This gorilla hasn't been shot by the cops yet. . .
We headed off to the zoo last week, warily watching the dangerous creatures with bizarre markings on their skin, scary teeth and uncertain behavior--and that was just while riding the DART to Oak Cliff.
It was our first trip to the Dallas Zoo after many trips to Fort Worth's version, and it was nice not to deal with crowds and parking getting there: the light rail drops you off at the front gate. The Dallas Zoo gets a bad rap among the zoological crowd with a string of deaths of several popular residents, including an elephant, a giraffe, a lion, cheetah, and two old gorillas. None of these compared with the death of Jibari the silver-backed gorilla, who somehow escaped by climbing a retaining wall in 2004 and injuring three visitors before the Dallas Police SWAT team shot him dead. Conspiracy theories abound as to how and why Jibari escaped. Wild kingdom, indeed! Since these incidents, the zoo has been remodeling its exhibits, which were largely of an "old-school" animal-in-a-cage variety. The renovations are still on-going; many displays were closed the day we visited. But the animals look sad, and depressed, moreso than at the Fort Worth zoo, where they live in a more natural setting and have more room to roam.
Some sort of colorful bird. Gladly trade our grackles for this one. . .
There's little in a zoo anymore that really impresses me. I rather enjoy watching the people who watch the animals more these days. This got me wondering about zoos and humans: here's a "representative" gathering of animals of each species, all for the entertainment of another single species--the human being. But how can one kangaroo, for instance, represent "all" the 'roos? Or a single rhino? or gorilla? It's silly to think they do; we humans perhaps don't see the variety that exists within a species of other animals, but if you look around at the thousands of humans watching the animals, you'd be hard-pressed to choose just one from the crowd to represent Homo Sapiens.
A wonderful parade of humanity in all its variety. . .
. . in all extremes of dimensions. . .
. . and young moms who don't have the sense to at least throw on some underwear when taking their kid to the zoo. . .
. . species "teenagerum technoligus oblivious". . .
Sure glad I'm not some sort of alien zookeeper who has to decide which two or three of our species is most representative of the rest.