rafiki!) closely related to Baboons.

Then we stayed for the show where we got to see Parrots, Frogs, Snakes, Lizards and a Hedgehog up close.  My boys adored seeing the hedgehog!

We made a quick trip to Zaxby's for lunch-- great opportunity to introduce the visiting family to a local favorite (:

Then we headed back to feed the animals in the petting zoo.  The kids adored feeding the goats, donkeys, and sheep.  The camel was cranky and the giraffe had a chicken in it's feed bucket that it was busily keeping an eye on.

All in all, we had a wonderful mini-vacation down to Panama City Beach, and decided that next year, we need to spend a whole weekend down there, visit the beach and some of the other attractions.

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