Mon Apr XII
Went to Auckland Zoo. It was BORING* but L + K enjoyed it.
I don’t much like zoos, I don’t like circuses at all and I am not very fond of fairgrounds (although I am, strangely, quite fond of the smell of fairgrounds). I didn’t realise that my dislike of zoos kicked in quite this early in my life, though.
Of course, it is a different type of dislike to the one that I have now. Back in 1982 spending a perfectly good day off school traipsing around a zoo was one of the last things I wanted to do. It just didn’t interest me at all. In fact, I’m rather surprised – and feel slightly smug – that I noticed that others in my family were having a good time even if I wasn’t.
You will gather that I don’t like zoos for an entirely different reason now. Although they are better than they were, the tiny concrete cages at London Zoo almost made me cry the last time I was there. By contrast, Perth Zoo was quite enjoyable and one of the first things you see when you go there is one of those tiny cages, empty and with an admission of how wrong they were to use them.
Zoos obviously have an important role to play in conservation, particularly in countries with a very distinct indiginous population. I loved the ‘behind the scenes’ tour that we did at Sydney Zoo a few years ago because I could really appreciate the efforts that were being made to safeguard some species. Even then, I was a bit twitchy about the size of some of the enclosures.
*I underlined this word twice, that is how boring I found it!