|Giraffes, nature's way of pruning the top half of a tree.|
However we have also visited some which fell more toward the cash cow option rather than towards the preservation aspect. Rows of small cages containing primates that would far rather be swinging from tree to tree and terrariums that are devoid of any greenery, and in fact are of lesser length than the snake they contain, are not an edifying sight. It's more reminiscent of Stalag Luft III from The Great Escape rather than the plains of the Serengeti from Born Free. From the point of view of the customer, I can appreciate that if you've paid to see animals it's animals you want to see, not areas of greenery with rustling leaves where they move around freely out of your line of sight. But small cages and the absence of any aspect of a habitat that facilitates natural behaviour seems so, well I guess Victorian. Showing us a cheetah and saying how it can run at speeds up to 75mph is great, but they forget to add that in its compound, which is 20 meters square, it can only get to 15mph. I would far rather they built it a home in the shape of a greyhound track and feed it by attaching lunch to the electric hare, now that would pull in a crowd. Ah, there speaks the Victorian in me.
|Steve McQueen escaping from Stalag Luft III circa 1945, dressed as a resident from Malibu beach and riding a bike that wasn't built until 16 years after the event. Still, accuracy isn't everything. (I'm being sarcastic, obviously it is..)|