At the San Diego Zoo (and what I want my son to learn from our visit)

My wife and son observing a zebra at the San Diego Zoo.
Last weekend I took my family on a day trip to the San Diego Zoo.  It was a fun family trip that my wife and I knew that our thirteen month old son would totally love.

My son absolutely loves animals.  Whenever we're outside and he sees other people with dogs, he points and walks toward them in amazement.  In his baby lingo, he tries to talk to them (it's actually really adorable).  Not only that, he likes to chase after the neighborhood cat on the way to the mailbox.  He has been the loudest and most excited when he sees the animals for adoption at the local pet shop.  He especially likes to reach and call out to the cats.  Since he was so intrigued at the pet shop, my wife and I knew that he would have a greater time at a zoo.

Tourists riding by the rhino exhibit.
I think I had just as much fun at the zoo (maybe a little more) than he did.  We saw elephants, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, crocodiles, hippos, camels, orangutans, gorillas, parrots, and other animals that I usually see only on TV.  They all were majestic in their own way.

Seeing how wonderful nature was reminded me how illustrious this wide world is.  If there was something I wanted my son to learn from this trip, it was to develop a respect for nature.  I want him to be knowledgeable of the animals in the planet's ecosystem and live a lifestyle that will help preserve and protect the environment they live in.  I know he is only thirteen months old and he probably won't remember this trip, but I believe that it was good for his development.  He was exposed to the wildlife of the one world we live in and it could be the start of a lifetime of ecological learning.

An elephant plays in the sun.
Two giraffes and a gazelle peek around.

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