Prior to our visit to the Akron Zoo this month, my impression of the Venus Flytrap was heavily influenced by “Little Shop of Horrors.” Among many other things, I learned during our perusal of the zoo’s new “Curious Creatures” exhibit that a Venus Flytrap is not big enough to swallow a human.
I also learned that leaf-cutter ants are intriguing to watch as they drag pieces of leaves back to their elaborate colony; naked mole-rats are hard to catch on camera and real electric eels are actually much creepier than Flotsam and Jetsam from The Little Mermaid.
The new exhibit, on display in the zoo’s Komodo Kingdom Education Center, is full of animals you have always read about (and some you’ve never heard of) but never dreamed you would see up close: Tree frogs. Batfish. Octopi. Flytraps. Jellyfish.
It was educational and entertaining for all ages represented in our party, ranging from grandparents to an infant (who, even at 8 months, can appreciate glowing jellyfish blobs floating around in a dark tank).
Our four-and seven-year-old daughters loved the interactive features of displays that allowed them to read about each of the creatures by navigating tablets; cooler than that was the opportunity to pet a few undersea invertebrates and touch a gigantic millipede.
After we were done with Curious Creatures, we also had a blast exploring other parts of the zoo. Entertaining, educational and fun, it definitely was a day well spent. And now we can say we’ve seen a Venus Fly Trap in person and lived to tell the tale!