I have mixed feelings about zoos as I’m sure do most people. I love seeing all the animals but feel badly when I see the tiger pace paths and some enclosures that seem too small. Zoos tout that they are saving endangered species but really they’re only saving them from humans themselves and they’re not doing anything to rebuild the population as zoo animals will never be released into the wild. When animals do breed in captivity they are frequently killed to ensure genetic purity. For those who didn’t read about poor Marius the giraffe in Copenhagen earlier this year, here is a New York Times article:
For zoos that do a good job in maintaining the health and happiness of the animals there is something to be said for the educational value for children. Of course children could see pictures and videos of animals but you can’t compare that to seeing them in real life and the long lasting effects it has for the children who become fond of them. It is important for parents to teach children about the environmental effects on animals and their habitats but unfortunately not all parents provide that. Today I overheard a child ask their parent what the name of the animal they were looking at was. The parent said “a hippopotamus”. Unfortunately it was actually a boar and that parent was just a complete idiot. And then there are the parents that let their children scream and chase the peacocks that wander around. Next time I’m going to put on a creepy mask and start charging at the asshole kids that do that and the parents that let them. I guess the world is just filled with idiots and assholes.
I decided to take my kids to the zoo as seeing giant pandas is a once in a lifetime experience for most people. Zoos get the pandas on loan from China on a temporary basis only. In the end my children spent more time looking at the interpretive displays than they did the actual pandas. Some learning occurred and the gift shop was avoided.
Some pics from the day:
The hip hop anonymous
And then there’s this majestic creature, no one on the corner has swagger like him