So recently, I read a book called Heart of Darkness. For those of you haven’t read it, it’s about a man named Marlow who travels to the jungle and meets a man named Kurtz who is described as god-like and watches the nature of man deteriorate from inner corruption and greed. Yep. Happy novel. It’s a short book and only three chapters long… However, I began to think about this novel when I went to the zoo recently! I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t thought about going to the zoo for a long time, and if you haven’t gone, I HIGHLY encourage you go! It’s such a fantastic experience to go and see all the animals hanging out and enjoying the people. They have all these different kinds of animals from marine life (sea otters), elephants, hippos, snakes, kangaroos, and everything!
Sorry, I hope this picture didn’t frighten you. Personally, I think the snake is kind of cute, it looks like it’s smiling in a way. In the novel Heart of Darkness, Marlow compares the river to a snake, so I just thought it would be appropriate to chose this picture.
When I went to the zoo, I felt that my inner child was released. I loved being able to watch all the wildlife and see them up close an personal. However, when I saw the polar bear there I became kind of sad…
I was at a certain zoo, and I couldn’t help but notice the polar bear was not like the ones depicted in storybooks. Polar bears are known for their beautiful and sleek white coat. Yet, the one at the zoo, was tinted a brown color. It made me kind of sad, because I realized that it was because it didn’t have much snow to reflect on, plus there was a lot of fake scenery that was dirty, which would cause to have a polar bear in captivity to have more of a brown coloring. This instance, could not help to remind me of Heart of Darkness. In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz is found to be exploiting all resources available, in order to obtain as much ivory as possible to make as much money as possible. I felt that maybe we were taking away a bit of the animal’s pride and freedom to live in the wild.
I praise the zoo, I really do. I love it and I love the animals. I have the utmost respect for the zoo’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts for endangered and extinct species. However, I felt that the polar bear had a freedom, that was deprived of him. I felt the least the zoo could do was create an indoor arena for the polar bear filled with ice and snow, to make the polar bear’s habitat more realistic. I know polar bears can suffice in warmer temperatures, but I feel we as humans have a right to keep wild instincts instilled in these species.
This also made me think of elephants. Elephants have become one of my favorite animals because I love how they always seem to have a cheeky grin, while having that cute little trunk, and huge ears. While I was at the zoo, I couldn’t help but stare at these majestic animals, I didn’t ever want to lose sight of them. It made me think and feel sorry for them, as so many of them are being killed right now for their ivory. I can’t believe that we as humans are so selfish as to kill a creature that is so beautiful, just for some extra money. Most of the time leaving rest of the dead animal there to decay. I’m absolutely sickened by the idea of it.
These are just a few of the things I was thinking about that I wanted to share with you. I encourage you all to do some research before you go to a zoo near you, to see which zoos are most supportive of programs that will ultimately give back and help these beautiful creatures, and not encage them for the rest of their lives to be miserable.
This is also one of the reasons that I want to/am very supportive of safaris!
I love that we are able to get up and personal with the animals, while also causing as little damage to their lives or habitat as possible. I know this post seems to keep going off on tangents, but I just wanted to share a few of my ideas on the subject. So now I am all for visiting the zoo, because it really brings me back to the inner child within me that loves animals, however I only have interest in viewing the zoos that treat the animals as humanely as possible and is active in protection/rehabilitation programs.
I want to know that humans are doing the right thing, and I want to know that my admission ticket money is going toward a higher cause as well. I do not want to support a zoo whose sole focus is to make money while not giving proper attention to the animals.
I hope that this post helped you to ponder about the zoos you’ve been visiting/have visited/thinking about visiting/are near your/or any other thing. Just by choosing where to put our money, we can make a change. I hope you all know that.