"Hey Rhino!! Turn around!! We want to take your picture!!" said a large, burly, middle-aged man.
(At a huge silver back gorilla) "Look at me sweetie!! Come on…look at me!" from a fashionably dressed woman.
Then there was the dad convincing his children to disobey the signs clearly posted.
That was just a sample of the grown-up idiocy Boo and I were witness to last week. There were the children in the school group roaring at the tiger, screaming at the monkeys and not sharing the pathways—but they were children. The grown-ups (and I am being generous with my description) in charge of them were mostly ignoring their behavior.
I know that zoos elicit mixed feelings from people. Some love them and some hate them and then there are people like me who really enjoy seeing the animals (I'll never be on a safari so it's my only chance) and know that for some species, zoos are keeping the species from extinction—but at the same time are saddened by the bars and cages and confinements. There isn’t a perfect solution.
But our hometown zoo is improving daily and our favorite zoo (about three hours from us) is fabulous about their exhibits and education. We are, for better or worse, zoo goers.
But there are days that I wish the humans were in the cages and the animals were free to roam. Boo and I had such a day on Friday last week. The zoo was packed with groups and families and the behavior was astounding.
After the San Francisco tiger incident at the end of last year I was amazed that people would continue to taunt the animals. I was saddened and confused why people don’t believe that rules apply to everyone, not just everyone else but them.
When we’ve visited zoos on days that crowds were low, I’ve noticed the animals appear generally calm and not depressed. The gorilla in question above looked very frustrated to me (not an expert—just my opinion)—the rhino was far enough away to just ignore the guy. But still—these are the reasons a lot of people don’t like going to the zoos in the first place.
These are creatures that our creative Creator made—for us to enjoy too!! But in this world of flashy entertainment, constant stimulation and loud excitement as a whole people have lost the ability to stand quietly and enjoy the majesty that the LORD made in the beautiful animals.
I think we’ve lost a lot.