My earliest encounter with a zoo had been one in my home country – not a very pleasant sight, Eastern European zoos. Having missed ever going to London Zoo (fact which I shall rectify as soon as I return), the offer of a visit to this establishment was another opportunity to judge this country and then bemoan its probable lack of modernization.
Getting there had been surprisingly easy – considering Melbourne public transport. Just hop on the Upfield line and in no time you get to Royal Park station which is a mere throw of a stick from the zoo. Pay the 22$ (reduced for students), take a more or less useless map and you have entered a wonderful land filled with wild animals and bogans, at times upsetting who was in the cage and who was outside of it.
Being in the group that I was, the day kind of worked on the following loop:
Lions! Runs to the fence, pushed people away so that I can take pictures, and after a few inappropriate comments would get bored of said animal.
The lions were awfully gay – and I don’t mean happy. I mean they might have been happy but… you know what I mean. I could only see 3 males in the enclosure, two of them suspiciously close and loving, the other watching in a needy way from some bushes. Their pen was hardly African, lush green grass everywhere and nothing reminding me of a savannah. Not that these lions have ever seen a savannah in their life, but I had hoped some of their ancestral DNA would be twitching and turning in their cells.
Monkeys! Runs over to the cage, pushes people away. Unfortunately because of the damnable iron fence my pretty pictures are sometimes tained with that splash of grey. Damn you, Melbourne zoo, damn you!
Look at their furry innocent little faces, how they are practically screaming “Take us home! Kidnap us!”. My heart was heavy knowing I am helpless in this situation. On a side note, did you know that Justin Bieber has a pet monkey? Why does he get to have one but I dont?
These monkeys certainly don’t want to hear or see any evil. Except for the middle one who seems rather ambiguous on the matter.
I told you they don’t like being behind bars, like some sort of criminals and thieves and rapists! Look at the sad monkey face 🙁
The tiger kept walking from one end of the enclosure to the other, most definitely hungry for some steak (mmmm, steak), and making it very hard for me to get a clear snapshot of it (the enclosure was a bit dark so it all turned out blurry).
These creatures weren’t in a cage, shamelessly bathing and grooming in front of everyone.
Butterflies! Not as nice as the London Exhibit when my parents visited at some point, and incredibly filled with bogans shouting and whatnot. There was also this random bird in the corner, which I expected should really not be there.
I’m sure the Butterfly Pavilion won’t be open for much longer.
Elephants! And baby elephant! And for some reason all my pictures seem to have titles relating to food which is most definitely a sign that I am quite hungry. The elephants, in all truth, did get fed soon after we started looking at them.
Orangutans! Woot! He looked quite sad munching on his little piece of plastic, or skin, or whatever it was. (insert more pictures of monkeys and hope people don’t really notice that I am lacking witty things to say).
Animals! Oh wait, no, just my friends.
I came to realize that I cannot fully understand the point of zoos. As in, at first, I would have conceived these places as a unique opportunity to study animals from across the globe and wonder in natures architecture. Yet it was very hard to just sit and watch the animals, with all the crowds of people taking pictures and pushing and no real way to just sit there for a few hours and watch an animal. Zoo, it would seem, are simply a sort of merry go round for people to bring their toddlers (who couldnt tell the difference between a lion and a yellow glob of goo).
This was perhaps the only enclosure-type thing that actually had stairs where you could sit and watch the blue lights wash over you as the seals swam their elegant swim.
Penguins! Lovely, waddly, awkward penguins!