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Opinion: My Self-Care Day at the Zoo

by Bailey Weber

Pitt-Greensburg offered a limited amount of spots for a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium on Self-Care Day. The University gave students a discount, and tickets were $2.50. 

Students had to arrive at the front gates of the zoo by 9 a.m. sharp. Since the zoo is about an hour away, we had to wake up before 8 a.m. on Self-Care Day.  

We got our wristbands upon arrival at the gates, and off we went into the zoo. We were lucky that the weather was on our side; it was nice and cool, and the animals loved it! 

A lot of the animals that usually hide in their indoor enclosure decided to show their faces. We saw leopards, lions, tigers, and gorillas. I was lucky enough to get as close to a giraffe as the zoo would allow without paying for their “experience” passes.  

Unfortunately, the polar bears and otters were not outside. I think it was too warm for them. Their pools were empty, and so was my heart at that moment.  

But, the seals and sea lions were super playful. They continuously bumped their noses off of the glass and did little tricks for us and the others around us.  

The aquarium was also incredible, as always. All of the beautiful fish, plants, and sharks were swimming happily. We even got to see an employee place a plant inside a tank, which was interesting. 

We also got to see so many baby animals! There were three baby lion cubs in the lion exhibit. They were all playing around with a tree branch. Once one of them wrestled it off of the other two, it took it to its mother and pranced around happily. 

There was a baby gorilla as well. It was sucking on its fingers and picking at grass, which was absolutely adorable. Its mother would turn her head at him once in a while to make sure he was on good behavior. 

The zoo also did a good job at following COVID-19 procedures. They had signs along a lot of the paths reminding guests to wear their masks. There were also spots on the ground at most exhibits to show how far guests should stand apart.  

The only downfall about visiting the zoo during a pandemic is that we could not pet any animals in the petting zoo. The deer, kangaroos, and goats were all blocked off, unfortunately.  

However, the option given to students to visit the zoo on Self-Care Day was a wonderful idea. We could stay as long as we liked, and go at our own pace. I would definitely do this again, if given the chance.  

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