Shortly after my trip to the Zoo I read this blog post on Weave A Web. It is supposed to be humorous – which it sure is – but in connection with my zoo visit, it gave me some food for thoughts. Do we really need to interfere and ‘improve’ the Nature? Is the ‘conservation’ real? What is the percentage of successful reintroduction of a species to the wild? Especially if ‘the wild’ is made unlivable for animals by humans.
I don’t want to upset you at the beginning of my post. Let’s go back to the hippos and watch Atiya and her antics.
In 2002 a tragedy struck. Linda, a 28 years old female hippo, became ill and died. A post mortem revealed the tennis ball blocked her intestine. As they don’t sell tennis balls in the zoo, it had to have been brought in by a visitor. Linda’s 13 month old son Hoovie who had never left her side, kept wandering around the enclosure, lonely and confused, looking for his mother. Henry, her mate of 16 years, was left bereft. Later he got a new mate, Heidi.
The last group of animals we will visit today are our ‘cousins’, the primates. Saki monkey in this picture looks gorgeous, but I would love to see him more contented.
Western lowland gorillas look even less contented. It was the saddest place I visited in the zoo.
Are they still grieving? Sunday May 29 2016 was one of the saddest days in the zoo. Harry, the ‘gentle giant’, beloved silverback passed away. Ireland was heartbroken.
Harry presumably suffered a stroke after being unwell for a few days.
Harry arrived at Dublin Zoo in September 1995 when he was just nine years old. He was 29 when he died. His mate of 21 years, Lena, and the other gorillas searched the island for Harry and cried. Lena and Harry had six babies over the years. When Harry died, she was pregnant and gave birth to a healthy baby boy Kitoko two months later.
It is what their enclosure looked like in 2007. The main entertainment was to sit and stare through the glass into the greenery.
Henry died shortly after the troupe were relocated to the spacious Gorilla Rainforest. Was it too much for the 29 years old leader to monitor such a big territory? I don’t know. He was a great leader anyway, calm and gentle. If a fight broke out, he would step in and stop the conflict.
Life is going on. New babies are born in Gorilla Rainforest.
And here are some pictures from the Chimpanzee Island.
This chimp looks sad and lonely.
Another chimp sees that and hurries to his pal to offer comfort.
Too late! Someone else is already there with a hug.
It is so good to have a friend by your side.
As some of you might have guessed, I went to the Dublin Zoo to see Philip. However on that day the old Reptile House was closed as the animals were in the process of moving to the Zoorassic World. I left without answers. Later that day I emailed to the customer service and asked if they had a Water dragon in their Zoorassic World collection. A lady named Jennifer replied that they hadn’t. Then I asked if a water dragon they got from the Reptile Village has died, and she said no, he just moved to Dudley Zoo in April this year. I opened their page. The dragon didn’t look like Philip to me. I have to see the dragon to be sure as he has some distinctive features I could recognize. I don’t give up on finding Philip yet.
Thank you for your wonderful company!
Have a great weekend!
A nice post. I know zoos carry their weight of sadness, but… as I was raised in an Africa where animals roamed freely I can’t help but think that soon, zoos will be the only places one can see a hippo. Or a gorilla. Sad really.
Yes, it is very sad. Zoo animals won’t save the species. There is so called extinction threshold. When a species drop in number down to this critical point, they are heading to extinction, and no Zoo will make a difference. Animals need their habitats to exist, but the mankind is taking their land away from them.
True. particularly in Africa.
Another very thought-provoking post, Inese, and some very sad stories, too. Human stupidity never ceases to amaze and sometimes appal and too often magnificent creatures like Linda suffer because of it. I can also see why you’re concerned about Philip It seems that people you’ve contacted are being cagey about his whereabouts. I do hope you locate him – alive, I mean. It would be another very sad story if he isn’t.
Your opening paragraph made me reconsider my comment on Part 1 of this post. I confess, I hadn’t considered the likelihood of ruined habitats when animals bred in captivity are released into the wild. The extinction of some are inevitable when that is taken into consideration. However, it’s good to hear that Dublin Zoo, and probably others, are doing much nowadays to improve the environments of the animals. The new Rainforest is so much better than what the gorillas had before.
As always, your photos are wonderful. Each one tells a story on its own.
Thank you so much, Millie! I too thought that these people were cagey, but then I realised that Philip wasn’t the only lizard they have got from the Reptile Village, and perhaps some other lizard went to the Dudleys whereas Philip went to the Rainbow Bridge straight from his quarantine… I am afraid I will never know…
Animal behavior gives away their feelings about living in captivity. Repetitive movements like pacing or rocking and any other stereotypical behavior send a signal of a mental health problem. It is not a secret that strong antidepressants are used on a regular basis. However, it is possible to avoid all of this by expanding their personal space and studying their needs.
I wish every creature had a happy life.
Antidpressants? Good Lord.
Oh yes. It is a common practice.
I didn’t know that. I have seen animals balancing to and fro, a clear sign of… psychopathology. But I didn’t know they gave antidepressants… yuk.
