A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Day at the Zoo

I am not a big fan of Zoos. Long long ago as a teen I fancied the idea of a career working at a zoo since I love animals so. But I soon realized that I felt bad for the animals being confined to small areas or even worse, caged up. Later when I had children of my own we took the kids to the zoo a few times and then I never went again until the other day. I had this wild idea of getting some great photos of animals. Well I soon found out otherwise for the most part. Taking pictures through chain link, wire mesh or in the case of the large cats (my favorite) interwoven cable left over from the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, this wasn't going to be as I imagined. If it wasn't this feature between you and the animals, it was one inch thick bulletproof graffiti-etched plexiglass. Many of the enclosures were also encircled with wire pulsating with x amount of volts. None of this is how I remember zoos when I was a young lad. My conclusion for all this reinforcement is not to keep the animals in, but to keep people out. Stupid zoo visitors who toss things like sticks, rocks, food, young children, themselves at the wild beasts have ruined the zoo experience for all. That was another thing, those wild beasts who were in a clear unobstructed view chose to lie down and sleep far off in the distance against the back wall. I can't blame them. It must be difficult to get any rest with a bunch of humans making funny noises, silly antics and then are those loud obnoxious screaming kids..."I'll just hang out back here in the corner for the day".

So I took pictures of plants.

I will include this one photo of the Mountain Gorilla. This poor chap sits all day long in this one spot. Or at least he was there in the morning when we went by and still there in the afternoon as we swung by on our way out. He displayed his boredom and contempt for the zoo visitor more than any other creature in the zoo. You could see it in his eyes and naturally being closely related to us, it was easy to identify. He would look at you, then look away with complete indignation. Then he would look again and see you still standing there pointing cameras at him, making funny faces and stupid monkey sounds. Finally having had enough he would turn his back to you and look the other way hoping you would leave. And people usually did at this point except for me. I hung in there waiting for this one moment, caught it, thanked the poor fellow and left him to his misery.


  1. Beautiful plants here, and I have the same feeling as you about going to the zoo. Wrote something about it in Janes blog too.
    Have a nice saturday:)

    Greetings from Berit.

  2. Zoos don't make it easy on you. It doesn't seem right to keep animals in cages and some of them are patently bored silly, but nowadays they push the conservation ticket and certainly some animals' chances are improved by captive breeding (often because we've killed most of them in the wild ourselves). Oh! I really just don't know. I wouldn't pop into one for my own benefit but the kids do love them and they are improving conditions on the whole.

  3. Flowers are beautiful, but the gorilla shot is great. You certainly were rewarded for your patience!

  4. Your gorilla photo was worth that wait! It was a split second, you got it. I like the green leaf plant that I can't think of the name. Great post, I like reading your thoughts on subjects you present.

  5. Agree totally with you about zoos. Of course man has wrecked the habitat of so many species so that many species would vanish completely if there were no zoos.

    I visted the zoo a year or two ago -- after about a half hour I had to ask myself what I was doing there. Yes, photo ops are few and far between. The animals do not look happy as you pointed out.

    After Tatania the tiger escaped and killed it's harasser (swift justice in my opinion) I was hoping the City would shut the place down, but no. Oh, I'm sure all the employees and volunteers at the zoo are doing their best, I think it's time to move on and let better facilities take up the slack.

  6. Beautiful flower, but most of all I like the gorilla.

  7. what a set!!! I think the last photo is me pre-coffee n the AMs


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