My love/hate relationship with the zoo
I have a weird (maybe not so weird) love/hate relationship with the zoo.
Many know about my irrational fear of large cats... I even messaged the zoo when I found out that they walked the cheetahs around the zoo. Cue crazy large cat lady... in a crazy bad way lol....
The Zoo's response actually didn't alleviate any fears, it just made me Google "cheetah attacks on humans" for the next day lol.
But it all goes further than imagining the cats escaping and attacking me... I think it goes far deeper than that.
They are powerful, beautiful creatures and I genuinely really hate seeing animals in captivity, it makes me sad, I wonder if they are sad, bored, I wonder if they are angry? Do they know what they are missing?
In particular I look at the lions and tigers, they are not meant to be in these tiny little enclosures. I also look at the lions that are separated by a moat and think... what if they decided to give swimming a go? and they got out and they were like OMG I'm finally free and went on a bloody rampage and ate everyone...
I think ultimately maybe I'm projecting my other fear of being trapped onto there animals, I wouldn't want to be in a cage, and their nature is such that they need a much larger place to roam than I do. So I feel like they would be pissed... pissed enough to eat me...
This is as good a selfie that I could muster next to the lion enclosure...
Note... the moat...
I actually know people that have worked in Zoo's, I know they care, I know they have breeding programs and its super educating.
As a child I also saw the last two polar bears that Auckland zoo had when I was a kid, sweltering in the heat, alone, unable to escape, looking sad and trapped.... they died soon after.
I also had a date there with an ex boyfriend back in the early 2000's, he knew one of the keepers, we fed monkeys and a hippopotamus and I saw behind the scenes where a teenage orangutan had a tantrum because she wouldn't take her asthma puffer (I know! I never thought an orangutan could have asthma).
Watching the animals at the Zoo was hard once again. The keepers did a great job of trying to alleviate the boredom of some of the animals, giving them little "food puzzles", but I just always kept seeing a bit of sadness in their eyes.
It left me with very mixed feelings and I actually didn't visit the zoo again for another 15 years... Ironically when the zoo actually sent me free tickets...
These animals are beautiful and unique and I love them, I love how the kids love them. But yet... I still hate seeing them in such small enclosures.
I'm going to leave the end of this post with some amazing pictures of large cats taken by my friend Deborah in a national park in South Africa, you can find her follow her at De Ley Fay Photos on Facebook and deleyfay on Instagram.
Free large cats... with room to roam!
They will still eat you... but at least they will eat you happy and free lol