To the Zoo!

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July 17, 2017 by jiejie768

I’m planning on writing a longer piece in the coming days about what exactly Kids at the Crossroads is about in general, and what Meg and I have been doing there on this trip in particular. But thanks to a thoroughly engaging and necessary (HEAVY sarcasm) online professional development course I’m doing for my day job as a teacher in Seattle, my blogging time has been limited. So I figured today, I’d bring you along on a tour of Ayaucho’s zoo, which we visited Saturday morning. 

The zoo is an extension of the local university’s (Universidad Nacional de San Cristobal de Huamanga) biology department and according to Meg, who visited without me on our previous trip in 2012-13, it has grown quite a bit in recent years. 

For the most part, the animals featured were an array of wild cats, birds from around Peru and a few exotic creatures such as lions and American owls thrown in to boot. On to the pictures!

The descent from the zoo’s entrance to the animal exhibit feature gorgeous, sweeping views of the city and surrounding mountainsides and farms. 

¿Hay osos en el zoológico? Sí los hay. That’s an inside joke for our pals at KATC who have read the same paper copy of a Level C text in the neighborhood of 1 million times. (Translation: Are their bears at the zoo? Yes, there are.)

A fox (above) and a falcon greeted us on our first leg of the journey. 

The various monkeys were probably mine and Cole’s favorite exhibits at the zoo. Though Cole was also pretty excited about the ducks, too (no picture, because, well they were ducks and I’ve seen a lot of those in my life). 

On the other hand, I did feel compelled to take a photo of this squirrel because I was so tickled by the idea of a squirrel being on exhibit at a zoo. (In Seattle, the squirrel “exhibit” at the zoo is literally the whole zoo). 

Meg and I both thought we had seen ostriches before. I think we were wrong. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but this guy (gal? We got close, but not THAT close) is HUGE! Like twice the size of the emus (at least). 

While the ostrich, monkeys and big cats stole our attention, I’m fairly certain the giant gringo with the blond baby on his back was the most exotic thing on display for the locals in attendance. In particular one group of 12-/13-year-old girls crosssd our path several times and were quite taken with Cole–whispering, pointing and giggling each time we intersected. Meg and I were considerably less enamored with  them though, as they poked at our inner annoyed teacher by blatantly ignoring the ample signage and kept feeding the animals from their backpacks. 

Above are a few photos of things I didn’t have specific thoughts about and/or don’t remember what they are. Enjoy!

In addition to the animals there were various murals and sculptures throughout the park that I thought were pretty cool. I particularly liked the hugging tree-monkey-people thing. 

If you go

Hours: 8 am – 6 pm M-Su

Tickets: 4 soles (adults); 2 soles kids

Getting there: Taxi from the central plaza should be about 6 soles. 

Tips: Wear bug spray and sunscreen. Be prepared to walk up and down hill (not the best activity for your first couple days at altitude). Bring water. 


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