Feb 162014
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My family are regulars at Roger Williams Zoo in Providence.  We have had a membership there since my oldest was two years old (that’s seven years for those of you who are keeping track). Sometimes, depending on the day, there are docents (volunteers) around the zoo that help to teach guests about the animals there.

On our last visit, which was about two weeks ago, we ran into a docent over by the elephant exhibit that was holding something that looked quite interesting.  Sure enough it was elephant poop.

The docent asked the gruesome twosome if they wanted to touch or hold it – don’t freak out, it was shellacked, so it was safe to touch. The boys weren’t sure about it at first:


My little man ran away and wanted no part of it at all, but my nine year old was a little bit braver.  He was leery, but he touched it.


And then docent just handed it to him and that was that:


Oddly enough, this was not his his first encounter with animal poop.  Here he is in 2009 with my friend Julie at the Animal Kingdom in Disney World holding some Rhino poop (also shellacked).

rhino poop

Side note: look how little and cute he was.  This picture was taken two days before his fifth birthday (four and 1/2 years ago).

How about you?  Have you ever touched animal poop?

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  102 Responses to “Glad I Always Bring Hand Sanitizer With Me”

  1. Well, there’s something you don’t get to do everyday. And twice in his young life…who would have thunk

  2. Now this is a first for me. I didn’t know they shellacked poop like that! For research purposes, right? 😉 lol Both of your son’s picture are really cute. 😉

  3. In South Dakota at the fairs they have buffalo poop throwing contests

  4. OMG -no!! Shellacked or not, no way! Yuck! My boys probably would though!

  5. Sorry, but I would not ever want to touch that. Just the thought makes my skin crawl. But loved that last flashback picture and definitely can’t believe how much he has grown in the last few years 🙂

  6. That’s neat that they allow something like that. I also have to admit that I am so glad I’m not cleaning up their poop. That thing is huge! lol

  7. Touching animal poop isn’t so bad! I was born in Jamaica, I spent eight years of my life there. Long story short we have all sorts of animals running around. When I was about 16 my mom told me when I was a baby she caught me eating bird poopy. Lol I gagged at the thought. I hope she was kidding.

  8. Sadly, I have…when my son’s little dog was getting potty trained.

    LOL on shellacked poo… what a job that must be!

  9. Animal poop! Nope I don’t think I have even touched it!! I have stepped in it barefooted! But touched on purpose – nope. I’m not so sure I would of touched it!

  10. Well, he can check that off his bucket list now! That elephant poop is BIG!

  11. I am kind of a hand sanitizer freak too. But hey, it is good to have it with you. You just never know!

  12. Not on purpose! Well, other than picking up after the dog…

  13. I would so not want to touch the animal poop. Shellaced or not. The fact that the cat makes me scoop his litter box a million times a day is way too much for me and I have a scooper for that.

  14. hmmm,,,,…I guess I have..but couldn’t remember which animal..or when :D..han sanitizer to the rescue :D…

  15. Just by mistake when I’m cleaning out the litter box 🙂

    That’s a big poo!

  16. No. I use plastic bags turned inside out and pull it up inside right to make sure I dont touch the poop.

  17. No, I haven’t touched the animal poop 😀 But seems like kids had a lot of fun while learning new things at the zoo.

  18. I would have needed a whole truck full to touch that! I bet my kids would have freaked out, hahaha!

  19. No I have never touched animal poop. I like taking my girls to the zoo and we participate in all hands on activities but this would be a first. Although we once walked through a pile of compost.

  20. Have I ever touched animal poop? For entertainment, no. For necessity, yes. Kind of came with the territory of living in the country in Iowa. LOL Although I can’t say I had ever heard of anyone shellacking it before!

  21. OUr big science thing every year in elementary school was to dissect owl pellets which are what the owl throws up after digesting most of the animal. The bones and fur and feathers get balled up into pellets. We used to break up the pellets and then try to figure out which animal bones were inside. That was totally pre hand sanitizer and yet, I live to tell you this tale!

  22. I grew up on a farm so I’ve had far too much experience with poop, lol. Great pics.

  23. Eww no thanks lol. My son would probably be all over that though.

  24. Ugh, and there it goes again, my friends profile popping up from me helping her. Oh well. Anyways, no thanks for me, but my son would be all over that. Kids are gross lol.

