What Kids Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . I love the real locations! Reading the book always makes me want to go and visit them all on our next family vacation. My Mom says maybe, but I canâ€™t wait! One day, I want to be a real kid in one of Ms. Marshâ€™s mystery books. I think it would be fun, and I think I am a real character anyway. I filled out the application and sent it in and am keeping my fingers crossed! History was not my favorite subject till I starting reading Carole Marsh Mysteries. Ms. Marsh really brings history to life. Also, she leaves room for the scary and fun. I think Christina is so smart and brave. She is lucky to be in the mystery books because she gets to go to a lot of places. I always wonder just how much of the book is true and what is made up. Trying to figure that out is fun! Grant is cool and funny! He makes me laugh a lot!! I like that there are boys and girls in the story of different ages. Some mysteries I outgrow, but I can always find a favorite character to identify with in these books. They are scary, but not too scary. They are funny. I learn a lot. There is always food which makes me hungry. I feel like I am there.
What Parents and Teachers Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . I think kids love these books because they have such a wealth of detail. I know I learn a lot reading them! It’s an engaging way to look at the history of any place or event. I always say I’m only going to read one chapter to the kids, but that never happens—it’s always two or three, at least! —Librarian Reading the mystery and going on the field trip—Scavenger Hunt in hand—was the most fun our class ever had! It really brought the place and its history to life. They loved the real kids characters and all the humor. I loved seeing them learn that reading is an experience to enjoy! —4th grade teacher Carole Marsh is really on to something with these unique mysteries. They are so clever; kids want to read them all. The Teacher’s Guides are chock full of activities, recipes, and additional fascinating information. My kids thought I was an expert on the subject—and with this tool, I felt like it! —3rd grade teacher My students loved writing their own Real Kids/Real Places mystery book! Ms. Marsh’s reproducible guidelines are a real jewel. They learned about copyright and more & ended up with their own book they were so proud of! —Reading/Writing Teacher “The kids seem very realistic—my children seemed to relate to the characters. Also, it is educational by expanding their knowledge about the famous places in the books.” “They are what children like: mysteries and adventures with children they can relate to.” “Encourages reading for pleasure.” “This series is great. It can be used for reluctant readers, and as a history supplement.”
The Zany Zoo Mystery! by Carole Marsh
Copyright ©2007 Carole Marsh/ Gallopade International All rights reserved. First Edition Ebook edition Copyright ©2011 Carole Marsh Mysteries™ and its skull colophon are the property of Carole Marsh and Gallopade International. Published by Gallopade International/Carole Marsh Books. Printed in the United States of America. Managing Editor: Sherry Moss Cover Design: Vicki DeJoy Illustrations: Yvonne Ford, Randolyn Friedlander Content Design: Randolyn Friedlander Gallopade International is introducing SAT words that kids need to know in each new book that we publish. The SAT words are bold in the story. Look for this special logo beside each word in the glossary. Happy Learning!
