Friday, February 29, 2008

A Taste of Africa

I was excited... On wednesday, i was informed that I didn't need to teach my classes. I would be supervising a field trip to the zoo. Having not been to a zoo since I was a child, I was quite pleased about this, and happily boarded the bus to Coulchester. I looked at my map and discovered that elephants get fed at around the same time as humans, 12.15. Can't miss that.


I raced into the elephant pavilion (yes i did say pavilion... it reminded me of the Ekka) to see four large elephants in a concrete, windowless warehouse (except for the glass pane separating me from them), where they seem to spend much of their time. I quickly forgot about this though, when they led Opal down a concrete path and allowed me to feed her.


I was quite astounded when they led two girraffes out of a seperate warehouse for their feeding show. After the show, the giraffes were allowed to roam around in their 'play area', typical of true african savanna, where the four rhinoceroses, many zebras, several gazelles, half a dozen zedonks, and a pair of ostridges all harmoniously resided.


After a while I began to see a trend in the hut sizes of the rest of the animals at the zoo. Small. In fact, I also got the impression that many of the animals were depressed. This spider monkey sure didn't look happy, the pigmy hippopotimus kept walking in and out of his hut door, the orang utang's started beating at the glass and the vultures had just enough space to streach their wings if they sat on the right branch. I'm not even going to mention the lions.


On Wednesday, I went to the zoo. On wednesday, I decided that I would not go to another conventional zoo again.

S

6 comments:

gerrod said...

Sad, really :-(

Helen | Pepperina Press said...

Oh, sad. I've only been to two zoos over here, but they made use of moats instead of cages, which seems like a plus – unless you have a particularly determined swim-capable carnivorous type of animal..

ab said...

That is very sad. The few I've been to haven't been that bad. Although it did remind me of our family plan to open a zoo ourselves....
Remember the Dubbo Zoo? After paying the entry fee riding around on hired bikes in 40 degree heat, the only excitement we got was each time we came across a drinking tap. Every enclosure we came across had a sign in it saying "This animal is currently in the hospital and is unavailable" - or something similar. We decided to open a zoo all you needed were enclosures and signs - saves heaps on feeding the animals!!!

admission price: interest.... I'll let you decide!!

bitingmidge said...

Nice pics too Shell, specially the giraffe!

Shell said...

I forgot to mention, during feeding time they were playing a two-bar 'african' sounding song on loop in the background.

And Ab- I'll never forget those bright yellow bicycles at Dubbo- or the water taps... we just kept pouring water bottles over our heads. It didn't seem to make much difference. Good times though.

Helen | Pepperina Press said...

Oh! We came across those same signs at the Dubbo Zoo! I promise we also saw some elephants and... maybe some giraffes? ...it was a long time ago (1980s!) but yeah. Maybe they did have a cunning plan going on there...