I Want To Buy A Zoo, Too

I’ve always loved animals. My dream was to runaway to Africa and live like the offspring of Jane Goodall and George Adamson. I really think that I could have a pet elephant, lion, tiger, monkey, shark, dolphin, so basically, I think I could have a zoo, as well.

I watched ‘Born Free’ over and over again. I researched George Adamson to see if I could figure out if I too could live with wild lions. When I read the Life article about Melanie Griffiths family living with lions I about died. It can be done! If I read a Buzzfeed post or news story about anyone living with wild animals I become useless for the rest of the day. I have to stare at the story and pictures for at least 3 hours and then spend the next 21 hours picturing my life with all my favorite animals.

When I read the story about Chips, I realized I needed to something about my problem. Chips is a young bobcat. Fire crews found her in August while battling a 75,000-acre fire. They removed her from the fire and kept her safe but when it came time to re-release her into the wild, they realized she’s too nice. THE WILD BOBCAT IS TOO NICE.

This is just like Elsa the lion. That’s what started George Adamson’s life in Kenya. He and his then wife were taking care of Elsa because she was a zoo lion, and she didn’t know how to survive. He taught her to be wild and they all ended up staying in Kenya to live with wild …

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It’s Nature (Gay Penguins)

photo of penguin pictures
When you hear people rallying against homosexuality they always say, “It’s not natural,” which means that it doesn’t occur in nature. And naturally, they would be wrong. Penguins have same sex relationships. I read no less than five articles about five separate gay penguins.

One that really upset me was about a couple at the Toronto Zoo. Buddy, 21, and Pedro, 10, found each other more interesting than any of the females they were supposed to mate with. The Toronto Zoo decided that something should be done about this so they separated the two and made them mate with females since Pedro and Buddy had “top notch genes”. They were successful but after the mating session the two penguins reunited. Love is love.

In China, Madrid, and Denmark, gay penguins have been trying to start families. They build a nest every season and become depressed when that nest stays empty. They’ve all tried stealing eggs from other couples. That’s how badly they want a baby. It’s like finding a young mother willing to give you the baby and when it’s born she changes her mind. However, recently all three zoos have helped these penguins “adopt” a baby.

Each were given fake eggs to make sure they could properly incubate it. Then, when other penguin couples laid multiple eggs the eggs that were discarded by the parents were given to the homosexual couple. All three couples incubated the eggs properly and are proud parents to baby penguins.

Penguins are also a species that mate for life. We’ve all seen March of the Penguins these little birdies are made of some strong stuff. They face a harsh life, even harder mating rituals, harsh weather, and even though they are sometimes hundreds of miles away from their mates when the season comes and they all show up they find each other again.

These homosexual couples spent up to six years waiting for an egg. Every year they built that nest, every year it stayed empty, and the next year they built it again. How cool is it that this year it was full?

I think we can all learn a lesson from these little penguins. Never give up. Never stop trying. Never let anyone tell you, you can’t be with the person you love, you can’t have your heart’s desires that you’re not good enough or you’re not supposed to be this way or that way. You are not less than the other penguins, your time will come.



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What’s Really Going On At The Zoo?

photo of la zoo pictures photos
Every child loves going to the zoo – it’s a childhood tradition. Parents want to expose their kids to wonderful adventures, to broaden their minds. That’s the reason they go to the zoo. These children get the chance to see animals they would most likely never see in their lifetime, unless the parent was wealthy enough to travel to all corners of the globe in search of That Elusive Species.

But what are parents really exposing their children to? I recently visited the Los Angeles zoo. I did this because I know that celebrity Betty White is on the board of directors and is an animals rights’ activist. I thought I would be visiting more of a sanctuary than a zoo. I was excited to see the new elephant enclosure, as it is one that is supposedly the best in the country. When I arrived I was quickly reminded why I don’t enjoy visiting zoos.

The L.A. Zoo is beautiful, the weather is generally flawless, and the animals are diverse. Most boast of being “the last of their kind,” and they house several “almost extinct” animals. That part of zoos I do enjoy. To me, they are a necessary evil. Yes, despite the fact that these animals are in cages, and out of their natural habitat and climate, they are safe from poachers.

As I walked to the elephant enclosure, the first sound I heard was the snapping of the electric fence. I saw one male elephant standing there. He made his way over to a trainer, who threw him some cucumbers and then he sauntered back to wait by his door. I walked further on and saw that two female elephants were kept on the other side of the very large enclosure. One female was constantly bobbing her head, and as I saw this, I remembered that hearing this is a sometimes-present neurological behavior in captive elephants. I was saddened by her behavior and upset that they were being  kept apart. I have a deep love and affinity for all animals, but I feel especially connected to elephants.

I walked past the chimpanzee enclosure to see their area to be very crowded, and the inhabitants sat cuddled with each other, not using any of their supplied “enhancement” tools. I remember thinking, “Those straps are so close together, how can they swing at all?”

What got to me the most, and what really prompted me to write this article and do the associated research, was the Sumatran Tiger. I heard her calling from another area in the zoo, which I found to be odd as I’ve never really heard such an active tiger before. I walked to the enclosure where I saw her pacing. She was doing figure eights between her two cubs that were at separate ends of her area. I knew right away, she was looking for another cub. Calling for a lost cub, circling, counting, trying to find her lost baby. I Googled the tigers and found that six months prior to my visit, a Sumatran tiger cub did indeed die. I walked through the zoo hearing that mother calling and my heart wrenched with every call she made. There was no way that it couldn’t have been her.

I was furious, positively fuming. I immediately contacted animal experts and the L.A. Zoo itself. The first person I spoke to was Jason Jacobs of the L.A. Zoo. I jumped at the chance to ask him about the elephant behavior, and he informed me that one of the females was a former circus animal, and that their young male also bobs his head. Jacobs told me that when a trainer comes to the gate the young male elephant will bob his head in an “anticipatory way” the same way a dog would wag its tail. He also informed me that the zoo is working on the human/elephant conflict in several countries. Farmers are being eaten out of crops by elephants and the zoo is helping educate the farmers in ways to protect their crops without violence toward the animals.

Jacobs also told me that the chimpanzees have a lot of enrichment, and that the tiger was pacing and …

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