Gallopade is proud to be a member and supporter of these educational organizations and associations: American Booksellers Association International Reading Association National Association for Gifted Children The National School Supply and Equipment Association The National Council for the Social Studies Museum Store Association Association of Partners for Public Lands This book is a complete work of fiction. All events are fictionalized, and although the names of real people are used, their characterization in this book is fiction. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
20 Years Ago . . . As a mother and an author, one of the fondest periods of my life was when I decided to write mystery books for children. At this time (1979) kids were pretty much glued to the TV, something parents and teachers complained about the way they do about web surfing and blogging today. I decided to set each mystery in a real place—a place kids could go and visit for themselves after reading the book. And I also used real children as characters. Usually a couple of my own children served as characters, and I had no trouble recruiting kids from the book’s location to also be characters. Also, I wanted all the kids—boys and girls of all ages—to participate in solving the mystery. And, I wanted kids to learn something as they read. Something about the history of the location. And I wanted the stories to be funny. That formula of real+scary+smart+fun served me well. I love getting letters from teachers and parents who say they read the book with their class or child, then visited the historic site and saw all the places in the mystery for themselves. What’s so great about that? What’s great is that you and your children have an experience that bonds you together forever. Something you shared. Something you both cared about at the time. Something that crossed all age levels—a good story, a good scare, a good laugh! 20 years later,
Hey, kids! As you seeâ€”here we are ready to embark on another of our exciting Carole Marsh Mystery adventures! You know, in "real life," I keep very close tabs on Christina, Grant, and their friends when we travel. However, in the mystery books, they always seem to slip away from Papa and I so that they can try to solve the mystery on their own! I hope you will go to www.carolemarshmysteries.com and apply to be a character in a future mystery book! Well, The Mystery Girl is all tuned up and ready for "take-off!" Gotta go... Papa says so! Wonder what I've forgotten this time? Happy "Armchair Travel" Reading, Mimi
About the Characters Christina, age 10: Mysterious things really do happen to her! Hobbies: soccer, Girl Scouts, anything crafty, hanging out with Mimi, and going on new adventures. Grant, age 7: Always manages to fall off boats, back into cactuses, and find strange clues—even in real life! Hobbies: camping, baseball, computer games, math, and hanging out with Papa. Mimi is Carole Marsh, children’s book author and creator of Carole Marsh Mysteries, Around the World in 80 Mysteries, Awesome Mysteries, Sportsmysteries, and many others. Papa is Bob Longmeyer, the author’s reallife husband, who really does wear a tuxedo, cowboy boots and hat, fly an airplane, captain a boat, speak in a booming voice, and laugh a lot! Avery Lamb, 10, from Dothan, Alabama: Likes to play basketball, jump on the trampoline, build forts, and read mysteries. Favorite vacations include visiting monuments, museums, and zoos!
Other Titles The Awesome Aquarium Mystery!
Coming Soon!: The Crazy Cruise Ship Mystery! The Awesome Amusement Park Mystery! The Creepy Circus Mystery!
Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
We Belong in a Zoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Monkeyin’ Around . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Wacky Walruses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Do the Lions Sleep at Night? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Tiger Tales. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Arctic Antics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Walking in the Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Creepy Crawlers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Roughin’ it . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Funky Fowl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Mystical Manatees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Down and Dirty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 ‘Panda’monium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Penguins on Parade. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Into the Wild Blue Yonder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 About the Series Creator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Built-In Book Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Scavenger Hunt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Pop Quiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116 Tech Connects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
1 We Belong in a Zoo “A weeble walks. A weeble walks,” Grant sang merrily in the backseat of the car. “What are you going on about now?” Christina asked her brother, slamming her hands over her ears. “It’s the song from the Lion King,” said Grant. “Don’t you remember? I thought since we’re going to the zoo it would be a good time to sing it.” “I don’t think the words are a weeble walks,” said Christina with a groan. “Well, what are they, smarty?” asked Grant.
The Zany Zoo Mystery
