I wanted to draw attention to something I’ve noticed a bit lately, and that is how some people can be really disrespectful at zoos.
I want to emphasize that this is not in reference to young children getting excited at the zoo, these kids were a little older and should have known better (or be taught by their parents). And of course this is not in reference to all children, I love kids!
I went to the Zoo yesterday with my family, which was an overall enjoyable day. However two incidents made me quite frustrated and upset.
The first was while watching the orangutans. I was kneeling on the ground while this younger orangutan was throwing paper and rolling around, which was a lovely moment to watch. A young child then came screaming in, started trying to open then door to the pen, and then proceeded to bang against the window where the orangutan was. He was banging against it very loudly, and started screaming out to the animal. What is so frustrating about this situation, is that he was not told off by his parents, being definitely old enough to be told how this would be scary for the animal. Of course, you never know family situations, it just seemed to me that they really didn’t care.
The second incident was in the butterfly house – a warm greenhouse filled with exotic plants and hundreds of butterflies. There were these three girls, I would say young teenagers, who were being incredibly disrespectful. They were opening the gates into the gardens and standing up on the bars, and jumping up and trying to ‘clap’ and ‘hit’ the butterflies. It is encouraged not to pick them up, but if you’re still or hold your hand out, there is a chance that they will land on you if they like. I honestly could not believe how these girls, who were more than old enough to know better, were acting! (Thankfully, a young man told them off, saying how this was cruel towards the butterflies – my faith in humanity was restored)
Obviously not everyone has the same love and appreciation for animals, I would just hope that if you are going to the zoo, you actually have an interest in seeing them. I think some people forget, even though those animals are in enclosures, they still deserved to be treated with respect! We are lucky enough to live in a time where a lot of zoos are progressive, providing the animals with care, where we can see them in a replica of their natural habitat. (I wrote about why these kinds of zoos should be seen in a positive light, after watching an insightful documentary, which you can read here) However, just because they are in captivity, we are not superior to them.
To me, zoos are places for conservation, breeding programs, and providing us with more knowledge about the world’s animals. They are not a place we can go to gawk at the creatures behind a fence.
Sorry for the negative rant post, I just needed to get my anger and frustrations out.
Have you had any similar experiences while out in public? Let me know.
To leave it on a more positive note! I was lucky enough to witness two elephants showing love towards each other when they were put in their sleeping area. They reached their trunks through the bars of the other’s pen, and nuzzled at each other! It was such a sweet moment, and I felt very fortunate to see these magnificent creatures behaving this way.