Monday, November 23, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, we took advantage of the sunshine and went to see the new babies at the zoo. Our local zoo has a new baby elephant, a baby giraffe, 3 baby tigers, and a baby colobus monkey, among others. Penny was keenly aware of the animals this time, unlike our last visit, when she was only a few months old and slept most of the way around the park.
(Colobus Monkey family with their newest arrival.)
This time Penny had a strong affinity for the monkeys, and now she talks about "key-keys" all the time. She "draws" them on her doodle pro thingy, and asks me to draw them as well: "Key-Key? Key-Key?"
The main attraction is Zuri, the new baby elephant. I was watching Zuri interact with her mom and it was pretty fascinating—Zuri is still nursing and likes to play. She is still a little awkward on her legs and it's amusing to watch her raise her little trunk. Her mama is Christie, and Zuri gestated for 22 months(!). She weighed 251 lbs at birth and even has her own blog. Meanwhile, while we were watching them, mama Christie was trying to pull apart/eat her enclosure, and that got me thinking about how I feel about zoos in general.
(I'm not sure there's anything cuter than a baby elephant.)
On one hand, it's a great educational opportunity. Penny was really interested in the animals and would not be talking about Key-Keys so much if she hadn't seen them in real life. But I have mixed feelings about animals in captivity. I remember loving the zoo when I was little, but when I got older, I started wondering how the animals felt and if they were happy.
(Baby Giraffe, who gestated for 15 months...and who stood on his legs an hour after he was born.)
I truly believe our zoo has been trying to improve the habitats to help make the animals as comfortable as possible, and I noticed some vast improvements compared with what I remembered as a child.
(Baby Tigers! Their mama was sleeping some distance away.)
But I also wondered how the animals feel about the end of fall, with the changing leaves, and cooler temperatures. It's snowing like crazy now, so I'm thinking about baby Zuri while the snow falls. I hope she's warm enough tonight. I'll have to check her blog tomorrow to find out how she's doing.