Grizzly bear,Halloween,Zoo,Tyrannosaurus,Great Highway,Animal

Costumed kids join zoo animals for a day of Halloween fun

October 30, 2016
in Kids

Two tiny Tyrannosaurus rex almost missed the parade Saturday because they were too busy staring down a couple of grizzly bears many times their size.

Upon closer inspection, the T. rex turned out to be two human brothers hiding under green dinosaur suits. Henry and Von Morris were taking in the sights and sounds of the San Francisco Zoo’s annual Boo at the Zoo event Halloween weekend, which filled the 100-acre facility off the Great Highway with more than 7,000 costumed visitors.

I like dinosaurs, but they’re not at the zoo, so I dressed up as one,” Henry, 5, said, as his 3-year-old brother looked

The two were also hoping to see giraffes — Henry’s favorite nonextinct animal — and other creatures, if mom and dad could drag them away from the captivating grizzlies, Kachina and Kiona, who snapped up fish from a man-made brook and licked up honey strategically strewn over the glass display.

The youngsters didn’t want to miss the costume parade, held closer to the zoo’s entrance near the penguins, where child-size Spidermans and Imperial stormtroopers, Minions and monkeys, and dozens in other disguises strutted their stuff as an audience of real-life animals looked on.

We were looking for something Halloween-y to do this weekend, so we figured this was a good stop,” said Joe Morris, Henry and Von’s d

The pint-size dinosaurs and their parents found themselves with like-minded company at the zoo Saturday, as cloudy skies that threatened rain for the most part held back their showers.

In addition to the costume parade, kids could get lost in a 4-foot-high hay maze, watch animals chomp on pumpkins and trick-or-treat close — but not too close — to lions and tigers and bears. For the adult crowd, there was a beer garden and live music.

It’s something that our members have come to expect and love,” said Rachel Eslick, a spokeswoman for the zoo, as she slowly drove an electric cart past a full-grown man decked out in a head-to-toe polar bear getup and a woman dressed as a bumble bee. “And that’s the only saving grace of this being a rainy day is that this is a once-a-year event, so people show up. Otherwise, our attendance varies solely with the weather.

The Halloween special draws many nonmembers. The goal, of course, is to get them hooked so they’ll join the ranks of the zoo’s 20,000-plus members who pay yearly fees that help pay for maintenance and other costs that come with caring for more than 2,000 animals.

Other visitors said they came to support the zoo’s mission of conservation in troubling times for the environment. Not far from the rare Mexican gray wolves that she said were “some of my favorites,” Barbara Johnson took in the animals all on her own.

This is what keeps me young,” said the 71-year-old √retiree. “I come when it opens and I leave when it closes.

Like the twin T. rex brothers, many of the other visitors favored costumes of extinct or imaginary animals that couldn’t be found in any of the zoo’s enclosures.

One “almost 3-year-old” guest stayed well away from the grizzly bears and other “scary” predators, including tigers and lions.

Wearing a unicorn costume, complete with a pointed fabric horn, Hannah Baribeau from San Francisco said unicorns were her favorite animal, but that she’d settle for zebras if she couldn’t find any of the mystical creatures.

The event will also be held Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with similar attractions.

Michael Bodley is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: mbodley@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @michael_bodley

Read the full article here

Comments