-watching a bison fold its knees down and flop to its side for a dust bath
-a colony of prairie dogs being ridiculous and adorable, especially the few who threw their heads back and whistled
-a cougar curled up right up next to the glass of its enclosure (turns out cougars are one of the few animals smaller than you expect)
-a pair of wolves doing the same
-a fisher lying on its back inside a rock den, yawning and arching its back and claws while stretching out of said den
-seeing keepers feed the moose. I got a vicarious thrill out of one keeper scratching a yearling female moose's neck when said moose stuck her nose through an open space in search of more treats.
-the herd of Bactrian camels casually submerged in an algae-covered pond, apparently having a spa day with only heads and humps poking out
-SEA OTTERS. Oh my god they're huge; they're like the size of a Labrador and every bit as wonderful, casually floating on their backs while gnawing on a clam and then just as casually doing somersault loops under water and returning to the floating position. One of them was right up against the glass so we were standing just inches away.
-Hawaiian monk seals being fed. They were trained to pull themselves out of the water for fish snacks, and when they were told to return, one of them gracefully slipped back in headfirst, and the other just rolled its fat body until it fell over the side with a great splash. They were also trained to "speak" on command. They sound like a cross between a foghorn and a moose.
Other things I really enjoyed:
-the walk through the tropical aviary, a specially closed portion of the rain forest exhibit where the path goes right through the middle of the cage and the birds can and do fly right past your head (dollsome would love this, am I right??)
-seeing a tank full of aquatic fish and small sharks being fed. WHOOSH! A swirl of tiny shrimp and a few chopped-up fish pieces come swirling down in a cloud of pink, and it's delightful to watch the biggest fish zip here and there to suck them up.
-the outdoor snow monkey exhibit, which is full of baby monkeys ranging in age from newborn to teenage, doing everything as adorably as possible, including but not limited to running, jumping off tall things, wrestling, and clinging to their mother's stomach while she walked. One particularly adorable moment was a momma monkey nursing her baby while being groomed by a male monkey in such a way that it looked like he was kissing the side of her face)
-petting goats at the family farm exhibit. If you are very lucky you are also allowed to reach over the paddock fence and pet the big draft horses, but sadly none came close enough today.