Tuesday, December 30, 2008


We went to both the Bronx Zoo and the Central Park Zoo this weekend. I can't say I am a fan of zoos. They are an improvement over Circuses for sure and seem like wildlife reserves in comparison to Sea World. The kids love the zoos,and I do buy into the theory that if you see and know animals, you will be more likely to be stewards for nature and wildlife.

First stop the gorilla "exhibit". We saw two mother gorillas sleeping with their babies. Co-sleeping validated!

The Polar Bears, at Central Park Zoo are infamous. Their coats are yellowish and that day they were lazing around--literally lying around with their eyes open. I heard somewhere that Polar Bears have the worst outcomes of all large animals in captivity not because of their size, but because they have very large roaming areas, and then are forced into small confining spaces. They were listless, as are many, many animals in zoos are.

The lion at the Bronx Zoo lays on a grassy little perch, watching over the engineered moat that separates him from the deer and birds that would have been dinner for him in another life. We look out into the "exhibit" and see openness and space, but it is an illusion validated by the immobile (literally laying down in the same position every time we go)lion, looking exactly the same as the last time we saw him. Zoos have impressive production value -- creating an illusion of space to veil incarceration at every "exhibit."