We went to the Brookfield Zoo for Holiday Magic this weekend and let me just tell you...it was not so magical.
First of all, I was freezing my balls off and I can only imagine how cold Donovan was...even though he had his full snow suit, hat, gloves, scarf and blanket on.
Second, every time I go to the zoo, which is not very often, the animals seem to look sadder and more pathetic. The polar bears look sickly and crazy (pacing repetitively by their cage door), the snow leopards look lethargic, the black bear looks over feed and under exercised, the walrus looks all scarred and old, all the animals in the children's zoo look disgusting (especially the horses and goats), the gorillas looked stoned, the reindeers looked as if they couldn't lift their own antlers (let alone Santa's sleigh), and the bald eagle looked anything but proud. The only animals that we saw that looked happy and healthy were the dolphins. We got to see the brand new baby dolphin that only weighed 30 pounds...that was kind of refreshing...to see life in at least one species of animal at the zoo.
My aunt, who works at Lincoln Park Zoo, came with us and was telling us about the Bengal tiger Molly who hasn't gone outside in over two years and who will probably be transferred back to Lincoln Park because of her agoraphobia.
I use to love zoos and think that they were a great way for people to gain respect and learn from animals, but as I grow older, the zoos just seem more like a prison for these great animals. The sad thing is, is that Brookfield zoo is supposedly one of the greatest zoos in the world - what do the other zoos look like. When I went to China, we went to the zoo and that was the saddest thing I have ever seen, that was truly disgusting and outrageous. The bears were kept in 10x10 holes in the ground that people used as garbage cans. It was so sad and disgusting that we left right away, I would have cried if we stayed any longer. I lost a lot of respect for the Chinese that day...trying to save the pandas my ass...no wonder they are going extinct...they live in China!
The good thing about Holiday Magic this year was that Donovan got to sit on Santa's lap and met Mrs. Claus. We took a few pictures, only got a few in before Donovan realized that Santa Claus is not cool...but he is actually a perv dressed up in a red suit (I have always been afraid of anyting dressed in a costume - Santa, Clowns, Easter Bunny, Jeanette - so I am planning on instilling that fear into Donovan too).
I am glad that I went, it was lots of fun - despite the sad animals and the cold. I think I might go again next year!