And We Thought Ostriches Had Tiny Brains

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2021

My partner and I are on a safari ride at a local zoo, which takes the visitors past various animals. There is a family on board the safari truck who are being very loud and obnoxious — swearing, shouting at the animals, etc.

We see a couple of ostriches in the distance. The tour guide points them out over the intercom. The mother of the family either doesn’t hear or doesn’t care.

Mother: *Loudly* “Oh, look, kids! What’s that? I’m gonna call it an emu! HI, EMU!”

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Quack Quack, Gobble Gobble

, , , , , , | Related | May 16, 2021

My wife has the most adorable godson. When he was about four years old, my wife and I took him on a trip to the zoo. We arrived at the “savannah,” a big enclosure with elephants, giraffes, zebras, etc. In addition to the fence, there was a big moat to keep the animals from escaping.

Wife: “Look, [Godson], elephants! Oh, and giraffes! Aren’t they funny with those long necks?”

Godson: *Pointing to the moat* “Look, Auntie, ducks!”

Wife: *Laughing* “Oh, man! If he wanted to see ducks, we could have taken him to the park, instead.”

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A Little Bird Told Me…

, , , , | Right | April 5, 2021

I’m doing work experience for a week at a zoo. I’m in the farmyard inside a barn-esque building as people wander around. A boy, no older than seven, approaches the flightless cockatoo who lives inside on a large branch wedged in a pen fence. The cockatoo is named Charlie.

Cockatoo: *Looking at the boy* “Hey, Charlie!”

He says his own name sometimes, as he’s so used to hearing it.

Boy: *Gaping* “Wow! The cockatoo knows my name!”

Me: “Actually, the cockatoo is named Charlie, too. You have the same name!”

I thought this child would be excited, but nope. He tears up and starts absolutely bawling. He seems to be literally having a breakdown.

Boy: “I don’t want to have the same name as a cockatoo!”

I was speechless. The mother came over and, thankfully, apologised and walked away.

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We Don’t Dabble In Monkey-Business

, , , , | Right | March 26, 2021

I work at a well-accredited zoo in guest services; my duties include taking calls, answering questions about the zoo, and selling animal sponsorships and annual passes. It’s a slow, snowy day so we haven’t gotten many calls or guests and we’re bored out of our minds, so when the phone rings, I’m on it right away.

Me: “You’ve reached [Zoo]. This is [My Name] speaking.”

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking to adopt a… um… a monkey or something.”

Me: “Great! Did you have any specific animal you were looking to sponsor? We have quite a few different ones.”

Caller: “I’m not sure; I’m just looking to adopt some kind of primate.”

Me: “Okay, well, we have quite a few species available for sponsorship, including Orangutans, Black-handed Spider Monkeys—”

Caller: “The spider monkeys sound cool. How much is it to adopt one?”

Me: “Our sponsorship packages start at $25. Higher donation amounts will grant you more benefits and have varying levels of tax-deductibility. All packages include your name on a digital sign stating that you sponsored the animal, as well as a few other goodies.”

Caller: “So how much is it to purchase one? I don’t need my name on a sign or anything, just a monkey.”

Throughout this call, I have been using the term “sponsor” specifically because some other zoological facilities will use other terms, like “adopt,” for the same purpose. At this point, I realize he may have other intentions.

Me: “Sir, were you looking to purchase an animal from the zoo?”

Caller: “Yeah… how much is it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but we are an AZA-approved zoological facility. We don’t sell our animals.”

Caller: “Really? D***. I’ve been looking all morning for a place to buy a monkey.”

Me: “You’ll have to look a bit more, then.”

Caller: *Hangs up*

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Unstable Unicorns Meets Exploding Kittens

, , , | Right | March 25, 2021

I work in the ticket booth of a large zoo. We have all kinds of animals, even a habitat with wax extinct ones. One day, I overhear this:

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but the golf carts are reserved for the keepers. I can get you a wheelchair or scooter instead.”

Guest: “Fine! Whatever!”

He grumpily takes a scooter. He, his son, and his grandkids go into the extinct animal wax habitat. The man comes back up to my coworker a few minutes later.

Guest: “My granddaughter wants to see unicorns! Where are the unicorns?”

Coworker: “I’m sorry, sir, but we don’t have unicorns. We have horses and zebras, however. They’ll be near the petting zoo. You can also pet some kittens in the shelter.”

Guest: “How dare you make fun of me?! Kittens in a zoo! Hmph!”

Coworker: “We really do have kittens. We help rescue cats and dogs and other animals.”

Guest’s Son: “Come on, Dad, quit being a jerk. We’ll go see the horses next.”

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