We visited the zoo this weekend, mainly for Buzz’s benefit. The boy is all about the animals. He has a fascination, especially with penguins and monkeys. Stemmed from copious amounts of Madagascar and Over the Hedge, no doubt.
It’s a good thing he doesn’t have a fascination with, say, giraffes or elephants, because there were none of those there.
Our local zoo is not the best zoo. In fact, it’s rather lousy. It’s dirty and outdated and in desperate need of renovation. I tend to compare it to a farm, because it’s range of animals isn’t very far off. There are horses and donkeys and goats, complete with a barn, interspersed throughout. Although a farm might be better kept.
The especially unnerving aspect, however, were the state of a lot of the animals. There were more than a few that appeared in immediate need of some medical attention. Even the ones that didn’t look as if they were about to keel over as we passed were still old and degenerate (seriously, the cougars even had a sign on their enclosure “we suffer from degenerative joints”). We were also unfortunate to arrive right at feeding time. Nothing says family friendly quite like witnessing a hawk peck apart a freshly mauled rat.
Buzz had a blast, though, and didn’t seem to mind the mangy peacock or sedated wolverine or bloody rat carcasses, even. There were penguins! Which he saw up close! Right in front of him! I’m pretty sure that made his year.