What to pack for a day at the zoo

It’s finally here! It’s opening day at the zoo, and we can’t wait to reunite with our favorite creatures after a long winter break. Jessica Brita-Segyde, communications specialist for the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, says there are plenty of new and exciting things to enjoy this season, including new exhibits and animal species.

The Outback, within The Australian Adventure, will feature some of the biggest changes. There’s a new reptile house, featuring knob-tailed geckos and a woma python, and 3 new aviaries with galah cockatoos and straw-necked ibises. The area will host an Outback Springs play stream and Shark Conservation Area as well. A Tasmanian devil exhibit is set to open late summer. And, of course, everybody’s favorite, there are plenty of adorable little zoo babies to coo over, including Echo, the new female penguin chick, 3 new kangaroo joeys, a baby crocodile skink and a baby swamp monkey!

As all parents and grandparents know, depending on the weather and the temperaments of the little ones, a day strolling the attractions can be long and a bit painful if you don’t prep properly. We asked Judith Kaufmann, CPNP at PPG – Pediatrics, Bryan, to share her suggestions for a well-stocked bag to minimize the negatives and maximize preparedness.

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“The most important thing to bring is a sense of wonder,” Jessica adds. “We suggest slowing down to explore, and letting kids take the lead.  There is so much to see and do at the zoo, and sometimes the little things can inspire a true appreciation of nature.  Count the frogs in the moss, count the stripes on a fish, or stop at a Keeper Chat to learn the amazing things that animals can do.  We have families who come three times a week and tell us that they learn something new at each visit.”

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is located at 3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne, (260) 427-6800. 

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