  25. The pictures of your boy is adorable! Such great expressions!! He has quite a story to tell! Imagine being the person whose job it is to shellack that poop!

  26. Wow! I have never seen, heard of, or touched shellacked poop of any kind. lol. That does seeem like an interesting experience though. Definitely something to tell the girl he brings home. 😛

  27. LOL…that is so funny!What a great photo montage of “poop” holding for your gruesome twosome! LOL

  28. Yeah… Mr. Chewey (our cat) is getting old (14). Sometimes … it’s necessary.

  29. Haha that’s so strange. I’ve never touched animal poop… baby poop? Plenty of times unfortunately lol

  30. That’s interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever touched other animal’s poop. My boys think it’s funny when we go to a dino museum and see fossilized dino poop.

  31. Yuck! Your boys were certainly very brave to even handle it. I think my boys would have been fascinated with it too.

  32. Erm noooo.. we were at the zoo yesterday and walked pass some fresh elephant poop. I immediately gagged 😛 Your son is very brave to touch the poop heh

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  33. Unfortunately I dealt with animal poop all my life on the farm….though I don’t think I was ever as happy to touch it as your son looks to be!!! 🙂

  34. He was adorable and still is. Growing up on a farm, I am sure I touched animal poop numerous times but never shellacked, LOL.

  35. Well that is one BIG ball of poop! As gross as it is, my daughter would have LOVED everything about this. She has a thing for the icky stuff. That would have been one awesome souvenir to bring home LOL!

  36. Shellaced or not…. I wouldn’t touch that big turd. That thing looks like it could be shot out of a cannon and hurt someone.

  37. If I have, it hasn’t be shellaced so it wasn’t a fun experience. LOL It’s amazing how children grow so fast 🙁

  38. Gosh, I grew up touching animal poop on a farm. BUT no cow, or goat poops that big of a load!! Wow…

  39. Ha! I love it! Fun fact, the Rhino and the Elephant have similar scat shapes and colors because they have the same type of digestive tract, and eat the same sorts of vegetation. They’re monogastric species, just like humans are! because, that’s a normal conversation topic…right?

  40. My boys would think that was awesome! Or maybe just want to throw it at each other. LOL

  41. OMG! Only you Robin will show us cow dung or the equivalent… Love it! 🙂

  42. it’s so funny that zoos save these kinds of things. poop humor gets kids everytime!

  43. poop will ALWAYS be funny to me. Fart jokes are also up there! We carry hand wipes for stuff like this, too! 🙂

  44. Wow what a little cutie pie! Then and now! I don’t know about touching poop shellacked or not lol

  45. Come on!! A big dung ball? LOL ew. He looks adorable, though.

  46. Not on purpose, but I slipped in goose poo and got some on my hands once. Nasty!

  47. I touch enough poop at work. I think I’ll pass on fossilized poop!

  48. That’s a lot of poop! We’ve have dogs,and we have had birds in the past so sadly I have touched animal poop. URGH!

  49. I don’t think of a time I’ve touched animal poop accidentally. I don’t think I’d do it on purpose either!

  50. I’ve never touched animal poop, on purpose, at least. Not sure if I could really go there. 😉

  51. I grew up spending most of my time on a farm.
    You do NOT even want to know. trust.

  52. not by choice. nor for fun.

    and never shellacked.

  53. My daughter is the proud owner of elephant poop paper. When we were at the Toledo Zoo, she couldn’t resist buying a notebook made from recycled elephant poop.

  54. Is this a thing now–shellacking animal poop? So funny; glad your son has a can-do spirit.

  55. Is it bad that I’m wondering how they shellack the poop??

  56. Oh freaky! I actually have touched animal poop – when picking up after my dog and not realizing there was a hole in the bag!

  57. Hmmmmm. I would have to pass on this! Super gross. Lol. But I guess awesome story for the grand kids one day. Lol

  58. Other than cleaning up my birds and my duck and rabbit, no, I don’t touch poop!

  59. That is funny! We have Chip throwing contests here (buffalo and cow poop) lol

  60. Ha! Sounds like something my son would try. Boys!!!

  61. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about little boys, it’s that POOP IS FUN. To them, at least. And you definitely left me with a reminder to savor the day. My boy is 4 1/2 and growing WAY too fast!

