We haven't been to the Lincoln Park Zoo in a while, and we realized they had a few new animals. They also were short a few we remembered. Several exhibits were closed for remodeling. The penguin/puffin house is going to be torn down, and all the penguins and puffins have been sent off to other zoos/aquariums. This was a disappointment, as we do love to see those puffins. But the house really was in pretty sad shape, so I can understand the decision. New and exciting additions included a whole bunch of red kangaroos, who were feeling particularly playful today and were very fun to watch. There was also a waterbuck where the deer used to be, and we thought those were really beautiful. I didn't remember to take a picture of them, we were so entranced with watching them.
My favorite moment of the day was when we encountered a spoonbill bird of some sort (I didn't even get what sort of bird it was), sitting right on the ledge, within touching range. The boys got really close to it, and it flapped its wings and brushed Max's hat with its feathers. Max reported that on camera, but the funniest thing he said came right after, when I had stopped filming. I said it was tempting to touch them when they are so close, even though I know we aren't supposed to. And he said, "I didn't touch it. It touched me. But I was involved in the touching."
Update, 2/2/2012: We just saw in this morning's Tribune that Adelor, the male lion, was euthanized yesterday (Wednesday) morning. We were there on Tuesday. I read the article to the boys, and it made Otto cry (of course—I should know this sort of news would make him cry, but he was also interested to hear the story, so I think it was right to share it with him). We had visited the lion, thought he did seem kind of quiet. We felt kind of sad that we hadn't spent more time looking at him. We looked at the female, who was sitting on the big boulder, where the male usually sits. We wondered where the male was, and then we saw him, kind of curled up (as best a giant cat can curl up) by the viewing window, resting. We didn't walk over to the window for a closer look. Later, we heard him roaring, although it was indeed a mild roar, not the bold one we have heard on previous visits. I didn't think much of it at the time, but now I'm wondering if those were some of the last roars, more like moans, that he ever did. We realize how special it was that we saw him on his very last day on earth.