Someone told me
It's all happening at the zoo.
I do believe it,
I do believe it's true.
It's a light and tumble journey
From the East Side to the park;
Just a fine and fancy ramble
To the zoo.
You can take the crosstown bus
If it's raining or it's cold,
And the animals will love it
If you do. [From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/at-the-zoo-p-simon-1967-lyrics-simon-and-garfunkel.html ]
It had been many years since I'd been to a zoo. My intense empathy and compassion for animals has always tainted my zoo visits in the past, so I quit going.
For my seven-year-old granddaughter's sake, however, I decided to go with her to the Portland Zoo recently.
I really disliked the bat cave, flat-out refused to go near the snake building, complained about paying $5 for a bottle of water, and got totally pooped out after a few hours.
I took these photos for you before heading back to the car to wait for the kids.
All in all, for me, it was a fairly fun trip to the zoo; I saw nothing that made me unbearably sad.
Like men incarcerated at San Quentin, the zoo animals appeared to suffer mostly from boredom and of course, lack of room to roam. Fat and lazy describes most of the creatures I saw. But, are they happy? Or are such feelings exclusive to humans?
The confined animals would be far worse off if they were free, I suppose. Life in the wild is dangerous and dinner times are far apart.
But, do you think they would chose to run or fly free -- even if it meant being sometimes hungry or afraid -- if they could?