  62. Haha! Who knew poop could look so cute?!

  63. The only animal poop I’ve touched has been my dog’s… and it was an accident! LOL. He is brave!

  64. My son would have gotten such a kick out of that!! Well maybe not holding it but getting someone else to hold it! 🙂

  65. Haha. How brave of him to do that. Boys and dirt, rocks, and poop! lol

  66. yep, that’s pretty gross. lol. Can’t say I’ve even held poop.

  67. OH my gosh, boys will touch some of the grosest things! lol Love how happy he looks about it though.

  68. That’s huge!! Looks like a whole coconut! Nasty, I wouldn’t touch it! LOL.

  69. I thought it was a coconut at first! How funny.

  70. Shellacked or not, I don’t think I would touch it 🙂 My son probably would though.

  71. Oh my goodness, my kids would probably be all over touching it… ewww…

  72. The title cracked me up and then all the poop…lol! My boys would love it!

  73. I probably wouldn’t m,ind if it was shellacked, but I am not a fan of poop from any type of animal 😉

  74. Wow how times flies and to have the poop memory … lol

  75. LOL I think both my boys would have been very into the poop thing!

  76. Shellacked poop… interesting. I can imagine someone having a collection of that! Your son has gotten so big!

  77. Haha the 3rd pic is great! I’ve never had the opportunity to touch elephant poop!

  78. I remember this one… so funny. Will tweet it.

  79. Oh my! When we were in Thailand, we did the exact same thing! I will always remember it!!

  80. I might touch it…quickly lol My four year old would want to carry it around! He loves things like that. (then his dad would whip out the Purel lol)

  81. I can’t imagine having to be the person who shellacs animal poop. My daughter would have wanted to hold that when she was younger, but my son would have been the one chasing everyone down with Purel.

  82. No, I have never touched anumal poop. At least, not on purpose.

  83. I’m not a big fan of any kind of poop. Don’t even like the baby kind. Your son is a lot braver than me. 🙂

  84. That’s hilarious that he has photos with not one, but two different kinds of shellacked poop! When I was 6, my parents took me to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and they had this box where you would put your hands in and feel different things, then open the lid and see what it was. I remember opening one of the boxes and seeing that I had just gotten a handful of fossilized dinosaur poop. LOL!!

  85. That’s one big poop! I never thought that animals can have a huge poop as big as that!

  86. I was gonna say “How often is it that you get to hold elephant poop?” Since it’s his second time, I guess I can’t use that line! Boy I’d hate to have that in my toilet. Woowee!

  87. disgusting! Hand sanitizer would not be enough for me, I would be in the bathroom scrubbing with soap and water. I got a chuckle at the women at the zoo holding it like it was a basketball! LOL!

  88. I have never voluntarily touched animal waste. Cleaning up after the household pets is as close as I come and that is not voluntary.

  89. My husband is obsessed with hand sanitizer. I hate the smell.

  90. Eeek I couldn’t do it! Can’t say that I’ve ever held animal poop before

  91. I have had to clean up the occasional pet poop, but I can’t say I have ever touched one just for the fun of it, lol. As long as your boy that likes to touch the poop doesn’t shellac his own, you are good. 😉

  92. I have unwillingly had to clean up animal poop so I guess that is a yes. Looks like your little guy enjoyed it, sounds like something fun to brag about.

  93. I have touched animal poop. Nothing as exotic as elephant, just some little goat pellets. Looks like your kids is really enjoying his time at the zoo.

  94. That must have been a neat experience, just don’t think my son would be up for it. Looks like your kids had a blast, though!

  95. Great photos! So funny that they have shellacked elephant and rhino poop! Of course I’ve touched poop — I have chickens and grew up around chickens, goats and menagerie of animals =)

  96. oh my goodness- that is one big poop 🙂

  97. Elephant poo sure is big! My kids have done the same thing, touched shellacked poo, at a zoo.

  98. I barely like changing a baby’s dirty diaper, so heck no! I don’t blame your little guy – I’d have probably ran off, too.

  99. I think it’s funny that you happen to have pictures of him both times with the poop. Only you!

  100. Ewwww why would anyone want to touch poop? That’s it I am taking a pic of dinosaur poop just for you next time I am at the nature museum here.

  101. Holy cow that is some HUGE POOP. And I thought my 90 lbs golden retriever left a huge pile.