Friday, January 21, 2011

Our 7th Field trip of the year - Knoxville Zoo

This will be a blog in construction.  Here's the story.  We drive 1 1/2 hours to Knoxville Zoo yesterday morning.  The first exhibit is the black bear.  I decide to take a picture with the girls standing in front of one of the black behemoths.  Push the camera "on" button.  This is taking longer to turn on!  What's the problem?!  Hmmm, this camera feels lighter than usual.  Wait - - oh NO!! The battery is in the charger at home!    Look around for a store to buy a disposable - we CAN'T go through the day without some record of it!

Got the cheapest disposable.  27 photos available to take.  I don't even know if they're 35mm or digital.  But anyway, we now have some kind of record and now I have to take the whole camera into some place to have the pictures developed.  This is new to me!

The zebra (turns out this is 35mm film...kind of grainy, but, oh well)

 "Don't ya agree this weather is a mite freezin', mate? ". " Aye, I KNOW, and I keep fergettin' my earmuffs and socks!" "Ach, it was NEVER this cold in Botswana! Shiverrs, I think we shood moove back therrr, what dya think?"

Among friends

Ah, come on, you can look fiercer than that!

Last time we were here I don't think C reached the top.

This was the cutest gibbon monkey!  He did a big show for us - which is woefully represented here.

The most adorable little red panda bears!

I'm afraid all the reptiles, unless artificially heated, were in hibernation!

The petting zoo provides brushes....hey, I say, why not?  Great idea!

As we were leaving.  This is the entrance. (yes, that is snow by the tree)

Sad story about the Knoxville Zoo. (Side note - we were supposed to have this field trip last Thursday but due to snow and inclement weather, we postponed it a week.) Well, last Friday, an elephant handler was killed (accidently) by an elephant.  Apparently the elephant backed up against her and she was squeezed against a metal post.  No aggression, just an accident.  Very sad!  We're sorry this happened and send our condolences, Knoxville Zoo!

It's always bittersweet for me to visit zoos.  Having seen a lot of these animals in the wild, it pains me to see them pacing back and forth, sleeping endlessly, staring into space, moving mindlessly, or swaying and swinging their trunks back and forth, like the elephants. I KNOW zoos do all they can to approximate the natural habitat, but captivity is captivity still, and I ache for them. I do think winter is worse, when so many of the tropical animals have to be kept indoors!  Imagine their non-comprehending spring fever!

The good side is that many, many thousands of people get to see animals they wouldn't normally see.  A, for one got to see elephants, giraffe,
The giraffe and other tropical animals were kept inside unless the temp. reached 40'F.  I think we just made it!
tigers, lion, cheetah, zebra, gorilla and many other animals for the first time yesterday.  Exciting!!

There is also a lot of opportunity for education regarding animals and their need for habitat preservation. After all, man was given "dominion" over the animals and the earth - we have a great and awesome responsibility.  How can we squander that!?
The beavers are large animals.  They were thrown some branches later and had a wonderful time first finding them under water and then gnawing on the bark.

Anyway, photos will follow one day soon.  The camera is still in my sure to drop by later.

Later: So here they are.  Hope you enjoyed them.

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