A Day at the Zoo

We decided to take a picnic and go out to enjoy the windy but otherwise beautiful weather today. We ended up at the small zoo in Kichijoji where we saw Hanako, the first elephant to be sent to Japan after WWII (a gift from Thailand). She is 59 years old this year and has only one of her four teeth so her keepers feed her large amounts of very finely chopped sweet potatoes, bananas, carrots, apples and other things and chop her grass into 2 or 3 inch lengths. She played with a long hose, tossing it over her back and wrapping herself in it and then pulling it off and starting all over again. One of her teeth which came out a few years ago was on display. It looks like it must weigh 5 or 6 pounds.

L and N enjoyed the squirrels. They were given a bingo sheet with pictures of squirrels in various states of activity. They had to observe carefully to check off as many of the squares as possible. L found the most (or said he did) and was awarded walnut shell that had been expertly broken into two halves and emptied by a hungry squirrel. The zoo employee showed us how the pieces fit together and where the squirrel had scraped a hole along the seem to break it apart. L may have been expecting a more luxurious prize for his efforts but he did remember to say thank you. He looked much happier when all the observers were given badges for completing the tour. The walnut is in a box with some cotton to take to show-and-tell on Tuesday (tomorrow is a holiday).