A trip to the zoo

I have mixed feelings about the zoo. On one hand I feel sorry for the animals and hate to see them in captivity.

On the other hand I know that they do a lot of good science that has helped animals that are endangered or nearly extinct. And I tell myself that for the particular animals that are in the zoo now, most are born and bred in captivity so don’t necessarily know any different. I like the trends in zoos to have less cages and more “natural habitats”.

But maybe all that is just to alleviate my guilty conscience.

What I do know is that my kids love the zoo. And I think going fairly frequently has in many ways instilled in them a love of animals and an interest in science more than any book or video could have done. That’s worth something, anyway.

Where else could they get this close to this amazingly beautiful lion?

Or hear him roar? (The photo looks like a sneeze but it was kind of a cross between a roar and a meow. A loud meow.)

One thing I love about the zoo is for as often as we go we see something new each time. David and I discovered this guy this summer and wanted to show H. and John this time. It’s a giant anteater and is really just a jaw-droppingly cool creature.

And then there are the animals that we tend to see each time we go, sort of like old friends.

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