Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Zoo


If you know me, then you know that I adore zoos. Hmm, scratch that. I love good zoos. Zoos that have strong rehabilitation efforts, endangered species breeding programs, cutting-edge habitat enclosures. San Diego, Seattle, Bronx, Berlin, Belize - all great zoos. 

Ethical quandaries aside, I love seeing the animals. I spent twenty minutes watching this guy today:

I always felt a little odd going to the zoo by myself but it was really not a bad solution: few people want to spend hours engrossed in the lives of a gorilla family. But on weekdays, among the hordes of stroller-pushing moms and nannies, I always felt strange wandering around by myself. 

Now that I have the bambino though, it’s perfect. No longer am I the lurker at the back of the gorilla exhibit with the camera. I am now equipped with the perfect accessory: a child! One that sleeps [for now] while I wander. Hallelujah! 

Had I realized the benefits of such an accomplice, I would have had a kid ages ago. 

Eh, maybe not. But still, it’s nice to not be the odd man out at the zoo anymore. Plus, the cost of admission is still the same as kids up until the age of three are free. 

 My favorite time to visit the zoo is in the winter, on a Monday morning, preferably on a day that is brisk and damp. There are fewer people, the temperate animals are more active, and the tropical ones are usually congregated near their heated rocks and lamps (which are convenient to the viewing areas, typically). You also have a good chance of finding free parking along the street. It’s a win-win. 

If you get too cold then you can always pop into the steamy rainforest exhibit [my all-time favorite]. 
I really hope Ben likes zoos, seeing as he’ll likely be spending a great deal of his formative years visiting them. Poor kid.