Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Zoo



I know most of the US, and much of the northern hemisphere of the world is in winter conditions and would not think about going to the zoo this time of year. Since I have a deep commitment to providing only the highest quality of information *cough* designed to keep you out of trouble, this list is being proffered in the preparation of an early spring. (Guaranteed). As a plus, the title has a little alliteration which is fun.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Zoo by John W. Howell Β©2016

10 At the zoo, do not tempt the Ostrich to eat the keys to your car. If you do, at best it will ignore you for the kid’s ice cream cone. At worst, you will be following the Ostrich around the enclosure with a shovel and bag hoping for efficient movement of the keys.(lucky you when it comes to the separation process as well. Ew.)

9 At the zoo, do not make fun of the huge gorilla. If you do, at best you might be the recipient of a warning from the park employee. At worst, you might be wearing some of his lunch. ( And you don’t want to know when he ate it.)

8 At the zoo, do not let your inner child join your kids on the carousel. If you do, at best you might lose your footing as you get off. At worst, you will be too dizzy to stand and find yourself on the ground. ( Did that person just call you a drunk?)

7 At the zoo, do not think it is cute to let the goat eat your hair. If you do, at best you will learn goats pull grass and hair out by the roots. At worst, you will need to get to someone who can even out what has become a bald half of your head. (Those little ones move fast don’t they?)

6 At the zoo, do not roar at the lion. If you do, at best the lion will understand you are dope. At worst, the lion will feel the need to mark you as part of his territory. (A little breezy riding home on the roof of the car isn’t it Bunky.)

5 At the zoo, do not let your kids off leash and out of your sight. If you do, at best they will only get lost and found quickly. At worst, you will be frantic and arrive at the monkey enclosure in time to see your kids trying to talk the head of the monkey clan out of his favorite banana. (That monkey looks like he may lose his temper any moment doesn’t he?)

4 At the zoo, do not go to the bird show and yell when the hawk swoops low. If you do, at best the bird will become frightened and give you a present before going back to its perch. At worst, the hawk will think you are prey and attempt to lift you by your head. (Those talons can hang on can’t they?)

3 At the zoo, do not try to lure an animal to the edge of its enclosure with snackΒ bar food. If you do, at best you might get a cute picture of them eating out of your hand. At worst, you might be making a rushed trip to the ER when you realize that french fry was still attached to your finger. (That made a pretty funny photo, and a video would have gone viral.)

2 At the zoo, do not think the elephant can’t reach you with a water spray. If you do, at best you have to run fast to avoid it. At worst, you will be drenched and will have to leave early. (What made you think the elephant wanted part of your burrito anyway?)

1 At the zoo, do not volunteer at any of the wild animal shows. If you do, at best you could embarrass your family with your screams. At worst, that carrot you are holding in your mouth for the sea-lion might just be one inch too low. ( Your nose will be better in a couple of weeks)


  1. LOL! πŸ˜€ I ❀ the zoo – you just reminded me that the people-watching is as much fun as admiring the inmates… πŸ˜‰

  2. Observe from a distance. I hope none of these are from personal experience. I do like mooing at cows in the field though.

    1. I can see you going by in a car with your head out the window. (watch out for the 18 wheeler)

  3. “Let the goat eat your hair.” Ha ha! Hilarious, John! I loved this and the photo…too funny! Thanks for the laughs after a disappointing loss last night. But, hey…life goes on.

    1. Aw. I’m sorry about the Panthers. My team was out of it at the preliminary play off. (Steelers)

      1. Well, the Washington Redskins are my true team. I pulled for the Panthers since I’m living in Panther country. πŸ™‚ Actually, I was happy for Payton Manning. He seems like a good guy.

      2. He does doesn’t he?

  4. What about teasing the really small gorilla? Though from a safe distance. Then again, the zoo near me has glass between the people and the gorillas. So it’s kind of a moot point.

    1. Yeah. Just hold up a mirror. Drives them nuts.

      1. And then you learn that the glass has one weak point and the gorilla just happened to find it.

      2. Wear good running shoes.

      3. Or trip someone else.

  5. Good question in the picture! And the fact that you have it there, answers the question, doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰

    1. I think it does. I can hear the mom, “Junior get your head out of that camel’s mouth.”

  6. LOL, love this post, John! πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Dina. πŸ™‚

  7. Unquestionably don’t volunteer at the zoo shows. After all, think of all the go-wrongs we’ve seen on talk shows! … Then again, we would have thunk that Denver would dominate as they did.

    1. I know right? I was glad to see Manning win this one.

  8. I wonder if those critters would scoot over and make room for me… The baby-eating camel can’t be as bad as my bosses…

    1. Ha ha ha. Except for the slobber you may be right. Well…maybe it might not be as bad. HUGS

      1. Ha!!! There’s a lot slobber already from all the butt kissers they pay to hang around them. Desperation might drive me to Detroit (much as I hate snow… OMG I’m really considering it?). So slobber or snow? Tough decision. πŸ˜‰

      2. Funny, I was born in Detroit and lived there until after college. There are some nice areas there.

  9. Saw a hawk swoop down and steal a man’s wig at a bird of prey centre once, it was very amusing.
    I very strongly object to zoos though, horrible, depressing places.

    1. I had the wig capture thought in mind. I have to agree about zoos.

  10. To answer the question posed in the photo, of course you would take the picture – otherwise who would believe that your child was eaten by a camel?

  11. These are great tips, John! I used to love taking Domer to the zoo, but we both were wary enough to keep our distance. And don’t even think about taking me into the reptile house, ha!!

    1. For me it was the insect area. Yeeek

  12. This is one of your best. Did you ever think that maybe the elephant water spray isn’t just water. Industrial sized Kleenex is required.

    1. Ew. I think you may be right.

  13. Good tips but I haven’t been to a zoo since my grandson was small. I always wonder what the animals must be thinking when they see humans do such silly things. Not as warm as I would like it here today but it will get better.

    1. Yes. Next few days will be cool and then a warm up.

  14. The photo is hilarious as is your list, John :). Funny story: in high school, we went to a horse ranch. A classmate had her back to a horse when it started to chew on her long thick blond hair. Yup, the horse thought it was hay. We laughed. My classmate didn’t.

    1. Your story reminded me I had a goat when our kids were little and the goat ate my daughter’s hair

  15. Bee Halton · ·

    Oh, I love your “Ten Things Not To Do….” Posts. Hilarious. I shall follow your advice πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, stay out of trouble.

  16. […] “Just for once, I would like to see you get theΒ  gazelle in the morning.”- John W. Howell […]

  17. We’re not having much of a winter this year. More of a lottery every week. Some days it’s like spring. Others we have snow and then it melts.
    These are by far the most hilarious ten I’ve read here. The picture is hilarious as well. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Tess. Sooner or later winter will run out of time. Hang in there.

      1. Sooner or later. I hope it’s not June.
        πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      2. For sure. πŸ™‚

  18. Hilarious, John. πŸ˜€ — Suzanne

  19. That pic alone was worth the price of admission!
    As for the rest.. you knocked it out of the park!

    1. The pic was great. πŸ™‚ Thanks

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