yesterday me and a friend from college who i'd not seen in around a year headed out to chester zoo for the day, mainly because there was the promise of sloths (!!) it was really nice to meet up again and chat as though there'd never been any horribly long gap since we last met up and it made me wonder why the hell i struggle to make more of an effort to meet up with old friends i know i can have a bloody good time with; note to self: friends should always be glad to hear from you, so go for it!
£20 in as a student doesn't make for a particularly cheap day out, however when you look at how easy it is to spend £20 on a shopping trip and that the money you're paying into the zoo goes towards the care and conservation of the animals, it makes it all worthwhile. i also think a trip to the zoo makes for a great day out because it offers you the chance to enjoy the (hopefully nice) weather, it keeps you active, it's fun, educational (if you take the time to read about all the animals) and offers you the chance to really watch and observe all the different animals, and if you're anything like me, that'll be the part you love the most; in particular i always love to watch the apes because i'm always astounded by just how humanlike they are; see picture 8 and the chimp sat like a human, for example.
of all the animals i saw yesterday, there were a couple in particular that i really enjoyed seeing. one were the tapirs, who shocked me with their size the first time i saw them last year in germany – i'd always imagined them to be tiny, dog sized like creatures, so when i saw something that was more similar to a hippo in size it took me by surprise! i really like animals that appear to interact with you, and the tapirs yesterday really held eye contact and appeared to be really interested and aware that you were around, unlike big cats who appear to purposely ignore your presence (typical cats, eh?) i just felt like reaching out to give them a fuss every time they stuck their little noses through the bars towards me, so sweet!
and, of course, the other creatures i was excited to see were the sloths. when we arrived at the enclosure, both sloths were asleep – shock horror! however after waiting around for a while and going outside to see the jaguars for a short while, we headed back in and luckily caught sloth feeding time which very quickly woke both sloths up and saw them crawling down towards the keeper. i can't put into words why it is, but sloths fill me with such an overwhelming feeling of joy that it's hard to not turn into a giddy young girl around them, tearing up and squeeing involuntarily. i just love how they move, so slowly but steadily, tilting their head upside down and peering around, scratching at themselves so carelessly and just hanging around looking oh so content; if you've never seen a sloth in the flesh, i really recommend going to do so! where big cats are as they sound – just like cats, but larger – a sloth is unlike any other creature you're likely to have encountered in your life and it's just so fascinating to watch how they exist. they're also less common in uk zoos than animals such as elephants and rhinos, so they're always something of a treat to go and visit.
all in all, a really positive day out. a catch up with a good friend and the chance to spend some time around my all time favourite animal really does make for an extremely happy version of myself; i already can't wait to head back to the zoo in germany this august to see some sloths again!