[caption id="attachment_3481" align="alignright" ] The Family Farm[/caption] Visitor Information Specialist, Marlene, shares her fun visit to the Columbian Park Zoo. I recently visited the Columbian Park Zoo, which is open every day in the summer. I went first thing in the morning, which proved to be a great time to go, because the animals were out and ready to greet their visitors. I first walked past the Butterfly Garden, which is one of my favorite exhibits! How often do you get to walk into a room full of gorgeous plants and have a ton of beautiful butterflies flutter above your head? Next I headed for the big red barn that is the Family Farm. I saw three strikingly feathered chickens, a llama, a mini horse, and goats. My favorite goat was this little black and white one that I nick named “Oreo.” He was galloping around and playing with the other baby goats. He decided to pose on a rock so that I could take his picture. [caption id="attachment_3482" align="alignleft" ] Prairie Dogs[/caption] Next up was the prairie dog exhibit. A couple decided to pop their heads up and check out their surroundings above ground. On the other side of the walkway, all 3 North American River Otters were out. They were enjoying the warm sun. I almost felt like they were showing off like the animals from the movie “Madagascar.” They decided to jump in the water and swim around for a bit. The otter exhibit has excellent windows so you can see them swim. There is also a tunnel under the water so you feel like you are with the otters while they are swimming. I walked through the Australia enclosure. I was surprised to see so many wallabies hopping around. I watched a zoo employee cleaning the window while an emu was following her hand with the squeegee on the other side with its head. It was pretty funny to see! [caption id="attachment_3483" align="alignright" ] Monkey![/caption] The Spider Monkeys were very fun to watch. If I could have, I would have liked to sit on a bench next to their enclosure and watch them all day. They make all kinds of hooting type sounds and swing from one side of their cage to the other. My last stop was the Zoo Gift Shop. I looked through all of the adorable stuffed animals and flipped through a few books. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful zoo in our city. The even better part is that it is FREE! For more information about this zoo and other fun activities in our area, check out our website at www.HomeOfPurdue.com.