Friday, August 03, 2012

Oh yeah, we went to the zoo.

And I still don't like them.

I went because my husband begged me to go.  It's free to go here, so I caved in.  He wanted to go see the new cheetah cubs that were born.  He assured me of their cuteness.  However, we got there, and they're only for viewing certain hours.  But we decided to walk around anyway. It wasn't sooooo hot.

But I really dislike zoos.  I just don't.  If I ever have kids, I'll probably take them, because there are these amazing beings that you can see.  It's just not their own habitat.  It drives me crazy to see the elephants, lions, monkeys, and pretty much everything else confined to these extremely small spaces.  There is no roaming, there is not climbing, there is not catching ones own food.

At least this zoo has come a long way.  And I'm taking about the National Zoo.  It's been on one of the worst lists in many times in the past, which was one of the reasons why I refused to go.  It is better.

So I snapped a few pictures while we were there.  I meant to bring my zoom lens, but forgot it.

Little Sloth Bear...he wouldn't come closer.

Wake up sleepy head!

Otters are probably the cutest animal ever, I saw a bunch of them in the sea when I was in Alaska a few years ago.

Having a snack.

Not really much space to roam for this elephant.

But I think they're taking good care of them.

Little Red Panda, taking a nap in the heat of the day, behind glass.

Check it out, my hand.  These guys use the hole in the wall to go in between rooms, giving them a little more room to move and play.

Two little guys taking a nap together.

This little guy was so lonely, they had to give him a stuffed friend. 

Meerkat taking in the rays.

Beautiful blooming lotus.

Taking in an afternoon snack of rabbit.

Ok here's the story.  Big lion guy over there walked away from the food.  Little lion guy getting some snack for himself.

Big kitty roars at little guy, and comes back to hover over the food, but not eating any.  He stays there guarding the morsels for a few minutes.  Pacing back and forth.

Big kitty walks away, turns his back, and little lion checks to see if it'll be ok for him to get some food.  Bug guy paces back and forth for a few minutes.  Little guy waits for the right moment.

Little guy goes for it.  Big guy observes.

Big guy observes VERY closely.....
It was interesting to watch the lions.  That was something I got to experience in Tanzania.  There is a clear pecking order, even in a zoo, where a lion doesn't even have to hunt.

I really hadn't been to this zoo since 1996.  Or any zoo for that matter.  I do think I'll be going to another zoo for a while.  I'm glad it wasn't as bad as I remembered.   It does make you think about how important it is to preserve the land that these animals actually live on.  Their real habitats cannot be substituted for these fabricated areas.  Every living being needs to live in the environment that is suitable for them.  I realize that over thousands of years animals have adapted to the variance in the environment (dinosaurs = birds).  However, the environmental changes that have occurred over generations of humans inhabiting the world have been caused by us.  We are the ones destroying the rain forests, creating roads that go through the Serengeti, poaching animals, drilling for oil, and driving automobiles, genetically altering and producing food out of want, not need.

I don't mean to get on my soap box, to some-- a zoo is just a zoo.  You get to see things you wouldn't normally see, it's an educational experience. It is that.  But, it's also a wake up call.  This may be the only way to see some animals until they all disappear.

1 comment:

Jona said...

I completely agree. Humans are life's most dangerous enemy. We have this amazing capacity to destroy beauty, without looking back. I have not been to a zoo in years and I don't think I ever will. I don't think Aiston will go to a zoo, either. However, I bought a book for my mom that she said was very interesting and somewhat in defense of zoos - at least decent ones: Zoo Story by Thomas French. I'm glad you went there with an open mind, though. I wish more people would go to zoos with a critical eye into what it actually means to have wild animals locked up in cages for human viewing pleasure.