Tuesday, April 14, 2009
It's been very many years since I last entered a zoo. I have mixed feelings about the whole concept - animals locked up and caged in while children scream at them. On the other hand, here are animals that I can see and interact with (to a degree) without running for my life as I do so. The Berlin Zoo is also a famous zoo for a few different reasons. It's the oldest zoo in Germany; it's located in downtown Berlin; and, it's home to Knut - the world-famous polar bear born at the zoo a couple years ago.
I'm not actually sure if this is, in fact, Knut. But, he is a pretty young bear and he was the only one in site on this very warm afternoon. Knut's not much of a cub these days, but it's spring and there were baby animals everywhere!
Then we hit what instantly turned me into my six year old self - Hippohaus. Inside, you can catch glimpses of them in the water. Here's some baby fat for your viewing pleasure.
Outside, the fam went for a bit of stroll.
Other signs that it was Spring? Males were assaulting females everywhere we looked.
The ornithological sections of the zoo were especially distressing to walk through. Massive birds were caged in. This guy isn't much of flyer, but I still detected a little bit of pleading in his gaze. Others were simply taunted by herons hanging out in the nearby freedom of the canal and once in a while swooping overhead.
The other thing that dawned on me as we approached the hedge that separated us from the massive lion resting in the shade is that they probably sedate the animals here.
The monkeys (and their relatives) were a little bit more spazzy. This guy, however, was so chill and awesome, you'd never know who his neighbours are.
These guys lived next door.
This guy was also pretty amazing.