When traveling we often like to go visit the Zoo. Most of the time a zoo in a city is actually an amazing place to still do something worth while and at the same time get a break from sight seeing. As I grew up in a little mountain town going to the zoo was something really special and usually it was the big treat on my birthday.
My favorite animal in the zoo my mom and grandma used to take me for my birthday was the black panther. I still remember this beautiful animal, so proud, so massive, so stunning… and yet, so sad. He must have been so bored, so frustrated. There was nothing in his cage but a bowl of water. Not stuff to climb on, nothing to hide in, under or on, nothing to chew on, scratch the claws or play with. He was simply there, walking in circles, displayed in a cage maybe 3m x 3m, all by himself.
Back in the days the zoo animals were not spoiled at all. They lived in tiny cages, just enough space for them to do a little round, watched by all the people, screaming kids and probably bored like crazy.
Times have changed. You can discuss about how much sense it makes to lock animals up in zoos. For me there’s one big plus to it: Keeping some species alive. And of course education.
What I found has changed massively is how the animals are kept. At least in the places I have visited. Many zoos no longer showcase all sort of animals and have cut back on the ones that need to roam in a big enclosure in order to be kept more or less according to their nature. They have created enclosures that at least seem similar to the surroundings the animals would live in. Over seem the times of a cold concrete cages. So many zoos have created areas where the animals are harder to spot because they can actually walk around, hide from the visitors and act according to their nature.
An animal in a zoo will never be able to live its life the way it’s supposed to. But what the zoos seem to do is at least make their home at least a little bit more enjoyable than what it used to be. And that is for sure a good start.
Inspired by Jennnifer Nichole Wells’ OWPC – Cage