It was with mixed emotions that we decided to go to the Sedgeway County Zoo. I am a little adverse to caged animals for a variety of reasons however I thought I should see for myself just how good or bad the conditions are that the wild animals are kept in.
We kidnapped (borrowed) the granddaughter of our USA brother and sister in-law and took her to the zoo. Adults can't go to the zoo on their own, can they? It was good to see the animals through her fresh eyes. Where else could a five year old get the real time experience of smells, sights and sounds of animals not native to this country? Sammy was very keen on seeing the new elephant exhibit however it took awhile to get to where they were located as there were so many other creatures to see on the way. Tigers, jaguars, lions, zebras and giraffes. Hippopotami and rhinoceros, orangutans, chimpanzees and squirrel monkeys - they were all there. And then there were the brilliantly coloured parrots and flamingos. At least the birds could fly in safety albeit within an enclosed space. One parrot seemed to enjoy the attention of the zookeeper
and many posed for the ever-present cameras.
I did feel concerned for the very small size of the cage for the jaguar - and the lions and the tiger were either very tired or sleepy due to the intense heat. It was midday so I guess like all creatures they need to have a mid-afternoon nap although I do wonder if they were just bored of all the prying eyes. Certainly the zebra looked hot and bothered as they stood in the hot midday sun. I think the zebra voted with his tail end as did the rhino in his concrete room - for some reason they were not out in their enclosure. It was a near miss for those within range of his rear end!
We eventually got to the elephant enclosure to find the elephants standing around in the shade provided in their Zambezi-like habitat. By that time we were all hot, tired and looking for some cool place to sit. Fortunately there were a few 'cool zones' for humans too. Much appreciated to be able to stand in the cooling mist spraying out under the shade of a tree. I wondered what the animals thought
of us seeking shade too. At least we had the choice.
On the other hand, the zookeepers/rangers/veterinarians were all easy to talk to and full of information about the animals under their care. I get that those animals under threat of extinction do need protection, and a breeding programme to ensure their survival. I guess the other animals are there to support the fundraising to ensure this is enabled. Hmmm - the jury is still out with me!
Sammy met some interesting new baby friends though - who knows? perhaps she will gain an understanding and passion for protecting the environment for the wildlife she has engaged with today? Maybe that is a good enough reason to display wild animals in zoos? I wonder what the future holds for both the animal babies and the human children?
What do you all think?
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