Monday, 16 December 2013

Mission: Elephant (Kyra's Day Out)

Kyra loves elephant.. everytime we take her to the zoo, she is always 'glued' to the elephant area. We can walk around and see other animals, but she will always ask us to take her back to the elephants!

While her brothers are  having a play and study weekend at a friend's house, we decided to take Kyra on a day trip to the zoo. She was jumping up and down, when her father told her that she was going to visit the elephants..

Kyra woke up late this morning, so she had late breakfast. We left the house about 11 a.m. and we reached to zoo at about 11.30. The weather was warm, but thanks to the trees, it was nice inside the zoo. From the entrance, we went straight to the elephant area.

The first one we saw was the male (my personal guess was that he was the alpha). He was the biggest one we saw in the zoo and he had an area all to himself. He didn't mind the crowd, but he didn't really look for attention either. I tried to take shots of him and Kyra, when suddenly, he leaned to the wall that separated his compound from the next door compound. Not sure what he was doing, we were guessing he was looking for his family..

We moved on to the next elephant compound. There we saw two female elephants, one looked older than the other. These two certainly were looking (and enjoying) the attention from the visitors. We were not supposed to feed the animals, but some people tried to give peanuts to the elephants. One person even threw a mango.

I was worried the elephant would go excited and misplace his foot, which could result in the elephant falling from the high area of the compund. It turned out that the people coming with the guy who was giving peanuts, were thinking the same thing. They asked him to stop feeding the animals, and he did. I think the guy was happy enough because the elephant's trunk touched his palm when taking the peanuts he offered.

At that time, Kyra started walking away from the elephant compound. She wanted to have a ride on an elephant! She has been waiting for this chance for some time now. So, we started walking to the elephant ride area.

Before we reached the elephant ride, we went past the elephant nursery. I read about the baby elephant's birth on the internet, and I was so happy to see the baby with my own eyes! The baby elephant was so cute. It was walking fast around the nursery, while its mother was watching.

The baby elephant was thirsty and went to drink from the pond. The pond was surrounded by stones, probably for the safety of the baby elephant. The baby was safe from drowning, but it took a lot of his efforts to move his short legs around the stones. The baby was not about to give up though. It drank until it had enough, then it slowly walked back, over the stones..

Yep! The baby elephant and Kyra are as persistent as one another.. Children never cease to amaze me!

From the nursery, we went straight to the elephant ride area, which was only across the walkway. I bought the tickets for my husband and Kyra, and found a good spot to take pictures.

Kyra waited in line patiently (which amazes me, since the line up was quite long).

Once she reached the top of the stage thing, where she would hop on the elephant, I could see that she was eyeing all the elephants that were coming and going, trying to find an opportunity to touch the big animal. My husband kept asking her to stay away from the edge of the stage, worried that she might slip and fall. She followed her dad's direction, but, her eyes were still looking for any elephants walking towards her..

Finally, it was Kyra's turn to hop on the elephant.. YAY!

My husband asked her if she wanted to sit in front of the elephant handler (note: other riders, especially the kids, sit behind the handler. I didn't even think that people were allowed to sit in front of the handler). I was busy trying to take pictures, I didn't notice where Kyra and my husband were sitting, until later, when I was reviewing the pictures.. When my husband told me that Kyra wanted to sit in front, I didn't think that she was actually allowed to.. I was really surprised when I saw the pictures, it looked like she was rubbing the elephant's head and talking to it!

When the ride was over, Kyra hopped off the elephant, and gave a big pat on the animal's head. I think they have become friends now..

As we were walking away from the elephant ride, we saw one elephant was being taken out of the ride area, for drink and splash. While Kyra was lining up, I saw the other elephants doing the rides were taken out in turns for drink and splash. At that time I couldn't rush to take pictures because I was worried I would end up losing my spot, and couldn't take pictures of Kyra on the elephant. Now that Kyra's ride was over, I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to see this rare occassion. I had my camera ready and started taking pictures..

I was enjoying taking pictures so much, that I didn't realise that the elephant was walking towards me and standing right in front of me! I wasn't using the zoom, because I was standing close to the elephant. Can you imagine how close this elephant got to me, if it shows up this big on my camera lens?

My husband was laughing at me, as I jumped back.. But the elephant was only as interested in me as I was in her.. It was an experience I would never forget..

Kyra waved at the elephant and asked us to move on. My husband suggested that we went to see the snake show. Luckily the show had just started, so we didn't have to wait long for the people to come in. At the end of the show we offered Kyra to have her picture taken with a giant snake, but she refused, "I like elephants. I don't like snakes, " she said.. I guess I have to accept that. Aza is the reptile lover, while Kyra is the big animals lover.. haha..

We started looking for the Children Zoo.. It turned out that it was on the other side of the zoo! We went in, and right away we could see little ponies were tied to the trees, ready for kids to take a ride on them.

At first Kyra didn't want to have a ride, but then, she started walking towards the ponies, saying that she wanted to pat them.. The handlers warned us that ponies are still horses, they have strong legs and they can kick!

I said to Kyra that to get near the ponies, she had to buy a ticket. She finally said yes. However, since it took some time for her to make that decision, two other kids had entered the pony ride before her. They took the ponies offered by the handler. Kyra didn't want the ponies taken by those kids. She had her eyes on the brown one.. the biggest pony there!

I thought that when one of the handlers brought the smallest pony to her, she would go for it, but NO! She actually said no to the handler, "I want the brown one!" So, the handler called out the other handler, the handler of the brown pony. The other guy was grinning, "She asks for the brown one! The big one!"

I told him that we just had an elephant ride, and she was riding in front of the elephant handler. The pony handler laughed, "That's good. It means she is a brave kid!"

Just like the elephant ride, I didn't realise that Kyra was holding the rein, not the stump on the saddle. The other kid who went on the pony was not allowed to do this. The handler kept reminding him to hold the stump and not to touch the rein. I guess, the pony handler was as brave and confident as she was.. ;-)

From the Children Zoo, we decided to have lunch before going home. On the way to the food area, we walked past the elephant nursery again, and we caught the sight of the baby elephant feeding.. it was a very beautiful sight..

After lunch, we finally went home. Kyra was already tired, and she had done everything she came to do. So, it was time to rest..

Until next time.. :-)

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