I think it’s been about ten years since I stepped foot inside a zoo. I don’t like them, though I believe when done right, they serve a purpose; possibly instilling a desire to see a world where wild creatures can exist beyond walls and cages, which are depressing no matter how pretty a zoo tries to make them seem. Some animal parks, however, are more depressing than others—and after today, I would include the Shanghai Zoo on that list. It’s not the worst I’ve ever seen—and thank goodness for that, because I’ve witnessed some doozies in America—but I saw some things today that ranged from lovely to stupid, and most of that had to do with the animals outside the cages.
Take, for example, the picture below. Cigarette, money, mint—and crocodile? Dude.
And, in a related story about the dangers of tossing trash into animal pens, here’s the stuffed carcass of a giraffe—former resident of the zoo, who died after eating a plastic bag someone threw inside its cage. Sensing a theme here?
Hello, bear! And your human trash!
Porcupines + Humans = a terrible, terrible, accident waiting to happen. Because yes, I did see people who were just that cocky and ready to do anything for a photo-op.
This, too (just before I took both of these photographs, I witnessed the child and woman sticking their fingers into the cages—which, if done often enough, is likely to end badly).
This kind of thing happens everywhere. Every now and then some kid or adult gets hurt at an American zoo, because they forget these are wild animals. Or the animals become sick because all it takes is one idiot to introduce something awful into a particular environment. But I did see more than the usual amount of trash inside several cages (assuming there should be none at all), and some of those animals—in particular the monkeys and bears—were definitely used to supplements in their diets.
There are more photographs, which I’ll post tomorrow. In the meantime, it’s midnight here—lunchtime in America—and I’m off to bed.