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A True-Blue Zoo: Hansa can turn your home into a fabulous, veritable safari. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Monday, 03 June 2013 08:08
At the zoo in Philadelphia, the big cats retreated to shady spots. Here, the Hansa version never succumbs to a catnap.
The penguin from Hansa is a brilliant rendition of a real-life creature.
The blacktail jackrabbit, created by Hansa, is a natural marvel.
No matter the primate, Hansa has one for collecting.
All of these emblematic animals that hail from the Outback are available...
...as well as these less recognizable Outback varieties.
At the Philadelphia Zoo, there is an exotic carousel that showcases many animals that are endangered. Here are some endangered, majestic beasts from Hansa.
It’s a veritable safari at Hansa!
All creatures great and small can be collected.
The Hansa renderings go from the sublime, like this elegant swan...
...to the ridiculous, like this vulture...
...and this quirky anteater.
In addition to small, medium, and large collectibles, Hansa also produces creatures that can be ridden.
At the zoo in Philadelphia, the big cats retreated to shady spots. Here, the Hansa version never succumbs to a catnap.
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This past weekend I went to the Philadelphia Zoo with my family and my son’s classmate’s family. It was our first outing together as a group, and I figured (rightly) that a stroll through a beautifully landscaped park, with lots of exotic animals to enjoy and interact with, would be an icebreaker. Yep, it’s one thing to see one another at a school fund-raiser or a tri-monthly PTA meeting, but it’s another thing to spend time together as “civilians.”

The zoo was fantastic, but the heat was formidable. Many of the critters were lounging about and seeking solace from the sun. At times, it felt like a wildlife version of “Where’s Waldo?” In the big-cat habitat, for example, it was a full-out game of “Can You Spot the Cheetah?” I certainly couldn’t. The cats were wisely finding places to hide and sleep off the 90+ temperatures.

As we wended our way through the feline exhibits, my son made a wise observation. “We could have skipped this section of the zoo and gone to the gift shop. At least there we would have seen some lions or panthers.”

That was quite true. While most of the animals seemed more lethargic than usual—the kangaroos had completely lost their bounce—we were able to see them as the rested, slowly ate and drank, or calmly gazed back at us as we gazed at them.

Seeing all of these incredible animals reminded me of how much I respect the teddy bear artists who excel in rendering realistic creatures. Yes, I love the cute, adorable, cartoony characters—bears with smiles and whimsical eyes, bunnies with bonnets and pinafores—but it’s truly inspirational when a soft-sculpture design is as realistic as the majestic breed it is saluting.

As we went past an enclosure of gibbons, even these usually kinetic monkeys seemed to be taking it easy. Not as frantic as the usual “barrel full of monkeys,” these primates seemed more tame and tepid. The heat was lulling them into a languid state.

The polar bears, which had a fantastic lagoon to swim in, opted to recline on rocks and snore deeply. “They’re like stuffed animals that make noise,” Tommy stated, and I had to agree wholeheartedly.

We had a really marvelous day walking, talking, getting to know one another—plus riding the carousel and the self-propelled swan boats—so our animal excursion let us make plans for a return trip in the fall, when the animals would have more zip and verve.

In the meantime, a glance at some lovely artistic renderings of critters and creatures from Hansa will do the trick! It’s a chance to have an outing at the zoo without ever leaving one’s own backyard! (http://www.hansatoysusa.com/)