Zoo's... good, bad, love them, or hate them, people seem to have strong opinions about zoos.
The benefits of accredited zoos are many. They introduce people to a concept of our natural world and try to teach us what it will take to save our planet.
Most zoos today are nothing like the zoos of old. Zoo's that are accredited have the animals welfare in mind. A good example of this is when the North Carolina Zoo needed to get the sealions in water, while their exhibit was being repaired, they gave them the polar bear exhibit. Even though the bears are the most popular animal, they took them off exhibit to give it to the sealions!
There are many programs in zoos that are re-introducing species who's population have either become dangerously threatened or extinct in their native land.
Several Zoos are working closely to protect species. The North Carolina Zoo is working with Cameroon, helping to protect and increase the elephant population. The NC Zoo, along with several other zoos, rescued their polar bears. These bears were confiscated from a traveling circus in Puerto Rico. The circus was from Mexico City. They were kept in very small cages except when they were forced to perform, often times in 100+ degree heat. They rarely had access to water, either to drink or for swimming.
Most reputable zoos only acquire endangered or threatened species to exhibit from other zoos. They are working on a sustainable population of these animals which will keep them from being taken from the wild.
Knowing that, it still doesn't take away the fact that zoo animals are in captivity and are limited. But a captivity that is improving all the time. Exhibits are now being built to suit the animals first and then the visitor. They have a great healthcare plan, and meals they don't have to hunt.
I like to view them as Ambassadors of their species.
I know if it weren't for zoos, I would probably never have become involved financially nor given my time to help support and save our planet! Over 150,000 children come to the NC Zoo each year. If each child takes away just one lesson, maybe our future and our planet will be better.
(I am transferring this from my Flickr profile page and setting up a link)
Monday, June 8, 2009
I have attempted 3 planned trips to Chicago and they were all canceled for one reason or another, so this time I planned a quick day trip to Brookfield Zoo.
I didn't tell anyone except a friend I was meeting there.
The zoo grounds are very impressive! Some of the exhibits weren't state of the art but they are trying to improve. There are new bear exhibits being built and some modifications to others. They have an excellent collection of animals!
I really enjoyed the bears and cats also the primates. This is the zoo where the little boy fell in the gorilla pit a few years back and the female protected him and dragged him to the keepers door!
On another note, if you get the chance to fly SouthWest, DO IT! They have a great sense of humour and it makes for a better flight then stodgy old school airlines!
Monday, May 25, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
So I get to the zoo Monday and decide to basically head straight for the African exhibits. As I walked by the North American exhibits I did stick my nose in but alas, they were all laying about or hiding! I did find this beautiful flower near the Prairie exhibits!
When I arrived in Africa I was hoping to find the lions active but they too were asleep. I continued down towards ZOG (zebra, ostrich, giraffe) to see what was happening. The zebras and ostriches were grazing and all the giraffes were at the upper end, near the new feeding station keeping their distance! As I made my way around to the lower elephant exhibit. I was hoping to see them in their new pool. I have yet to have the pleasure but I have been assured they do get in and enjoy! So I made my way to the upper exhibit and what did I find?? A mom and baby enjoying a splashing good time! It was really a delight to see and I spent a good 45 minutes watching them enjoying it! For more photos please visit my Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ucumari/
As the heat of the day drew upon us I decided to catch a tram back to North America and run by and see if Aquila had made his way into the water. As I approached I could tell he was entertaining the visitors. I heard shrieks of delight coming from his direction! When I got there I saw a crowd at his overlook, he was in swimming and having a great time! I went to the lower viewing area and it was packed! Aquila was swimming up to the window and pushing off just like Willy must have taught him! It was a delight for all that were there. By this time it was getting very crowded and very hot so it was time for me to make my way home!
Can't wait until next visit!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
I miss Willy swimming about in his exhibit. Hopefully in about a month he will be back enjoying his pool! Keepers tell me he is responding better then expected and should be ready by the end of May, beginning of June.
I sure hope so...
I remember when Willy and Masha first came to the NC Zoo, I was a bit put off that Aquila would have to move. He had gone through a lot with losing both a brother and a sister. Now ironically I'm a bit put off that Willy will have to rotate with Aquila. You know what they say, you can please some of the people some of the time, but heck when I can't be pleased any of the time what chances are there? Lol!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Some really nice happenings are going on! First we have a new gazebo located right before the black bear exhibit. They have these all over the Miami Metro Zoo and are needed there for the rain showers that pop up so regularly. They make a great place to stop, rest and watch the visitors go by!
Next is the new Honey bee exhibit, don't know how it is going to work but they have done an outstanding job of design.
And finally my least favorite of the new happenings, it's the giraffe feeding station. My biggest grip is that it has broken up the beautiful scenery and protrudes out too far. (maybe when the landscaping is complete and grows it will hide this!)
The zoo was crowded, especially for a Monday and HOT (how hot was it?). Most of the animals that were out were laying about and not very active but who can blame them!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
So this has been a very up and down week. It started with a funeral for a Volunteer from the zoo, a dear friend who I had known since the start of my volunteering days.
When I was looking through my emails on Sunday I noticed a very interesting one. It was from Dave Matthews agent wanting to use a drawing of one of my photos! It will be included in a collage on the liner notes. Dave's agent set up a meeting for us this week in Raleigh! It was just luck that he was in North Carolina, It was great meeting him and I got to enjoy a fantastic concert! I am somewhat embarrassed that I knew very little about Dave or his band. I did learn from him that he really likes this photo, that he is the artist and that he is a very nice person! A wonderful time that night!
The rest of my week was filled in with yard work and house work!
I MUST get to the zoo soon, I am having withdrawals! It has been almost 2 weeks since I last saw my bears!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Aquila came back to the NC Zoo after a 7 year absence. He left to make way for Wilhelm in 2002.
Aquila was one of the first bears we had on exhibit in the Rocky Coast along with a brother and a sister. He was returned to his birthplace at Louisville Kentucky and was then moved to the Cleveland Zoo when Louisville's exhibit was being modernized. Happily he has returned to North Carolina!