After a rather lazy day yesterday I knew today I should get out and at least take a walk or something like that. So I decided to drive to a town near by and visit their zoo, which I haven’t been to since my childhood. I don’t even remember ever being there, but my Mom said we have been, when I told her that I was planning to visit it in the afternoon.
After the day long trip to my favourite zoo just three weeks ago, it was weird to see the difference. “My” zoo has mostly invisible barriers like moats and hidden electric wires and has (at least seemingly) wide spaces for their animals to roam. The zoo today was a rather ordinary zoo where the animals seem to live in smaller areas and I thought there still were lot of metal fences and the whole caged-in feeling.
I never thought it would make such a huge difference to me, but the fences today were SOOO noticable to me. Maybe even more so, as I brought my camera, and the fences got in the way of 90% of the shots. I don’t want to get into the whole “what’s the purpose of a zoo?” discussion and I know they are not their for my “entertainment” or serving as a mere photo opportunity.
I know zoos can be a difficult topic in general, but I do believe that zoos are necessary to inform and educate us (in Europe, North America etc.) about endangered species and to make us care about them and to work on saving these species and their habitats. Seeing those animals behind a metal fence in a zoo today though, foremost made me sad for that particular animal in that “cage” and not necessarily about the general fate of that species.
I don’t know if that makes any sense, but walking around that zoo today, I once again realized why I love “my” zoo so much. Because even though my zoo can also only present an idea of the animals’ natural habitat, the visitors still have a much closer and maybe even a bit more real experience, than to see those animals behind a metal fence or barriers. And hopefully they care more about animals they can watch without a metal fence interfering with this experience.
Today’s visit finally prompted me to follow through with something I had considered since my vacation on Jersey, so maybe it was a good thing after all. This evening I followed in Henry “Superman” Cavill’s footsteps and became a member of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which is doing such an important job in saving species from extinction. I very much enjoyed my visit there and I really appreciate the amazing work they are doing for endangered species all over the world.
Anyway, here a a few photos from today’s zoo visit, bare any metal fences :-)