Lion Cubs at the Zoo

Our gift to the girls last Christmas was an annual pass to the Denver Zoo for 2015. They have enjoyed visiting the zoo several times this past year, but Lyle and I never had gotten around to going with them. Their pass will be expiring soon, and since the weather was relatively nice this past Saturday I suggested that it might be a good day for us to go. The pass is set up in Laura’s name and allows her to take one guest every time (usually Rebecca), plus it came with a single one-time-only guest pass. Since Rebecca is currently in Arkansas visiting her grandparents, the three of us were able to go without paying anything this time.

Baby lions at the Denver Zoo.

One of the very first exhibits we came to was the lions. There were 3-month lion cubs on a rock with the lioness near the viewing window. Couldn’t you just squee with the utter cuteness of the darling little twins?

Baby lions at the Denver Zoo.

Pretty soon the daddy lion came out. We wondered what he would do. The lioness and cubs were not perturbed a bit as he approached their rock.

Lion family at the Denver Zoo.

They hardly blinked as he climbed up beside them and settled down.

Lion Family at the Denver Zoo.

One of the babies tried to get him to play. That’s such an interesting picture to me. We think of the lion as big and scary… and here’s this cute little cub fearlessly climbing all over him. It reminded me of a quote about Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe:

Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.

Lion Family at the Denver Zoo.

We soon found out why the lion had come immediately to the rock to join his family. A zookeeper standing nearby told us that the rock is heated! See the snow on the ground in the background? Wouldn’t you want to be on the nice warm rock if you were a lion?

We also learned that the lioness with the cubs was actually not their mama. She is the “auntie” and was babysitting.

Lion pen at the Denver Zoo. Mama was in the middle doorway at the back of the pen taking a break. We could just barely see her head.

Lion family at the Denver Zoo.

The little lions were so cute I could have stood there all day snapping pictures of them, but we had a limited amount of time. So we moved on.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to show you pictures of every animal we saw. You’ve been to the zoo before. But there were a few other fun things worth telling about.

Elephant at the Denver Zoo.

We got in on the end of the Toyota elephant performance. The zookeepers had the elephant do some tricks for us. You know about African elephants and Asian elephants, right? Well, the Toyota elephant is apparently a sub-species of the Asian elephant. Japanese, to be specific.

Toyotas at the Denver Zoo.

Here are some of his brothers.

Just kidding. I made that up. The signs for the Toyota Elephant Passage made it sound like Toyota was a type of elephant. Made me laugh.


While we were in the Asian part of the zoo Lyle and I posed in the Asian taxi. Our photographer (aka Laura) informed us that passengers fraternizing with the taxi driver was frowned upon. We didn’t care.


Later, I took a picture of her in her camo jacket blending into the rain forest. Look close. Can you see her?


Then we had to test our jumping skills. Lyle ranked up there with the polar bear at 5 feet. I think I was back with the mouse at 2 feet or something. Plus, I did not “stick the landing” like Lyle did.

Hibernating bear at the Denver Zoo.

The bear appeared to be hibernating in his den. We could see his sleeping head. I don’t know if there was more than one bear or not, but I found the history of their habitat fascinating.

Bear Mountain at the Denver Zoo

I hadn’t realized the Denver Zoo is nearly 100 years old. Or at least the bear exhibit is, which may be where the zoo started. I thought it was interesting how you could originally drive right up to it in your “automobile.”

Bear Mountain at the Denver Zoo

Isn’t it a neat structure? I liked how they made plaster casts of nearby cliffs to use in the design.

Peacocks at the Denver Zoo

Several areas of the zoo were closed for the season. We didn’t mind because that meant it wasn’t as crowded as it is during the warmer months. We observed the signs that said “Please do not enter.” Apparently, the peacocks can’t read. Or they just assume the rules don’t apply to them. Which apparently they don’t, since the peacocks showed up in all kinds of weird places all over the zoo.

Well, I’ve kept you plenty long enough, so that will conclude today’s guided tour of the Denver Zoo. Before I go, just one more picture of the irresistibly cute lion family…

Lion Family at the Denver Zoo{Linking up with Literacy Musing.}


  • Rowen

    I Love reading your posts! You almost always make me laugh! 🙂 I shared this with Rowen this morning and we agreed that you must have “been able to read the signs.” We have been to the zoo or museums so many times in the last 30 years and not been able to read the signs. 🙂 We maybe should go back, now that our kids are big and mostly gone… ~Janet

    • KarlaCook

      Oh, yes. We do like to read the signs! Of course, we didn’t read ALL of them as our time was limited… but many of the animals weren’t out anyway. It was a fun time.

  • Tami @ ThisMomsDelight

    I love big cats! They are so beautiful. The zoo is a wonderful place to teach our kiddos about animals beyond their dogs and cats.

    I hope to see you again over at Literacy Musing Mondays.

  • Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

    Annie has been pestering me to go to the zoo. We went to Animal Kingdom yesterday instead. The only animals we got around to seeing were two otters. We’ll go back in Jan. and focus on just the animals. How wonderful that the rock is heated to attract the lions to the front where they can be observed! And I could barely make Laura out! Good thing she smiled and I could spot her pearly whites!

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