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Indy Zoo Revue #1: Lions and Tigers and Bears!

Bear + Stump!

“Sure hope you’re not waiting for me to get my butt stuck inside that stump like that idiot Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Longtime MCC readers have perused galleries of the various zoos we’ve visited throughout the course of our annual road trips, from San Antonio to Minnesota to Atlanta to Queens to my favorite so far at the base of Cheyenne Mountain (the prologue, the main event, and the best part). When our long-term MCC remastering project is completed over the next year or so, readers will also eventually be treated to pics of our experiences in Omaha, Philadelphia, and The Worst Zoo We’ve Ever Visited, which shall remain nameless for now. And those were just the menageries we’ve seen with the word “zoo” in their titles.

But we don’t have to leave town to see animals. I mean, besides the occasional deer and rabbits we see in our suburb, or the coyote that I’ve heard are skulking around other neighborhoods. We’re fortunate to live in a city with its own answer to all those options — the Indianapolis Zoo, which has come a long way over the last thirty years from its early days of depressed wildlife hunched over in tiny, stacked chain-link cages. Today their living spaces are vaster, the environments are natural and pretty in their own right, the animals are varied, and the concession stands have made progress in lunchtime edibility and flavors. It’s a fun place to be, but we’ve been to our zoo so many times that it never occurred to me till a couple weeks ago that in five years of Midlife Crisis Crossover, we’ve never posted a single photo of it here. That changes now.

In June my wife and I took my mom for a walk around the premises of our own Indianapolis Zoo to check out the current residents and the architectural upgrades on a sunny but not-so-sweltering Saturday. In this very special miniseries, we’ll take a look at the beasts and critters who welcomed us and hundreds of other families along the way.

Kicking things off: that classic trio in the headline. Couldn’t help myself.

Lions Three!

First up: a small pride of lions holding court over in the Plains area.

Lion King!

“That one’s the Lion King!” I heard a helpful mom teach her daughter.

Tiger in Repose.

Meanwhile in the Forest area, an Amur tiger (or Siberian tiger, if you prefer the standards) just chilling when we first approached.

Tiger Regal!

“If that lazy lion king can’t be bothered to act stately for our visitors, I guess it’s up to me to represent for cats.”

Tiger Licking!

“…right after this very important tongue bath.”

Tiger Happy!

“Much better now. Thanks for your patience.”

Bear Castle!

Meanwhile down the lane, the Alaskan brown bear goes on patrol.

Bear Head!

Of course, the shift goes better when your partner bothers to wake up and report for duty.

Bear Habitat!

Someone’s gotta pace all this back-‘n’-forth. Might as well be them.

Bears on the Prowl!

Some bears are too tough for Jellystone. BEAR COPS. Coming this fall to The CW.

To be continued! Other chapters in this miniseries:

Part 2: The Birds!
Part 3: Reluctant Monkeys
Part 4: The Birds II: Budgie & Lorie
Part 5: Everybody in the Water
Part 6: A Cold-Blooded Cache
Part 7: Last Call for Critters
Part 8: Habitats & Handicraft

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About Randall A. Golden
Hoosier since birth, geek since age 6, father at 22, Christian at 30; launched Midlife Crisis Crossover at 39. Full-time service rep; part-time internet contributor; former message board admin; inhabits Twitter as @RandallGolden. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of any other corporation, being, or party line.

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