Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Guangzhou Zoo in July 2010

Okay, I really don't want to spoil this for you, but I must document it for Gabriella's sake. If you want to have a new cause in life, go to the Guangzhou Zoo.

It is perhaps the saddest animal experience you might encounter outside of seeing your own pet experiencing a personal tragedy. The lions and tigers weighed not much more than your neighbors dog. Almost without exception, you saw extremely lethargic animals (not just due to heat, humidity, lack of water, or lack of environmental stimuli), but because of a serious neglect of food.

Some animals were fairly prolific (like bunnies)... the little dear and some white birds. Those, honestly, should have been fed to the larger animals. The animals craved the attention of the others next to them... separated by cages with NOTHING inside... no plants, no water, no toys, no food, and often, no friends.

The panda was the highlight... but, he was even quite small.

They had dogs and a miniature horse in a petting zoo that you pay a separate entrance fee for. Even they did not have water in 95 degree weather and 90 degree humidity.

I even felt sorry for the snakes and I am deathly afraid of them. They were in hard plastic containers about 4 feet tall without any shade. Again, no protection, little air, and lack of environmental stimuli.

Take your own food and water, I guarantee you will not want to eat there. Take the little, open air shuttle around once. Plan on about 2 hours. The most fun (at least for the Chinese - the Americans didn't participate) was to go into the kiddie pools (which is another separate entrance fee) and walk in pools of water and catch the fish with a little sieve. It did look like lots of fun. The Chinese were putting the fish in their drinking bottles.