While on our trip to Ohio, we spent an evening visiting the Columbus Zoo. It was here that I discovered that I am an animal whisperer, as I could call animals to my side from the very back of the cages…or, as predators, they sensed a weak member of the human herd who had lost the will to live. One or the other.
I’m conflicted about zoos. While I like having the opportunity to see some live animals that I assuredly would never see otherwise if zoos did not exist, and some animals (like the rhino) who are poached into extinction in the wild have at least a couple members of their species stagger on in captivity, I also feel sorry for the animals. These are hunters, roamers, animals that were meant to live in packs or herds, penned up into a small area, kept alone or with one or two other members of their species, being fed like pets, surrounded by bars, plexiglass, and screaming children…it sounds miserable. I wouldn’t wish that on my dog and he kept me up all night last night whining and pacing and generally making me want to heave him through the nearest window. There were three elephants in the Columbus Zoo’s elephant room, and what seemed like a small space to begin with was compounded by the fact that there were elephant droppings everywhere: the elephants couldn’t walk without stepping in their own shit. It made me want to cry.
I shoved those tears down inside to save them for the next week when I’d be home and could sob in peace, and instead took some pictures of what you come to this blog to see: more statue-riding.
I can tell you one thing for certain: straddle a metal statue in freezing temperatures and your inner thighs are going to go numb for a while.