Friday, January 18, 2013

Bath Time With Baylor

For Christmas, I gifted Isaac with a behind the scenes tour of the elephant barn at the Houston Zoo.  This is an experience we've discussed for ages but never got around to doing anything about it.  This tour is only held on Friday mornings, but that wasn't going to stop us!

Our guide was Joanne, and after a tour of the outside of the exhibits, she took us into the barn to meet Ian and Rob, two of the elephant keepers.  They had Baby Baylor all ready to go, waiting on his bath.  We were allowed to scrub him up, scratch him, and stand in awe of this sweet boy while hearing all about the elephants' daily care at the zoo.  Honestly, most of this wasn't any news to us since we hear the elephant keeper talks routinely during our frequent zoo visits.  This time though, it was music to my ears while I scrubbed one of my favorite creations.  Baylor's wirey hair held to those suds, and his wrinkly skin lathered gently under the brush.  I was in Heaven the whole time!  Baylor and his mom Shanti showed us many of their tricks.  Shanti has a loud trumpet blow!  We saw their four teeth and learned that the five elephants at the time of Hurricane Ike survived quiet contentedly in the confines of their super safe barn.
Thai playing hide and seek

Shanti and her keeper
Ian checking out Baylor's leg   



Baylor ended our time together by turning into an absolute flirt and showing off the trick his mommy taught him.  He placed the end of his trunk on my hand, sucked in a big breath of air, and blew out.  It sounded (and felt!) just like a big, slobbery, toddler kiss.  Baylor proceeded to give me no less than twelve juicy kisses.  If I wasn't in love before, I sure was then!


We found out that the giraffe tour often includes a facial courtesy of one of the giraffes.  Um, sign me up!!  I also learned that they love using teachers for summer camp at the zoo.   I might have to get on that list too.  :)

Today was so sunny we couldn't help but visit Jonathan the lion, the tiger twins, the troop of chimps, my dear kudu, and a final stop with the giraffes for feeding time. 

There just might have to be more elephant days in my future.  It wasn't exactly cheap, but my time with these precious critters was worth every penny!  Thank You, Jesus!
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