Having birds sit and pose, even if they are sometimes behind a glass wall, I remember thinking, prior to my first zoo visit with a camera,should make it easy to get great shots. It is not. Birds: they have a mind of their own. As for the animals, given a big enough perimeter, you often don’t get to see them from any good angle, if at all!
While it is not close to the real ‘wild’ safari or nature viewing, and it is really upsetting when I see badly managed zoos ( it takes enormous effort, knowledge and finances to say the least, not to mention true concern, interest and skill in handling animals and birds), a well run zoo is nothing less than a crowning achievement and one way people learned to truly appreciate and conserve nature while getting first hand lessons from it. There is still a lot of activity, natural and innate of these animals that can be observed when they are comfortable in their living space. It can definitely whet one’s appetite to see what they would do in the wild. These are some shots I have taken in the few zoos or animal care centers I have been to. In one of the meerkat photos below, the two were reacting to an airplane flying high above. The flamigoes were just aroused to some kind of battle to show who is hotter! Male displays for superiority..
I still have the Smithsonian and The San Diego zoo to visit. I just let the kids get there first and get scared of the line.. since I don’t actually live there, I have not had the chance to go back- I am certain they will be worth it 😀 The San Diego zoo undertakes large scale conservation projects, all over the world, including Peru via the Manu national park. As does the Smithsonian. Conservation and research go had in hand.
In the other hand, there are some ‘safaris’ possibly concentrated in the ‘mid-west’ and Oklahoma region where the management and the caretakers and the owners advertise showing the beauty of all of God’s creations, to emphasise how we are his special. An attempt to present ‘humans’ as His best work. Best in what. Closest to what divinity. In zoos ( or outside in the yard) we can see we have neither the best colors, not the best sight, or a display dance to be proud of. If it is the best brain ( I doubt thats what they mean though, because having ‘faith’ literally means not using this best feature), I just think we have a passably good one, when put to the right use. Only then………
Oops. As always, I think of the brain where I am expected to know it is the ‘soul’ that makes us better.
Maybe, that is because I know we all have a brain. That’s a certainty. And yet we don’t use it. So if our ‘USP’ is having a doubtful thing that is so easily lost, blackened, bartered and yet remains to be proven to actually exist, give me wings.. I say. Or at least feathers.