Bearizona (it’s not just bears)

Who has two thumbs and an annual pass to Bearizona? This girl. Before yesterday, I had never been to the best-named wildlife park in the world. Now I’m planning weekly trips for the rest of the summer.

I love animals. Like ridiculously love them. I have to greet every animal I see, including cows (“Moo cows!”) and birds (“Hey, birdie!”). This makes me a rather non-kid-friendly adult when animals are involved because there’s no way I’m giving up my choice viewing spot in front of the otter tank just so some sticky-fingered kid can get a better look. (Bob claims that I elbowed kids out of the way at the Albuquerque BioPark Aquarium so that I could pet the stingrays first. I think I just asserted my right, as a paying customer, to fully enjoy all of the offerings.)

Anyway, here is my journey through Bearizona told almost entirely through senior superlatives.

Best hair: the albino peacock.


Class Clown goes to one of the otters.


Most likely to sleep through Karen’s visit and drive her to frustrated tears? That would be a tie between the jaguar


and the bobcats. (Jerks.)


Most laid back: this porcupine.


Most school spirit: this chicken (which I think is a white silkie).


Teacher’s pet: this baby goat. (Seriously–this guy brought everyone to their knees with his cuteness.)


Best dressed: the turkey.



(When I entered the petting zoo, this turkey walked right up to me and then did this combo move of simultaneously charging and shaking its feathers–WHICH ACTUALLY MAKE A RATTLING NOISE. I had a sudden flashback to getting my head chomped by Blanka in Super Street Fighter and was sure I was about to be the first human fatality from a turkey attack. Then a nice woman reassured me that the turkey had been someone’s pet and that it likes to hang out with people but doesn’t like to be touched. After that, I’ll admit, I was pretty taken with the turkey (though I had to avert my eyes from his wattle–that’s just repulsive).

Most intellectual: the foxes. foxes


(Clearly plotting world domination.)

Most likely to use cuteness to hide the fact that they really want to eat your face off? The “baby” bears.

First, they started play-fighting to draw people closer.


Then they examined the menu of humans in front of them.


And then they started trying to figure out how to leap across the paltry pit and climb the flimsy fence that divided us from them.


Seriously, that is a pre-Blanka-combo-move stance if I ever saw one.


Cutest couple? I wanted to give it to these two otters. First, they locked eyes across the pond.


Then, they jumped in the water together and had deep conversations about the meaning of life.


But then they began to get–ahem–a little too friendly.


And we were all like, “Otters, get a FREAKING ROOM.”

So, cutest couple goes to the javelinas.


Most likely to crash a party? This bird which is, rather uninventively, called a Western Bluebird.



Hi, birdie.




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