Monday, June 06, 2011

At the zoo

(Yeah, this was an unfortunate shot of the gorillas.)

Some of the more entertaining aspects of visiting the San Diego Zoo (as my wife and I did a little over a month ago--and from which there are photos now posted over on the photo site; see below) are not found in watching the animals featured in the various enclosures throughout the grounds but from observing the animals on outside the cages—in other words, the people who paid to gain entry.

Presumably by virtue of the San Diego Zoological Society putting together one of the most renown zoos in the world it becomes more of a tourist attraction to those who would not otherwise be inclined to visit a zoo, but for whatever reason there are no shortage of people whose lack of study makes them more worthy of being studied.

They probably should be tagged and their reproductive activities tracked so scientists can learn about how they pass along their stupidity to the next generation, but that's another story.

For example, at the orangutan exhibit there are signs clearly identifying them as apes, but without exception one will overhear fully grown adults refer to them as "monkeys."

Similarly, despite the signs with the word "orangutan" on them, one will hear people pronounce it "or-ang-a-tang"—however, that may indicate the persistent appeal of the powdered drink popularized by astronauts several decades ago.

For enclosures with glass walls, the signs specifically asking that guests not tap on the glass will be ignored if the animals inside are not proving entertaining enough.

And on that note, the odds are good that at least some exhibits one will hear a human with an underdeveloped intellect blurt out instructions to the animals about what they should do to be more interesting, with the implication that all the creatures innately know how to perform the sort of tricks one sees at a circus. Invariably, this human will think this to be immensely amusing, and he will have a prospective mate nearby who will consider it amusing it as well.

That may be attributable to the fact that alcohol is sold in the zoo, however.

And the greatest truth is this: Nothing elicits as strong a reaction from a crowd of people like seeing an animal defecate.

Okay, that is always pretty funny.

(You do NOT want to know what is in the paw of this bonobo. Trust me.)


As mentioned above, there's a bunch of photos from the zoo (full disclosure: none of which feature pooping) over on the photo site. Click over and you will find posts featuring:
Pandas, antelopes, and zebras
What this polar bear ate first: lettuce, bone, or carrots?
Primates (Siamangs, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bonobos)
Koalas and Meerkats
Mother and baby hippos
And polar bears taking a plunge

1 comment:

  1. San Diego Zoo is one of the best. I still have one of their "do not tease the animals" signs with all the synonyms for "tease."


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