Shaarav is my 3-year-old who loves animals. Though he is currently into dinosaurs but his love for wild animals is never-ending. Off late he has been making several requests to take him to the zoo, but, due to the pandemic we’re unable to honour his requests. So, what I did for him was re-lived the day by showing him pictures and videos from that day. To my amazement, he remembered most of the things about that day which made it super fun. Let’s take you all on the tour of that day.
Shaarav’s dad was reluctant to take us to the city zoo knowing how ill-managed and unkempt the place was. But after days of coaxing, persuading and pleading, he finally agreed. Shaarav was the one who was the most excited knowing he would get to watch real-life animals. And a couple of days prior to the D-day we had began to hear stories of how he’s going to watch the lions roar and the elephants trumpet.
We started for the zoo after breakfast and all the way my little tiger was either roaring or trumpeting. We were really disappointed to see the condition of the zoo but watching Shaarav’s excitement levels we just couldn’t back off. So, as soon as we entered the zoo after taking the tickets the first enclosure was of bucks and deer which were too difficult to spot because of the camouflage. Then we came on next to the enclosure where emus were kept. Shaarav confused them with ostriches.
Next, we came towards a big water enclosure where the board said, “Hippopotamus”. The water body was big and we were busy trying to spot the mighty animal but little did we know Shaarav was about to witness a big fan moment. After minutes of scanning the water body when we finally spotted the animal, my 3-year-old (2.3 years at the time) started calling it “Mr. Hippo” at the top of his lungs. And what happened after will forever remain etched in his mind and ours too. The hippo obliged Shaarav by opening his mouth wide revealing his large canines. And it goes without saying how much my kid was ecstatic watching it. I wish I could have recorded it but I somehow missed a rare opportunity.
Moving forward we stopped at the enclosure which had leopards. Shaarav mistook the leopards for tigers so I explained the difference. But what amused us the most was how the leopard cub which was quietly seated before the other visitors, started to jump and leap after watching Shaarav. Since the enclosure didn’t have proper protection, we had to hold Shaarav securely to keep him away running towards it. Shaarav clapped and rejoiced watching the leopard cub.
We watched monkeys, langurs, pelicans, turkeys, fowls and several other animals before I had my fan girl moment.
Living in Indian Agriculture Research Institute, New Delhi for 7 years I had innumerable encounters with peacocks and peahens. But never had I watched a peacock spread out its tail feathers and dance until this day.
The moment we reached their enclosure the peacock honoured us by spreading its feathers and dancing and it was so spectacular that I was speechless. This time not only Shaarav, but I too was jumping with excitement and joy.
The eventful day ended with helping Shaarav with the swings in the park at the zoo and finally a memorable ride in the rustic toy train.
We returned home with countless memories and stories to tell to each other. And though the place needed severe renovation and restoration but none of that mattered anymore. We truly had a great adventurous day!
This story about our trip to the Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park in Bokaro Steel City (Jharkhand) is a part of a story contest #kbcKaadooMonkeyTales for which we thank Asha Chaudhry and Kaadoo Games.
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