Violet and I have started meeting some other moms and kids at the Attica Zoo for play dates — got to get some use out of this season pass I bought last April! Now that Violet is almost two, she totally loves going to the zoo.
You may be wondering what the differences are between zoos in Greece and zoos in the US. Many things are the same. For instance, the Greek zoo has an entertaining dolphin show.
Violet hadn’t been since last year, when she mostly wanted to climb on the bleachers. But this time she was totally captivated. It helped that she had a little cohort to sit next to.
This Greek zoo also has all of the typical animals you’ll see in America: bears, lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, hippos, and the like. They’ve also got statues the kids can pet or climb on. Violet loved this one the best.
We did notice a few differences. Violet has taken to climbing on the railings and fences, which wasn’t a problem until we got to the ostrich enclosure.
I stepped away to get the stroller when I noticed one of the ostriches making a beeline for my baby. Thankfully I ran back over and snatched her up before that little bugger nipped at her fingers! Violet was completely unfazed, but I’m sure she would have been wailing if the “big bird” bit her. I probably would have been, too! (By the way, I didn’t take this lovely ostrich photo — one of the moms with a much nicer camera and a much better eye for nature photography snapped this one.)
I also noticed that the fences in some areas stopped about a foot from the ground. Did they run out of money for fencing or something? I wasn’t so concerned that the giraffes or the zebras would escape — there was a sizeable ditch and a line of rocks on the other side of the fence — but an enterprising toddler could totally squeeze under it. Above the fence I saw a sign in Greek and English that said something to the effect of “Be sure to keep an eye on your children.” Indeed.
Later on, as we rounded a corner at the monkey enclosures, we saw this lil’ guy just hanging out on the railing. Ummm…is he supposed to be on THIS side of the cage? Of course, the kids all wanted to pet him, but we moms clutched their hands and gave him a wide berth. We watched as he walked around a bit, then climbed up to the top of the cage and popped himself back inside. We mentioned it to the next zookeeper we found, a man on a bike who I think said he was the owner of the zoo. We told him, “We saw a monkey loose in the zoo!” and he was like, “Oh, yeah, he gets out from time to time. Been doing it for months now, since he was very small. He’s the only one who does it.” He was not concerned. AT ALL.
Oh. Ok then. Ah, yes. Because…Greece.