... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

z is (predictably) for zoo

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

pink flamingos, Atlanta zoo

Stay with me here, yes 'zoo' for letter 'Z' is a predictable topic but it's one that I feel should be mentioned and (hopefully) discussed!  My first impression of zoos in America has been somewhat disappointing.  Although I've only visited two zoos: one in Dallas and one in Atlanta; I have conducted a little research (Google search) on zoos throughout the country and can safely declare my reason for being disappointed: most of the animals aren't even American!

giraffe and zebra at Atlanta Zoo

As the cartoon Madagascar honestly portrayed, every "New Yorker from Central Park" animal was actually African.  Sure: giraffes, lions and hippopotamuses are extraordinary to look at and my goodness the gorilla enclosure in Atlanta is simply divine, but where are the native animals? The bison?  The bald eagles, the moose and wolves?  When I visited an American zoo, I expected to see some native American animals, yet aside from some bird, deer and reptile types - they were all foreign.

rattlesnake, Atlanta zoo

I recently read somewhere (forgive me for being vague) that it's considered cruel keeping a bear in captivity because they become very depressed and moody, often lashing out at carers and viewers.  But isn't this true of all intelligent mammals?  I've heard orcas get the same way and yet they are still kept in tanks.  How can it be considered cruel toward one species and not others?  And if bears cannot be kept in a zoo - what about other native animals?  Are all American animals incapable of captivity?  It makes no sense to me, especially when other animals are transported half way across the world to be enclosed.

gorilla in Atlanta zoo

During this A-Z challenge, my topic has been America from an outsider's perspective and through it, I know I've raised controversial questions and frequently compared it to my own country, Australia.  Permit me to this one last time and just say with utter certainty: Aussie zoos are better!  This is simply because when you visit an Australian zoo, you will see every native animal you've ever read or heard about - from the platypus and wombat to the emu and koala bear.  Often, there'll be an elephant and some zebras too but somehow they are never the main event.  Surely when people visit the USA they would like to see native animals too?  Don't get me wrong, I'll not going to stop visiting them, I love zoos and seeing all kinds of animals make me happy!  But my wish is to see a real moose up close.  A bald eagle would be nice too.


Thank you for joining me on this A-Z adventure.  I apologize for blogging a little late at times this past week - I've had some doggy / computer drama at home but it's all good now :)  I've really enjoyed meeting everyone and becoming part of your networks or having you become a part of mine.  I hope we can all stay in touch and catch up again soon!

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Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.

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