Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Zoo Trip

Ah, I’ve had a delightful do-nothing day. It’s been bliss. And on top of that my clarinet is back, fixed, polished, and ready to go! I’ve been battering out a few old tunes tonight. It’s amazing how well my fingers remember something they learnt 7 years ago… My bottom lip on the other hand does not remember and is a little sore!

Yesterday was the day of the long awaited London Zoo visit. There was 8 of us – me, my brother John, my sister Rachel, my cousins Lucy and Helen, and Helen’s friends Sophie and Sarah, and of course my uncle, Andrew, who was paying. Yes, he treated all of us. Yes, he has no wife or children of his own to suck away his money and he earns a goodly amount.

Anyway it was a beautiful spring day – the first proper warm day we’ve had I think. We had great fun travelling – trains, tubes and a lovely walk through Regent’s Park. London has the most beautiful parks. You simply can’t believe the size of them til you see it for your self.

London Zoo was smaller than I remember, and bits of it are sad and jaded, the big cat enclosures and the Bird House especially. But there were also some amazing things. The Butterfly paradise was exactly that. The brightly coloured exotic butterflies flap around you, landing on you, and its unreal – as if you’re in a film. I was enchanted!

The giraffes were as impressive as ever, and I was seriously surprised by the size of the Okapi – I thought they were similar to a small deer, and they’re more like a horse!

The predatory bird display was good, the penguin feeding was fun, the bug house made my skin crawl, and the spider monkeys were impossibly cute.

I was however disappointed by the lack of information available. When I go to the zoo, I want to read great long display info on the animals. Something about the animal, its relatives, habitat, feeding, behaviour, discovery, population size, conservation of, etc etc. At London Zoo, they’re made great condensed info boards, for kids (or those with short attention spans) but without any further information on display. This makes me sad. The world is continually being dumbed down.

But it was a lovely day out. I feel I ought to have had big thoughts about animal welfare and rights, and conservation, but apart from reading some literature produced by the zoo about their conservation work, I didn’t. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe just a lazy one…

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