Before getting into this section I will say that when it comes to Zoos in general, I have a love/hate relationship with them… I love them because one is able to see so many different kinds of animals that would otherwise never be possible to see, but I hate them because in a way zoos are exploiting the animals too. I don’t doubt for a second that people who work in zoos absolutely love the animals and want to do right by them, but while it’s great to see a polar bear or chimpanzees, etc., I wonder if we are doing right by them taking them out of their natural habitats… Again, I know that many zoos work hard to recreate the various animals natural habitats and that in some cases in the wild so many of the animals are on the endangered list so perhaps the only way to continue the species is because of zoos, but part of me wishes we didn’t have to interfere so much… If it wasn’t for us destroying the animals natural habitats or hunting them to near extinction then we really wouldn’t have a need for zoos at all… If only it were a perfect world… Perhaps at this point as well the whole debate is moot because so many of the animals nowadays are born in captivity to begin with and could never survive in the wild as they are supposed to… I just wish it wasn’t that way… But wishing doesn’t do any benefit to anyone or any animal… I also realize that in my buying a ticket I’m supporting the efforts of zoos, so I’ve no right to dislike them since I’m supporting them… Basically as you can see zoos to me open up a huge can of debatable worms!! Love them and hate them… Grrr!!
Ok, I’m off my soapbox… I’ve been to several zoos around the world at this point and I must say that while some were VERY disappointing and I felt really sorry for the animals (Costa Rica Zoo in San Jose) I thought that the Edinburgh zoo was quite well done! The habitats for the animals are very spacious and the grounds go on forever!! Thanks to E I was able to score a discounted ticket for the zoo and literally spent about 9 hours walking every inch of the zoo! The variety of critters was impressive and again the habitats themselves were spacious (for those critters that need the space!) and the animals seemed generally content. I must say my favorite bit (aside from the big cats) was the baboons! They were so darn entertaining that I could have watched them alone for hours on end! Just watching the interactions between the, probably 50 or so, baboons was better than any reality show on TV today! There was drama, comedy, action, and lots and lots of mating!! Must have been the season I guess… Anyway, if any of you reading this are fans of zoos, I do recommend the Edinburgh zoo.
Oh, and by the way, if any see the Wild Cat, I want to hear about it!! Apparently there is a running joke among people who have visited the Edinburgh zoo where they say that though there is a habitat for the Wild Cat, there isn’t actually a wild cat in the habitat because no one has ever seen it!! Personally, I have seen it and had I known about that running joke I would have taken a picture to show K&E, but alas I didn’t… I actually spotted it twice. The first time did take me quite a while to find it because it was curled up sleeping way up high in a tree. It was about mid-day the first time I saw it. Then later as the zoo was starting to close I made my way back to the Big Cat area and saw it on the floor of the habitat awake and having a sip of water.
Sorry I’ve no pictures to share for this section… I did take a few pictures for myself but find it a bit exploitive to post them up… I know, I’m odd!!