“I don’t know. Mimi, do you know?” Christina asked her grandmother, who was sitting in the front seat. “Do I know what?” Mimi asked. “The song. The real words to the song,” Grant said, leaning forward in his seat. “A weeble walks. A weeble walks.” “IN THE JUNGLE, THE MIGHTY JUNGLE, THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT!” Papa sang out in his deep baritone voice from the driver’s seat. “The word is a wimoweh,” Mimi said. Christina knew that Mimi was right. Mimi writes children’s mysteries and is a walking dictionary. She wasn’t the ordinary grandmother type. “IN THE JUNGLE, THE MIGHTY JUNGLE,” Papa started singing again. “The lion sleeps tonight!” Mimi joined in the fun. Christina leaned her head close to Grant’s. They both sang the chorus out of tune. “A Wimoweh! A Wimoweh!” They all burst into laughter at the silliness of it all. Christina glanced out the car window and noticed a large sign pointing to the entrance of
We Belong in a Zoo
the Paradise Zoo. They had finally arrived! It wasn’t every day you get to visit the largest zoo in the world. Christina smiled to herself. She was so excited that Mimi had been invited to the zoo in hopes she could be enticed to write a “Paradise Zoo” mystery. The Paradise Zoo had only been open for a week. The only guests allowed into the new zoo were those with memberships. And Mimi’s family, of course! Christina and Grant had flown in this morning with their grandparents on The Mystery Girl. The small red airplane had been a gift from Mimi to Papa. They spent a lot of time traveling to research for Mimi’s books so it had been the “perfect present,” according to Papa, the cowboy-pilot. Christina and Grant were allowed to travel with their grandparents during school breaks and holidays. Christina loved visiting all the new and exciting places. The only thing was that they always seemed to end up in the middle of some sort of mystery. On this trip, the kids had promised not to get into any mischief and leave the mysteries to
The Zany Zoo Mystery
Mimi. Christina hoped they’d be able to keep their promise…but she doubted it! “Hey, look at the sticker on that van,” Grant said and pointed. On a beige minivan was a sticker in blue with red letters that said:
We belong in a zoo “The zoo gives those stickers to everyone with a membership,” Mimi said. “It is pretty funny, don’t you think?” “You belong in a zoo,” Christina teased her brother. At ten years old, Christina felt much older than her brother who was only seven. Sometimes he seemed really silly to her but he was fun to travel with. “Are we really spending the night in the zoo?” Grant asked. “Yes, Grant,” Papa said. “They have special cabins in the middle of the zoo. Schools and groups on field trips can use the cabins. We’re going to be the first guests to stay in one. After this weekend, they have a waiting list of
We Belong in a Zoo
over six months for people wanting to use them.” “I hope the animals don’t keep us awake tonight,” Christina said. “Why—do they snore?” asked Grant. “We’re supposed to park in the guest parking area,” Mimi said to Papa. “I’ve got the pass to put in the car window.” “Do you think we can get one of those bumper stickers, Mimi?” Grant asked as they pulled into the parking space. “I want to give it to my teacher.” “I think we can ask for one, but I can’t promise we will get one. Come help with the luggage,” Mimi said as she slid across the leather seat to get out of the car. “Well, at least we don’t have as much luggage as we normally do,” Papa said, opening the trunk. Papa pulled out a large duffel bag and handed it over to Grant. Christina and Mimi were both given smaller bags to carry into the park. Papa took the largest bag. “What’s in here?” Papa said gruffly, slinging the long bag over his shoulder like Santa’s sack.
The Zany Zoo Mystery
“Stuff I need to write and a few books. My laptop’s in there too,” Mimi said and smiled sweetly at Papa. As they followed the path to the zoo entrance, the murals painted on the walls filled Christina with awe. The first mural depicted an African savannah with lions and other animals roaming the land. It was large and colorful. The animals looked so real that Grant tried to pet one. The next mural was of the Amazon rainforest. Grant peered closely at the small tree frogs and rainbow-colored birds. “I want to go there!” Grant said, pointing at the mural. “Maybe someday soon,” Mimi said. “I don’t know,” Christina said. “I see a really big snake in those trees!” “Don’t worry, Christina. I’ll protect you,” Grant said seriously. Christina leaned forward for a closer look at the snake. The snake’s eyes flared—ebony with green slits. Startled, Christina jumped back, as the entire mural lit up! “Wow!” exclaimed Grant.
We Belong in a Zoo
“There must be fiber optic lights inside the mural,” Papa explained. They continued past more murals of an amazing array of animals in their natural habitats. Christina’s favorite was the snowcovered landscape dotted with penguins. Suddenly, the murals ended, and a long line of visitors formed to get into the park through clicking turnstiles. “Wow!” Grant said. “Look at all the people waiting to get in. It’ll take us forever to get inside!” “Don’t worry. We’re supposed to go down this side passage to the office. We won’t have to wait in this line,” Mimi said, leading the way. “Nothing like being a VIP,” Papa said. “VIP?” asked Grant. “Very Important Person,” Christina told her brother. “You mean because we don’t have to wait in line?” Grant asked. “Right!” Christina said. Mimi had already rung the bell beside the zoo office door by the time Grant and Christina caught up. Grant was struggling with the oversized duffle bag.
