Now that the temperatures are back up in the 80s here in LA, I’d thought I’d post pictures from an equally hot day back in November when I visited the LA Zoo for the first time. I wanted to practice my photography skills on animals.
Always, when I see animals, the babies are my favorite, which is the case with most people, as evidenced by the plethora of YouTube videos. The newest additions to the zoo are the baby hippo (in the middle), the baby giraffe, and the baby chimpanzee. The chimp was having a great time swinging all over the place while the adults took naps.
Because of the high temperatures, the animals weren’t very active, which infuriated a number of people, even though there were signs at the ticket booth saying some animal might not be visible because, DUH, they seek shade in the middle of hot days. I was rather appalled by the behavior of people. People thought the animals were there to perform for them. Parents allowed their kids to scream at the animals to move. They made as much noise as possible to get the animals to perform. The instant gratification of technology and social media has definitely been a detriment to our empathy and compassion for the natural world. These animals are in prison. They’re not in the wild. If they were, you wouldn’t be screaming at the lion to move. You’d be as quiet and still as possible so you don’t get eaten.
Funniest comment of the day, overheard at the jaguar enclosure, by a grown woman: “I think the jaguar is way up in that tree. See that cheetah looking thing?…They need to put signs on the exhibits saying what’s not on display.” Umm, they do, when they remove the animals for repairs of the enclosure. The zoo can’t put up a sign every time the animals move out of sight of the screaming, clapping people trying to get their attention.
We need to honor these animals that have given up their freedom so we can see them alive, making it possible to develop respect and a desire to see them saved in the wild. I’m not a big fan of zoos or marine parks, but if the focus is on education not on entertaining the humans like at SeaWorld, I feel they are a good addition. If kids learn to feel compassion and love for the animals and it pushes them to help them in the wild, it’s worth it.
Towards the end of the day, when it started to cool down, the lions became more active and the tiger came out from hiding so I was able to get some good pictures.