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Traveling the world at the Bronx Zoo

What if you could take a tour and see the entire world in about eight hours? I know how you can. Just hop in the car with your parents and take a daycation to the Bronx Zoo.

You may think a zoo is just a place with a bunch of animals in cages. That is not what the Bronx Zoo is all about. My dad, brother, sister and I went to the Bronx Zoo. My dad bought a membership on the Internet (bronxzoo.com) the night before, so we didn't pay extra for admission or any exhibits.

As the first people in the park, we decided to hop on the bug carousel so we could check out bugs -- the giant grasshoppers, beetles, preying mantis and many other icky insects. After a few photos with the big bugs, we took a walk down the road to Africa, where we saw African wild dogs and giraffes. As we walked through the African plains and the Somba village, we spotted birds roaming loose in the zoo -- beautiful blue-and-green-feathered peacocks.

The lions were a little sleepy, and we learned from reading one of the many signs that told us about the animals and their environment that lions normally sleep about 20 hours a day. Someone should get them an alarm clock.

Next, we visited the Baboon Reserve. The baboons were playing and having a swinging good time. There was an adorable baby baboon watching us, and his brothers and sisters were up banging on the glass wall. After visiting them, we traveled back in time to the Ice Age in the 4-D theater. We were given 3-D glasses. When the movie started, we could smell the flowers, feel the earth move, get snowed on and even get sprayed with who knows what when a dinosaur sneezed on us. Awesome.

We went back to Africa and visited the Congo Gorilla Forest. The gorilla family was really active. The biggest and oldest was a gorilla named Ernie. One of the zoo workers told us all about Ernie. Ernie came right up to the glass and posed for our pictures. He was so into it that he didn't even go to a private place when he had to use the potty. That was a little gross. There also were monkeys, giant fish and bats in the gorilla forest.

On our way down to lunch in Asia we spotted the brown bears. They were running around, play- fighting and climbing.

After lunch, we convinced our dad to take us on a camel ride. I had mixed emotions about that. It was a little scary being up so high, a bit smelly, but very exciting.

We visited the Himalayan Highlands and the Arctic with its polar bears and seals. We hopped on some grasshoppers during a second ride on the bug carousel. The day was so much fun!

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