I have mixed feelings about zoos. I hate that animals are kept in captivity. (I can barely stand to look at the primates. So sad!). I hate that people stare and point and yell and laugh at the animals. I hate that polar bears are in the middle of Ohio. And lions. And tigers. And..Sigh. On the other hand, I appreciate the conservation work done by zoos who can afford to do so. I appreciate the work done to help preserve endangered species and the educational opportunities and efforts and the ability of people to see and identify with animals they would not normally come in contact with. Putting a “face” on an animal helps build empathy towards the animals and their plight.
To celebrate Memorial Day weekend the beautiful weather we’ve been experiencing here in Ohio, Mr M and I took a little day trip to the Columbus Zoo. You may never had heard of the Columbus Zoo, but you’ve probably heard of Jack Hanna, who used to be the zoo’s curator. He’s still associated with the zoo and visits often. He wasn’t there Saturday, but he was there a couple of weeks ago. [There is another zoo affiliated location in eastern Ohio called The Wilds. This is supposed to mimic an African safari. As far as I know, the animals that end up at the Wilds are rescued animals.]
Anyway, we spent the day looking at the animals and toughing it out against the hundreds of strollers. Wowza. Strollers take up a lot of room!
I hadn’t been to the Columbus Zoo since I was a little kid, so I didn’t have much memory of it, but I was a little surprised not to see a giraffe (my favorite) or a zebra. There weren’t any crocodiles or alligators either. Their cat population was a little low too, but we did get to see two tiger cubs being fed, which was pretty neat. There were a surprising number of baby animals at the zoo, which I guess is a good thing, especially for the lower in number species. But, again, do we really need brown bears, eagles, kangaroos and goats in a zoo? Double sigh.
I guess I forget not everyone has the opportunity to see large animals on a daily basis. Driving for just a few minutes will give me a glimpse of cows, pigs, chickens, goats, llama, alpacas, donkeys, horses and a few different species of ducks and geese. Bald eagles nest around here, so it’s not uncommon to see one flying through the air now and again. (I saw one chillin’ in a field a couple of months ago; I assume it was stalking some kind of rodent.) Quite a few varieties of birds also inhabit our area, especially our state bird, the cardinal. We have a pair of cardinals that lives in our neighborhood, and they quite often visit the bushes in the front of our house. I know not everyone is that lucky, but I’m still iffy about the zoo.
What do you think about zoos? Supporter? Avoid? Opinion?