151 Band

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weird Feeling At The Zoo

A week or so, we took the kids to the zoo and had a wonderful time.  It was chilly out, which turned out to be both good and bad.  Good, because it wasn't very crowded.  Bad, because, well, it was cold.  Regardless, the zoo was entertaining and most of the animals were quite active. 

I have enjoyed trips to various zoos since I can remember.  The Seattle Zoo was always a favorite stop for me growing up and once, I had the opportunity to experience the world-famous San Diego Zoo as well.  Exciting and entertaining times that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.  I always believed that the animals were being cared for exquisitely and I still do.  But this trip to the zoo, I saw something that I hadn't seen before. 

It seemed as though some of the critters were focused on one thing - finding a way out.

It could have been my imagination.  It could have been the fact that the kids were having fun, but were ready to get out of the cold.  Or, it could be that in my old age, I'm noticing things that I haven't before.

There was one tiger that paced back and forth, would make this unbelievable sound and then lie down.  It wasn't a roar like you hear on television.  It was something else.  I noticed that it laid down facing the enclosure of another tiger.  When we rounded the bend and saw the enclosure, sure enough...the other tiger was laying down facing the first tiger.  Was it socialization they desired?   What was it?  I had never seen that before.

Then, there were the otters.  There were two of them and they would swim around frantically, run to the door where apparently they received their food and then return to their swimming hole where they would entertain the kids tapping on the glass trying to get their attention.  But every once in a while, they would both stop and look up, surveying their enclosure as though they were searching for a way out. 

From there, we cruised over to where the cats where hanging out.  Most were inside their caves, no doubt trying to stay warm.  But there was one that I can't even remember what the heck it was, but it paced constantly, looking up, surveying the enclosure just as the otters had previously. 

It was a strange experience for me.  I do believe that the folks at the zoo care for the animals very well and this is in no way an indictment on the facilities or the staff or personnel of the zoo.  And yes, we will be returning.  I do wonder why, however, at this point in my life I noticed this behavior.  Has it always been that way and I overlooked it in the past?  Probably so.