The Bengal tigers are always my favorite. The are bigger than you imagine a cat could ever be. Their paws are immense. This guy was the kids' favorite because he was rolling around and playing and roaring at them.
The kids also liked the bear enclosure, but mostly because it was filled with peacocks, ducks and geese, along with a bear who was ignoring the birds completely.
Funny side story - there were two ducks swimming in the bear's pond, and Ella looked at them and yelled, "Look mom! One ducks is giving the other a piggy-back ride." B and I had to turn away before we completely lost it laughing.
Campbell loved his map, even though he had no idea how to read it. He's still playing with it at home, leading expeditions around the yard.
And finally, the real reason for our trip to the Zoo - lion cubs. They are female, eight-week-old cubs that may be Barbary lions. The Zoo received a request to take in a pair of lions, and when they arrived it was discovered that the female was pregnant. Since the Austin Zoo is a non-breeding facility, everyone was thrilled to have babies on site. The cubs may be part Barbary lion, which is extinct in the wild. Some lions still carry Barbary DNA, so there is a world-wide organization that is testing lions and finding those with the strongest genetic link. Those lions will be bred with the eventual goal of releasing them into the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
That's all very interesting, but mostly, the cubs are just squee-ably CUTE! Lily, my animal lover, wanted to bring them home with us. We had to explain that while they're cute and cuddly now, they'll quickly get big enough to rip her arm off and eat it in one bite.