The Zany Zoo Mystery
A girl about Christina’s age answered the door. She had brunette hair, glasses, braces, and a bright smile. “Wow!” said Grant. “Your braces shine like Christmas tree tinsel.” “Grant!” hissed Christina. “You’re Carole Marsh!” the girl said to Mimi. “I love your books. My dad said you were coming today. Come on in. Things are kind of chaotic today.” “So is it always chaotic or is today special?” Christina asked the girl. “I’m sorry. I should’ve introduced myself. I’m Avery Lamb. My dad is in charge of the zoo. We’re getting ready for the Penguin Parade tomorrow,” she said. “Pretty penguins prancing on parade?” Grant asked. “Sounds like a tongue twister.” “The penguins are arriving at their habitat in the zoo tomorrow,” Avery explained. “The penguins are in quarantine now, but tomorrow they’ll walk the red carpet to their new home while the guests watch from the stands that we’re setting up.” “Wow!” Christina said. “How many penguins are there?
We Belong in a Zoo
“Did they arrive in a fancy limo?” wondered Grant. Avery laughed, “There are twelve penguins. They arrived in a refrigerated truck. One of the veterinarians who rode with the penguins said that as they made turns, the penguins would topple over! Let me call my dad on the walkie-talkie. He and my brother, Aiden, are at the penguin habitat making sure everything’s ready for their arrival. We wouldn’t want anything to go wrong, would we?” Hmm, Christina thought to herself—What could go wrong? The door on the other side of the office flew open and a man burst in, so upset he screamed, “I can’t believe it! It’s happened again!” Avery cleared her throat and said, “Dad, this is Ms. Marsh and her family.” “Just in the nick of time!” Mr. Lamb said. “Avery, maybe you and your brother can show Ms. Marsh’s grandkids around the park.” The harried zookeeper looked desperate to talk to Mimi. He did not look like he was in Paradise at all!
The Zany Zoo Mystery
2 Monkeyin’ Around “I can’t believe that Mimi and Papa are letting us explore the zoo by ourselves!” Grant said as the four children walked down the path towards the primate house. “It could have something to do with the fact that the zoo manager’s kids are with us,” said Christina. The four new friends reached PLANET PRIMATE just in time to see the chimpanzees being fed. Grant jumped up and down and moved his arms at funny angles—most embarrassing for Christina, especially when he scratched under his arms and started making monkey noises!
The Zany Zoo Mystery
“Grant!” cried Christina. “What are you doing?” “It’s not nice to make fun of the animals,” said Avery. “Ah, I’m not making fun of them,” said Grant. “I’m trying to fit in to see if I can get a banana. I love bananas.” “Me too!” cried Aiden, who was Grant’s age but a little shorter, with dark hair in contrast to Grant’s blonde spikes. The two boys continued their monkey-see, monkey-do act. “Younger brothers!” Avery said, and rolled her eyes, but couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah,” said Christina, giggling, in spite of herself. “Why are they looking at us like that?” asked Grant, pointing at the chimpanzees that had gathered around the glass in front of them. “Because the two of you are so silly,” teased Avery. “Let’s head inside,” suggested Aiden, pulling down his safari hat. “We’ll check out the orangutans. They’re really awesome.” Christina led the way into the primate house. When she opened the door the smell almost knocked her over.
“Ewww!” cried Grant. “This smells worse than when I went with Uncle Mike to take his dog Riley to the vet.” Aiden slung an arm around Grant’s shoulder. “Don’t worry! You’ll get used to the smell.” Christina walked closer to the floor-toceiling glass wall to get a better look at the orangutans. They were beautiful, with long, reddish-brown hair covering their bodies. They had long arms and thick necks. As she watched, one of them grabbed a tree branch and swung itself up onto a limb. “They’re so agile!” gasped Christina. “Orangutans are my favorite of the primates,” said Avery. “Do they come from Africa?” asked Grant. “No,” said Aiden. “They are indigenous to Southeast Asia on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.” “Dig what?” Grant asked, confused. “Indigenous—it means that’s where orangutans are from,” Avery said. “Oh,” said Grant. “Like I’m from Georgia?”
