The Adventures of Millsy – Part V – Millsy Goes to the Zoo

Welcome back, Millsy fans! After taking a week to think about what next destination would be super cool to go to, I hit the jackpot. Sure, my previous posts of downtown Frederick and Thanksgiving were cool, but it was time to bring things to the next level. One of the things I liked doing when I was a little trophy, before my cup was fully grown, was going to the zoo and feeding the animals. Although I didn’t get to feed the animals this time around, one almost starting feeding on me! If you haven’t figured it out yet, I got to go to the Catoctin Zoo & Wildlife Preserve. Located approximately 20-30 north of Frederick, this place is the home to some of my favorite creatures!

As you enter the facility, they have a large gift shop for anyone looking to commemorate their zoo trip. From stuffed animals to zoo brochures, there is something for zoo-goers of all ages. The white tiger caught my eye at first since I always enjoyed watching the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers as a young’n. The Keys employees that accompanied me on this excursion refused to buy the stuffed tiger for me, so they better watch their backs because I have some pranks up my sleeve. Moving right along…

We hopped on a golf cart and stopped in an area that looked like the winter house for a large animal. After walking in, my suspicions were confirmed. It was a freakin giraffe. I am sure not many of you out there can say that you have been this up close with a giraffe, so seeing him coming towards me was a bit frightening. My fears were lessened when his long, rough tongue emerged from him mouth to give me a kiss. Who knew giraffe’s were so friendly? According to the zoo-keepers, they are not always like this…it all depends on how many there are and what gender. All male groups do well together but a group of dominant males and some females…well, that may be trouble. How about another close-up?

The giraffe was named “Rocket”. As you can see here, Rocket is just preparing to lay one on me. Unfortunately, I cannot actually show you the picture of the kiss because then I would have to tell you all what it was like and guys do NOT kiss and tell. We all know that.

What is this blurry animal, you ask? A warthog. Not just any warthog though. This one was named “Pumba” after the character in the Lion King. I don’t think there is one person who has seen that movie and not liked Pumba so i gave him a chance to get a photo-op with me. Maybe he will show Timon and Simba when he returns to Pride Rock. That would be something…

The next stop on the tour was a special visit to the bird of the United States. Sampson, the bald eagle, is a very majestic bird and just being in its presence gave me goosebumps. One of his wings was damaged before the Catoctin Zoo took him in, so he cannot fly too well. Here is a fun fact. You know in movies when they show bald eagles and they make the loud screeching sound? Believe it or not, that is not what they sound like. The sound you hear is normally that of a red-tailed hawk. The bald eagle doesn’t really make that loud of a sound. Don’t tell anyone though, I am sure some people don’t want to figure out that the US bird is not as cool sounding in real life.

I was lucky enough to get a picture with Sampson as he was making one of his bird noises. We hope at some point this baseball season that he will be able to come out to the ballpark during the National Anthem to represent the country. Thanks for letting us visit, buddy!

The final stop on the zoo adventure was to the lion cage. Raised by June, one of the main zoo-keepers in Catoctin, this beautiful animal has been in Maryland for a while. When we first got to the exhibit, June actually was petting the tiger and letting it kiss her. Unreal. At ten years old, the tiger was brought in when it was just a little cub. As you can see, it is not a little cub anymore. It was really unique getting to go this close to a tiger, but one she started licking her lips, I promptly exited. Better to be safe than sorry!

Thanks to the Catoctin Zoo & Wildlife Preserve for letting me do all of this. I should probably get going though…after getting licked by Rocket the giraffe, I need a fresh shining. Until next time, Shake Your Keys!

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