A Trip to the Zoo

I tagged along with my ex and our two kids yesterday, to Washington, D.C.’s National Zoo. The three of them have been there before, multiple times, but I’ve always avoided it (with the exception of the Zoo Lights event last December…but I didn’t see many animals that night.

It’s just that I tend to feel sad at zoos. I feel bad for the animals – that they’re stuck living in confined spaces…that they’re not free. Even life in a quality institution like the National Zoo still equates to life in a cage (and yes, I know they’re not in actual cages there. But still…it’s hardly the wild.)

But I went to the Zoo yesterday anyway. My daughter really wanted me to go. She passionately loves animals and wants to be a vet when she grows up.

(I should say, she wants to be a vet on the weekdays and a marine biologist on the weekends. [She’s 5!])

So to please her, and also to get some good photography practice in a different environment, I went along.

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And you know what? Some parts of it did make me sad. But some parts were absolutely fascinating. (And some, heart-wrenchingly, were both.)

I have a bit to say about this – and I took a ton of pictures that I want to put up as well. So I think I’ll spread my thoughts/impressions out to a few posts.

But for now, here are some of my favorites of the photos I took.

(And for the record: if you find yourself in the DC area, the Zoo is VERY worth a visit. Interesting, interesting place. Lovely to walk around too – like a park. Trees, waterfalls, flowers. Really nice.)

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Seals eating breakfast!
Seals eating breakfast!
A snake posing. (Not really...but I swear, he held this exact position just long enough for me to take the picture!)
A snake posing. (Not really…but I swear, he held this exact position just long enough for me to take the picture!)
Turtles!
Turtles!
It's FREAKY when a tiger meets your eye. He was actually studying my daughter, I think, who was standing right in front of me...which let me tell you, as her mom, that was even freakier!
It’s FREAKY when a tiger meets your eye. He was actually studying my daughter, I think, who was standing right in front of me…and let me tell you, as her mom, that was even freakier!
Here's a closer look at that tiger stare.
Here’s a closer look at that tiger stare.
Outside the primate house. (I've never seen this, but I understand the orangutans move from building-to-building on these high wires. I'd love to see that!!)
Outside the primate house. (I understand the orangutans move from building-to-building on these high wires. I’d love to see that!!)
Inside the primate house. (There IS glass between this guy and my son!)
Inside the primate house. (There IS glass between this guy and my son!)

Pure joy on the carousel! (Tigers [and lemurs] are her favorite animals right now.)
Pure joy on the carousel! (Tigers [and lemurs] are her favorite animals right now.)
And, while these next two aren’t the greatest shots (pretty dark!), I have to include them because they comprise my favorite happening of the day:

We saw a cheetah from a distance…and thought that was plenty cool.

He was really interested in something through the fence across the way, so was standing there for some time.
He was really interested in something through the fence across the way, so was standing there for some time.

We finally moved on and were heading around the corner, down the path – and that’s when we realized what he’d been looking at:

People (like us!) walking by! He was within about two feet of me when I took this, just peeking through the fence! So beautiful.
People (like us!) walking by!! He was within about two feet of me when I took this, just peeking through the fence! So beautiful. I wonder what he was thinking about.

More zoo thoughts soon!

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3 thoughts on “A Trip to the Zoo

  1. I’m not a huge fan of zoos for the same reason – I don’t like to see animals in small spaces when they should be free. On the other hand, there are some endangered species who are protected and can even benefit from being in the zoo.

    I draw the line at the circus though. Clowns are one thing. Performing animals are something else.

    Like

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