Although Rowan was happy to put off his visit to The London Zoo for one day (mainly in order to learn more about how the Romans fed people to lions) on his second full day in London he would wait no longer and so off we went to one of my favorite ever zoos.
The London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo and is located in beautiful Regent's Park in central London. Despite it's central location it is home to hundreds of animals from all over the world including my personal favorites, the gorillas.
For those of you who have never been to a zoo with Rowan before I feel it is time to tell you a bit about how a zoo trip with him works so that you can get a better appreciation of just how remarkable his memory is. Rowan has a photographic memory and if he has been to a zoo before he will have memorized the exact layout of the zoo including how many of each type of animal the zoo has and where they all live in relation to one another. On any future visits to that zoo he will know exactly where he is going and will follow his route at speed taking what we can only assume to be mental snapshots of each of the animals. His knowledge of ALL animals is immense and he can even tell the difference between the different types of giraffe and zebra. I am attempting to learn this difference myself but it is taking me a distressingly long time and A LOT of help from my teacher (Rowan). When we take him to a new zoo Rowan will usually have been on-line beforehand and will have memorized exactly what animals the zoo has so he knows what to expect. He tends to also plan what order he wants to see these animals in so that he can figure out the best route from the zoo map once we get there.
In the past month or so Rowan has invented a zoo called the Senicol Zoo which is located at New Trails in Elgin, TX (Rowan's school and the main base for The Horse Boy USA). Every morning when I pick him up he says that I am picking him up for work and when we get to New Trails he mentally checks-in on all the animals. The Senicol Zoo has 24,000 species of animal by the way and Rowan knows what they all are and tells me everytime we visit a 'real' zoo now which of their animals we have and which we don't.