Everybody Poops...a fun visit to the SF Zoo Exhibit


My youngest child thinks poop is the funniest thing on the planet.

She giggles hysterically when she hears the word.

She laughs uproariously when she says the word.

It’s her go-to swear word.

So, it seemed fitting when we visited the SF zoo that we check out their Poop exhibit, “The Scoop on Poop, The Science of What Animals Leave Behind.”

Anticipation high. Her excitement was palpable as she ran towards the old elephant house.

She was ready to see what the zoo had to offer in regards to going number two.

We were met by big red doors and a sign welcoming us to the exhibit.

Mia ran through the doors, ready to see some real live poop. She sat here first, next to a giant pile of fake elephant dung. Her head just slightly right of the elephant bum.

Ava found another poster to stand by, she looked all flowery and delicate next to a fox or coyote pooping on the prairie.

There certainly were plenty of games to play. We raced dung beetles, which required we push giant plastic poop balls to navigate the course. We played a “guess who pooped” matching game called “Who Dung It.” The game gave descriptions and we had to select the correct animal that “dung” it. There was spirited debate about who each pile of poop belonged to. Was it a turkey or a bear? Fox or porcupine?

We studied poop under microscopes. We learned about how seeds are spread through pooping. We watched real dung beetles doing what they do best. We learned about all the practical applications of the smelly stuff.

We even learned how to say poop in other languages. “Un chi, Chuánwěi, la caca…” She listened intently and repeated the word. Giggled. Mia is now multilingual saying the word poop.


The piece to resistance was in answering the age-old question, if you are an 11,000 pound elephant and eat 400 pounds of grass and trees every day, how long will it take that elephant to poop your weight out?

Mia 2 hours. Ava 2.5 hours. Me 8.25 hours. Valuable to know if someday I am on a game show.

Both girls loved it, but it was especially fun for Mia. The exhibit was a place where she could yell the word poop freely under the guise of science. Genius.

I’m hoping this phase passes soon. I’m pretty sure it will pass. I think.

If not, she can be just like Dr. Wayne Lynch and study poop for a living, which I’m okay with because at least I can say my daughter is a scientist.

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