The Zany Zoo Mystery
“We’re indigenous to Georgia,” agreed Christina. “Hey, where’s Kiko?” Avery wondered aloud. “Who’s Kiko?” asked Christina. “She’s Avery’s favorite orangutan,” Aiden answered. “She’s the youngest,” Avery said. “Kiko and I arrived here on the same day. I helped get her into her habitat.” “You mean her cage?” Grant asked. “We don’t call them cages because the zoo has worked hard to make homes for the animals that are similar to where they are from, so we call them habitats,” Avery explained. “Maybe when I grow up, I can get a job in a zoo,” Grant sighed. He struck his best liontamer-in-a-circus pose. “I can be the official animal tamer!” Christina, Avery, and Aiden burst into laughter. Grant looked at the three of them so crestfallen that Christina smiled encouragingly at her brother. “I don’t think they have animal tamers at the zoo, but I’m sure you’d make a great veterinarian or a curator.”
While Grant and Aiden watched the orangutans play on tire swings, Christina and Avery walked around the glass enclosures looking for Kiko. After making a full circuit with no sign of Kiko, Avery looked a little panicked. “I just don’t understand where she could be,” Avery said. “She must be here. We’ve just missed her,” Christina consoled her new friend, who looked like she might cry. “I’m afraid Kiko has been taken like everything else that’s gone missing around the zoo,” cried Avery. “Other animals have gone missing?” Christina asked, alarmed. “Kiko is the first animal to disappear, but other things have gone missing,” said Avery. “At first it was small things like a screwdriver and a pail, but on opening day a little girl had her doll taken. Usually the items turn up in a new location, but broken,” she explained. “Avery, we aren’t supposed to talk about that!” cautioned Aiden. “Maybe she’s gone to the Learning Lab. She could even be out on one of the lines.”
The Zany Zoo Mystery!
“Learning Lab? Lines?” Christina asked, puzzled. “Some of the orangutans have access to the Learning Lab,” said Aiden. “They get to work on computers. Researchers work with them to help develop their language abilities. They get to the Learning Lab by crossing the lines that run around the park,” he added, and pointed up over their heads. Christina noticed a tall pole with a platform on the top of it. Leading out from the platform were two thick wires that ran parallel to each other. Every few yards there was another platform. Further spaced out were poles that the orangutans could climb down. “Let’s go to the Learning Lab and look for Kiko,” suggested Grant. The children dashed through a maze of back passages to get to the Learning Lab. Avery was disappointed that Kiko wasn’t working at a computer or playing in the exhibit. “Don’t worry!” assured Christina. “We’ll find her. Grant and I love a good...” Grant interrupted his sister. “Don’t say it! Don’t use the M word!” “What M word?” Avery said.
“Mystery,” said Christina. “You had to go and say it,” Grant said with a sigh. “We promised to leave the mystery to Mimi this trip.” “Can you really find Kiko?” asked Avery. “Uh huh!” Christina assured. “But where do we go from here?” “We’ll follow the lines,” Avery said. “Look!” Grant cried. “I found a clue.” Grant was holding a piece of paper and standing by a box that said INFO STATION. “That’s not a clue,” sighed Aiden. “It’s a trivia fact about zoo animals. The boxes are all around the park. Each box has a different fact. The facts are changed every couple of weeks so each time you come back to the zoo, you’ll learn different trivia facts.” “What does it say?” urged Christina. Grant held it out for everyone to read:
Walruses, pigs, and lightcolored horses can get sunburned.
“Then they should wear sun block,” said Grant.
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Suddenly, a chimp on the overhead wire began to screech, as if in distress. The kids glanced up at the monkey, and then looked all around to see what was making it so anxious. Christina did not speak â€œmonkey,â€? but she knew the sound of danger when she heard it!
3 Wacky Walruses Grant and Aiden ran ahead of the girls toward the walrus exhibit. Grant felt like a bumper car as he ricocheted back and forth in the crowd. Christina gasped when Grant collided with a man in a business suit, who looked out of place at a zoo. “Grant!” Christina exclaimed, helping her brother to his feet. “Are you okay? You should be more careful.” “Big sisters!” Grant said to Aiden. “First they worry, then they scold.” The man Grant had bumped into chuckled at Grant’s expression. “Mr. Peabody,” Avery said. “I’m so sorry. We shouldn’t have been in such a hurry. Grant and Christina, this is Paradise Zoo’s registrar.”
