Feeding Time at Colchester Zoo

Yesterday we had another daddy day so we decided to take Ethan to the zoo and feed the elephants and giraffes whilst it was quieter. We have done this once before but always avoid it if we go to the zoo at the weekend. 

We got there ten minutes before the feed was about to start, it was a little bit busier than expected due to school trips but by waiting to be one of the last people to feed the giraffes Ethan wasn’t that crowded. 

Whilst I was waiting with Little E I changed the camera lens to the bigger zoom and took some photos of the giraffes waiting for their food. 

Colchester Zoo giraffesColchester Zoo giraffes
Colchester Zoo giraffesColchester Zoo giraffes
Ethan was quite happy to wait as long as his daddy held him like this…
He also liked to watch this guy to pass the time…
Colchester Zoo Elephant
Thankfully it wasn’t long before Ethan was able to feed his giraffe.
 Colchester Zoo giraffe feeding
Colchester Zoo giraffe feeding
It look like he enjoyed it. I haven’t had a chance to do this with Ethan yet as I’m always the one behind the camera, maybe next time I will do this with Ethan. 
Then it was time for Ethan to feed the elephant. 
Colchester Zoo Elephant
He didn’t really like this as it can feel quite slimy and he quickly wiped his hands on Darren’s t-shirt much to Darren’s disgust!
Colchester Zoo has a new enclosure to explore, the Australian Rainbows. They are free to fly around the enclosure that you walk through and you can feed them with nectar pots. We couldn’t take Little E’s pram into the enclosure so I took Ethan in there on my own. I decided to skip trying to feed them with Ethan as I wasn’t sure I would be able to manage Ethan on my own. I would love to do this with him so we will return to see them. 
Colchester Zoo Australian Rainbows
Colchester Zoo Australian RainbowsColchester Zoo Australian Rainbows
Colchester Zoo Australian Rainbows
I was able to take some photos but Ethan was clearly more interested in the water feature they had in there!
We said a quick hello to the lion on our way to the play areas. 
Colchester Zoo LionColchester Zoo Lion
Ethan made his roaring noise and we then recited the words to Dear Zoo and Ethan also used his words from the book. It’s lovely to know he can transfer his Dear Zoo vocalisation to a very different setting. 

It was a lovely sunny afternoon at the zoo so we let Ethan have some fun in the play areas. Darren likes any reason to go on this slide, I always avoid it as it scares the life out of me!

Little E was getting restless so we decided to head to the soft play so we could feed and change her. Ethan loves the soft play and it has taken many trips to trust him to go in there on his own. We know we have to keep our eyes on him at all times as anything can happen and unfortunately it was one of those days. 
Ethan had just gone into the soft play and I was finding a baby change when Darren suddenly run in there shouting nosebleed. My heart fell. Ethan is very prone to having nosebleeds, they normally happen in the night and Ethan loses lots of blood and panics. With Ethan’s last nosebleed his bedroom looked like a crime scene out of CSI, there was really that much blood!   
In seconds Ethan was being brought towards me by Darren and another mum who Ethan had gone to for help. His whole face and t-shirt was covered in blood, not to mention his hands and arms. The mum who helped tried to asked Ethan what had happened, I explained that Ethan was non verbal and it could just be one of those things. 
Darren said that he had been watching Ethan and all of a sudden he saw him running around with his eyes closed, flapping and looking very distressed. It was at this point Darren run in there and the blood started to flow. 
It was very quiet in the soft play so we attracted quite a lot of attention and quite a few of the mums kept asking Ethan what had happened. Again I explained that Ethan is non-verbal and we can only guess. All this time Ethan was sobbing his heart out, babbling to us trying to let us know was wrong. 
When we had cleaned him up we noticed Ethan had a fat flip so we can only presume that someone bashed into him and his nose and mouth took the impact. We had to end our visit then as Ethan was in such a state and in such a mess going home was the best option. 
What really made us angry is that on the way out and, more or less, sitting right next to us was an older boy and his mum. The boy was crying and had a cold compress on his head, we can only assume that he must have been the boy that crashed into Ethan. 
Now I know these things happen with kids but I had clearly stated that our son was non-verbal and we had no idea what had happened. This was clearly causing us all distress. Why didn’t this mum say it was her son that he had clashed with, just so we could know what we were dealing with. Another non verbal frustration to add to my list!     
Ethan was so upset by these events that he cried all the way home and continued to cry when we got in. I really hope this hasn’t caused any issues for him when we return to soft play. The ironic thing was I had got the all clear from the doctor the day before and after sorting out Little E I was going to join Ethan in the soft play. Hopefully I can next time!  

2 thoughts on “Feeding Time at Colchester Zoo”

  1. What lovely photos you have taken, especially of the parrots and lions.Shame on the mother not coming over to explain what happened between Ethan and her son.I hope his nose isn’t too sore now.

    1. Jane - Our Little Escapades

      Thank you. We think he is fine now. Yes it would have helped if she had just said something, it would have made our job so much easier ;0)

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