One of my bucket list dreams is to visit the Irwin’s amazing animal preserve in Australia. Yes, I love animals and I love visiting preserves and zoos. What animals do you navigate toward when you visit a zoo? If you’re like me, it’s the cats—the big cats. Then I enjoy watching the magnificent giraffes, the majestic elephants, the comical otters and penguins, the fascinating and dramatic flamingoes… Oh, I guess I’m not satisfied until I’ve taken in everything.
We sometimes drive out to the desert and visit a wonderful preserve for wild and exotic cats. What an interesting place. What a crazy variety of cats—big and small.
I know people who shy away from zoos. They can’t stand to see the animals in cages. Yeah, there’s that. However, some of those animals were rescued from the wilds because, for one reason or another, they wouldn’t have survived in the wild. Some animals are saved from becoming extinct because of breeding programs in zoos. The condor, for example. Every California condor is tagged because the only condors hatched and alive today are the result of breeding programs. The bald eagle population in many places was seriously diminishing some years ago. It took human intervention to correct human error, which was killing off these raptors. Now the bald eagle is back and they’re surviving and producing again in the wild.
Have you ever watched the behind-the-scenes zoo programs on TV? Fascinating. I had no idea there was so much human contact with the zoo animals and growing affection between the animal and the caretaker until I began watching these episodes. Heartwarming.
If you don’t have small children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren to take to your nearest zoo, grab a buddy and go. It’s a wonderful way to spend a pretty day and support the care of some beautiful critters and creatures.