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“What exactly do you do for the zoo?” asked Christina. “It’s my job to keep up with the records and permits for all the animals housed here,” explained Mr. Peabody. “I also keep up with any changes made in the laws concerning the care and transportation of the animals.” “It’s a shame he can’t keep up with all the animals,” Grant muttered, thinking of Kiko. “What was that?” asked Mr. Peabody. Christina wasn’t sure but she thought she saw an unpleasant look in Mr. Peabody’s deep-set eyes. “Oh, nothing,” covered Avery. “We’re on our way to the walrus exhibit.” “Have a good time—and slow down,” cautioned Mr. Peabody. When he vanished around the corner, the four kids raced to the walrus exhibit. A huge sign proclaimed the exhibit WALRUS WORLD. The habitat was mostly water with large boulders set about like lounge chairs for relaxing walruses. Grant watched the large, cinnamoncolored animals swimming effortlessly. They sported bushy mustaches, with a large tooth
poking out of each side of their mouths. Grant thought they looked like friendly playmates! “Look!” Grant cried. “They have flippers like seals.” “They’re awfully big,” said Christina, pressing her nose against the glass to get a closer look. A group of park guests walked into the exhibit with a tour guide who was giving a history of zoos. The children moved closer to hear what she was saying. “Animal menageries can be traced as far back as ancient Egypt,” the tour guide said. “Animals were thought to be a sign of wealth and were presented as gifts to the pharaohs. People have always been fascinated by the diversity of animals and entertained by their behavior. “King Henry I created the first animal menagerie in Woodstock, England. It was later moved to the Tower of London by Henry III in the thirteenth century,” the guide said to the crowd. “We’ve been to the Tower of London,” Grant whispered to Avery and Aiden.
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“That’s where Mimi wrote The Mystery of Big Ben.” “These menageries were part of private collections and not accessible to everyone then,” said the guide. “In the latter half of the 19th century, regular people were able to see the menageries with the opening of zoological collections in Paris, Vienna, Dublin, and later in London. “The Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 for the advancement of zoology,” the guide continued. “Thus the modern zoo was founded. In 1848 Carl Hagenbeck built a zoo that allowed animals to get outside a cage. He thought that the enclosures should resemble nature. It wasn’t until the 1970s and 1980s that this idea caught on.” “I think I’d like that Carl Hagenbeck guy,” Grant said. “It’d be awful to spend your whole life locked in a cage.” “Plus, I really like seeing how the animals live in the wild,” Christina added. “Well, a zoo is not the wild, you know,” reminded Avery. “In fact, some people object to zoos, but Dad says that when people visit zoos
and see the incredible wild animals, then they care much more about protecting animals in the wild!” “How well do you know Mr. Peabody?” asked Christina. “He just arrived at the zoo a couple of weeks ago,” said Avery. “Why?” “It may be nothing, but I thought he looked like he was hiding something,” Christina said. “Has Mr. Peabody been nearby when things have gone missing?” asked Grant. “No, I don’t think so,” said Aiden. “The first thing to be stolen was a ball by the lions’ den,” said Avery. “The ball turned up a couple of days later but it had been deflated and had a hole punched in it.” “Why would someone steal a ball and return it after it was broken?” asked Grant. “It does seem kind of odd,” agreed Aiden. “Maybe we should look around the lion exhibit next,” said Christina. “Well, as long as we find Kiko,” said Aiden. He looked over at his sister. “Avery would be devastated if anything happened to her precious Kiko.”
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Grant spied an info station in the far corner of the viewing area. He rushed to grab a trivia fact before the group left for the lion exhibit. “What does it say?” urged Avery. “Read it yourselves,” said Grant, as everyone gathered around him. The card read:
Lions can’t roar until age two.
“Well, let’s go see the lions roar!” roared Grant, striking his lion-tamer pose once more. His sister looked nervous. “What’s wrong?” asked Avery. “They’re in an enclosure.” Christina chewed her lip. Lions were not her favorite animals. “I hope it’s a big, strong one!” she said.