A walk on the wild side: Greeks take kids on tour of Hogle Zoo

Hogle Zoo was full of Greeks and preschool kids, but not so full of animals on Thursday.

As part of Greek Week, fraternities and sororities from the U took all the 2- to 5-year-old kids from the Neighborhood House to the zoo. But many of the animal cages were under construction, so the animals could not be seen.

The Greeks split up and each took a small herd of children around the zoo.

Chris Gallegos and Tres Zaglool from Sigma Nu found themselves admiring giant white pelicans with a group of four small boys.

“Come here Mr. Pelican,” Antonio, a small boy in a yellow jacket and knit hat,

yelled as he bent over the wooden fence, getting as close to the water as the Greeks would let him.

Carlene, a 3-year-old with a big purple butterfly on the front of her shirt, rode through the reptile house on the shoulders of Stephanie Steimke, an Alpha Chi Omega.

“Move back,” Carlene ordered as they approach the cage of a 15-foot snake.

Stephanie slowly backed away and the little girl yelled, “That’s a big snake.”

Meanwhile Zaglool tells his pack of boys not to hit the glass at the rattlesnake cage.

“Those are big, healthy rattle snakes, guys,” Zaglool said.

After viewing as many animals as preschool attention spans allowed, the greeks and kids took a break for some ice cream.

The concession stand dished out several cones of multi-colored ice cream, and pink ice cream ended up all over the faces of most preschool kids.

“What was your favorite animal?” Steimke asked Carlene.

“I liked the green monkeys,” Carlene answered, a giant Popsicle in her mouth.

At 5 p.m., two buses pulled up to take the kids back to the Neighborhood House. The greeks have taken the Neighborhood House to the zoo for more than 20 years-some of the people that went as kids are now in college, said Lindsay Thompson, who is in charge of Greek Week.

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