Wednesday, August 07, 2013

10ONTUE(/WED): the Zoo edition

1- We went to the Zoo this weekend. We aren't zoo people. I'll come back to that point a lot during this post. The last time we went to a zoo was on Felix's first birthday. It was September in Phoenix. Pretty much squelched our love of caged animals.

2- The Columbus Zoo is something to see. Or maybe all zoos are and we just haven't been to enough to know. I was taken aback by the size of the parking lot. And the fact that they charge for parking. $8 and we hadn't even made it to the gate? Sure.

3- Due to reciprocity, we got in for $30. My local museum membership has paid off! Not bad. Not great, but compared to the family next to us("Are you telling me it's $90 for two adults and one kid?!"), I'll take it. I couldn't believe how many people were paying insane amounts to see animals in this economy. On top of parking and zoo tickets, they were selling $10 wrist bands to ride some Dino adventure ride. 

4- I didn't take my camera to the zoo. I only pulled my phone out to take a snapshot at Sean's, "Aren't you going to take any pictures?" 

5- We went to the zoo in August. It was 75 degrees. It deserves to be documented.

6- The zoo was ginormous. Maybe like Animal Kingdom size, complete with a huge water park. Are all zoos like theme parks now? One would think that's a good thing. In reality, it just meant further distances between animal exhibits and more time spent shuffling along with the crowds. We saw some pretty impressive gorillas and two crocodiles being fed. Other than that, the animals were sleeping and far, far away. 

7- Aside from the animals, I did a bit of people watching. Epidemic deniers, go people watch. Play "Spot the normal sized person." I'm not even talking about Barbie sized/Hollywood/Photoshopped normal. I'm talking about could-run-from-an-armed-man-if-they-had-to normal. The number of obese children really got to me. I saw one relatively normal sized guy trying to pull his obese kids in a wagon...boy was strugglin'.  I just wanted to run through the crowds screaming, "Put down your diet sodas!"

Misery. That's what I saw on so many faces. People who were so miserable they couldn't enjoy their time at the zoo as it was simply too much activity for their bodies to handle. Added to that, they paid out the nose to be miserable. I don't say any of that lightly. I hope I don't come across as super judgmental.  I was just observing the crowd around me and it left me feeling sad. The few normal sized people were foreigners.

8- Every animal exhibit had literature on where each animal falls on the extinction spectrum. I had to wonder, what EXACTLY are zoos doing to combat the problem? Perhaps if thousands of zoos around the world weren't snatching up animals for show...? Perhaps if they spent the billions of dollars they invest in the building and upkeep of their zoos on, say, ANIMALS their numbers wouldn't be dwindling. Y'know, in a world where survival of the fittest is preached, why exactly should one care if a certain kind of  bird in the jungles of some country I can't pronounce is becoming extinct? Thanks in part to the food being sold at the zoo, HUMANS(or at least Americans) should be on the endangered species spectrum at this point.

9- Am I the only zoo visitor who feels like birds on display are a waste of time? Bald Eagles are one thing, but throwing a netted house over birds that look like they fly through the average Ohio cornfield...MEH. I paid to see something crazy, like gorillas throwing poop or polar bears chasing fish. I didn't pay to spot where's the feathered Waldo in a mesh tent that smells like guinea pigs.

10- To sum it all up, we really did have fun. The kids loved it and I can't wait to go back. I hope the animals are a bit more active in the Fall. Seeing the back of a sleeping lioness from 500 yards away? I can do that for free via a book. 

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