Notes from the Bronx Zoo
So Al was down for the weekend. She's been wanting to go to the zoo for the longest time. She's into Conservation Biology and I love learning about nature, currently watching Animal Planet (Tasmanian Devils earlier today, Leopards now).
It's the first time that I've been in almost 15 years. The last time that I went I was 15. I was chaperoning a group of toddlers, my first time meeting them too, wow that was an experience. Having to run after toddlers at the Zoo, midday, with no training--just instinct! I did tame the children by the end of the trip, putting them on my shoulders, sharing brown bag lunches with them, and laying the foundation for a great summer job experience.
I digress. So we went to the zoo. First of all it's a hell of a lot more expensive. Adults pay $14 for general admission. Entry to a few of the more exotic houses are additional, as is the price of jumping on the monorails (which is truly the only way you could see the Zoo in one day).
I was excited though. It was a chance to see Allison in her element. It was like going to the zoo with an expert from Animal Planet. We saw the wild dogs, giraffes, my favorites (cheetahs), and hers--the birds. I'm sure she's going to post about it. She has all of the wonderful pictures, as she had a brand new high powered camera to capture the experience. She even has a video of the wild dogs yelping.
The most amazing thing about the zoo was seeing so many different cultures. You saw so many families, each doing their own thing, no fighting, just reveling in the experience.
The best thing for me was not just seeing the animals, I've been to my fair share of zoos. It was to see how good of a job they did educating people about conservation, about the animals and the environments that are at risk, about the efforts of the zoo to protect habitats, about what they actually do with the funds from the different houses that you pay for. You even get to decide where and how your money is spent, when you go through the Congo exhibit.
There was an ecotourism bathroom (which eliminated wasting water--and educated you what you could do to save this precious resource), and just so much there. I asked Allison to take a few pictures of some of the signs. I'll try to get them and add them to the post. In essence they were telling people that where our planet's future stands is up to us.
I loved seeing the children so into nature, so knowledgeable, reading, pointing, some a bit overzealous, but it was so interesting to remember myself at their ages. I just hope that they'll remember, as they get older, all the animals that they saw along with their responsibility to make sure that our future and the future of the animals on our planet will be determined by our actions--and they'll be willing to do their part.
Good night, I have more to learn about leopards, LOL.
P.S. Part of the greatest joy from the experience is me projecting Allison in a similar environment. I'm sure she'll back me up that there's nothing else that she can do that will give her that level of joy, well--cough, LOL. Hardly anything.