Thursday, April 26, 2012

And on this Farm He Had an Aardvark...

Last week I went to visit my grandchildren.  Not the ones in Anchorage.  The ones in Placerville, California.  One day we went to the zoo in Sacramento.  It is a very fine zoo.  I know for some that is an oxymoron.  They are those who think it is cruel to cage animals and that no benefit could outweigh the injustice.  I am not sure.  I say it is a fine zoo because the animals appear healthy.  Their living quarters are spacious and well appointed with places to climb, swim, hide and play.  The campus is clean and pleasant, cool and breezy even on a very hot day (90 degrees).  The placards at each den, cage or aquarium are informative.  The education program is innovative.  We arrived early, and saw a troop of girl scouts breaking camp.  They had spent the night at the zoo in tents pitched on a lawn between the big Cat House and the Parrot cages.  But mostly I think it is a fine zoo because it encourages visitors, young and old, to think about the bigger world.  Most of the children running from savanna to rain forest and back to the Reptile House knew the names of the animals  and the sound they make.  I believe that this knowledge and understanding is essential to developing any concept of accountability for the well being of creatures who live beyond our back yards.  I am going to suggest to my son and his wife that we sign up for one of the overnight campouts with his three children.

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