Baby Animals (MN Zoo, July)

Despite the humidity, visiting the MN Zoo in July has its perks. The animals that have been born that spring are still small enough to be considered cute, but big enough to develop personality. The young animals seem to be more expressive than the adults, but their expressions are fleeting in comparison. This is true for the wildlife, and for a barn swallow fledgling along the Northern Trail this was especially true. Despite being almost too big for its’ nest it still boldly begged for food. Even when an adult wasn’t around it would open its mouth as if it could will food in. The adult came and went several times, but still the little(ish) one wasn’t satisfied.

"Are you my mummy?"

“Are you my mummy?”*

"Feed me, Seymour!"**

“Feed me, Seymour!”**

Once at the farm, there were munchkins aplenty. All of them are equal parts cute, but my favorite ones are the pigs. I have fond memories while volunteering of picking up the smallest of each litter and letting the kids pet them. It was rewarding to see the kids who were reluctant to pet the piglets thinking their hair would be wiry like the adults then exclaim that they were indeed soft. Also, for some reason people tend to have more stories to tell about growing up with pigs than other cattle. Of course it was dependant on if the piglets would be small enough to catch, and even then woud it be worth picking them up only to have the shrilly squeal?

In this particular visit to the farm, the piglets wouldn’t have been small enough to hold for much longer. Even as they were vying for mama’s milk, they seemed eager to explore. When one seemed to get bored with nursing, another followed it outside. They chased each other for a bit, but seemed indecisive. They seemed to enjoy testing their legs, but tired quickly. After a few more laps outside they went back to mom and began looking for a spot to nurse.

One of the nursing piglets. Not pictured: Charlotte the spider.***

A nursing piglet. Not pictured: Charlotte the spider.***

The two playful piglets. ****

The two playful piglets. ****

So, as much as it’s tempting to gripe about the heat and humidity going to the zoo in July has its perks. After all, I have yet to hear of someone complain about baby animals.

*Doctor Who reference

** Need I explain the reference to The Little Shop of Horrors?

*** I didn’t actually see any spiders, but no piglet picture is complete without a Charlotte’s Web reference.

**** No reference here, just some fun alliteration.


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