Sad story about Linda. How can anyone be so cruel and/or idiotic to feed her a tennis ball?
Thank you for stopping by! Yes, it is a shock to me how stupid people can be.
Your photos are wonderful Inese, the subjects look so sad though and it’s upsetting about the animals who have died there. I hope you find Philip!! xx Have a wonderful day xx
Thank you so much! A blogger from Dudley is going to give me a hand 🙂
I don’t mind animals living in the zoos if they are rescued and taken a good care of. If an animal is pacing, it is a bad sign. A sign of distress. Any repeated behaviour is a bad sign. It is very individual – some animals just cannot cope living in captivity 😦
Such sad stories, especially Linda! A tennis ball, really? And the poor little hippo looking for his mommy! It looks like a nice zoo and your photos are very beautiful.
Thank you Antonia! Yes, it was such a tragedy. I wonder how these people are living now with the knowledge that they killed an animal?
They probably don’t know/care… 😦
Oops! My message was send before I was ready! 😂 Wanted to add that I hope you will find Phillip! Much love! Xxxxxxxxxx
I too just lost my own reply, half-written 🙂 Just wanted to tell that Philip is getting old, and even if I find him, he won’t know me. I guess I have to find a Polish person among the visitors and ask them to talk to him. May be he would recognize the language. xxxxxx
I will keep my fingers crossed for a happy reunion anyway! 😄 xxxxxxx
Thank you! Have a happy week! xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Stunning pictures of Atiya! And I’m glad the chimpanzee got some company 😄
Thank you Sarah! I think it is the oldest female in the Zoo. There were two, but it seems that the other one had died since I couldn’t find any mention of her lately. xxxxxx
The same thing happens here too, the not mentioning of animals having passed. There are normally some cute nasuas in our zoo and I haven’t seen them in quite a while… It’s strange when this happens and I would really appreciate it when the authorities would give us visitors more information. Xxxxxxxx
Yes Sarah, it would help a lot. Control from the authorities and a regular reporting is necessary, otherwise many things can happen behind the scenes. I have read that a Zoo in England with more than 13% mortality had lost its licence. Hope it is a normal procedure. xxxxxxxxxxxx
I have such mixed feelings about zoos though they are so much better than when I was a kid. I wish they could live in wide open wild places where they belong. Beautiful photos, Inese.
Oh yes, much better! But there are more animals these days, and it means more responsibility. Dublin Zoo lost too many animals in a short period, and it is alarming.
I will post more Zoo pictures later this winter. We took our girls to the Hogle Zoo in Salt lake City, and went to the desert where I saw someone special 🙂
Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
Working with / caring for people’s pets on a daily basis, and counting ethology as a hobby (when time permits) I too have mixed feelings about zoos. Or maybe more so, about the keeping of larger mammals in zoos. I recognise there are arguments for conservation etc, but maybe only zoos that can offer adequate space and facilities should be licenced to hold them.
But then, of course, the paying public may never see them if they are hiding in ‘jungle’ or on islands etc..
Your photos, as usual, are amazing. Especially the hippo.
Thank you! The paying public cannot get everything ‘now’ 🙂 When I go to the zoo and want to see a particular animal, I return to the enclosure many times until I see what I want. To take the pictures of the hippo I had to wait, and the same about the mama gorilla with her baby. The paying public should understand that it is not a museum 🙂
You have a cool hobby 🙂
The animals are beautiful…. extremely beautiful. Your pics of them are perfect.
I HATE ZOOS!!!
I have not gone to a zoo in over 30 tears (a type-o of years, but it works better.)
I hate what they originally meant, and what they have come to mean. Man is the one who should be in a zoo! Man is the evil empire. Man is the killer, the exploiter and the trying to be the savior.
Wonderful! I love the gorillas most of all.
Inese, just another thought to express. I think that sometimes the only place anyone will see these kinds of animals would be in a zoo. There appeared to be things to climb on in your photos. There was a family spirit among the different animals.
Our Columbus Zoo has many acres and lots of jungle gyms and areas for animals to climb on during summer months.
When it gets colder though, their zoo interiors seem a little compact. But then I think, I live in a one bedroom apt and I find cozy ways to entertain myself. . .
I guess I hope displays of wildlife will somehow open the minds of zoo visitors to the animals out in the world. They may never have money to see on safari, or in Everglades or on Galapagos islands. . . Then, when they hear of “global warming” they may picture polar bears and killer whales losing their ice and air. . . It really is beyond “a picture is worth a thousand words.” xo 💖 🕊
Of course I agree with you, but there is a lot going on behind the scenes, and we have no idea. As I always say – control and transparency is the main factor to run a successful zoo – ‘successful’ in the right sense of the word. Look at my pictures. The primates are depressed, you can see it with a naked eye. Two polar bears developed a mental illness and were transferred to another zoo. I can go on and on.
Extraordinary post, dear Inese…. I like the fact that the animals seem to be in their own habitat and not “caged”, as well…. Have a beautiful week ahead 😀 xx
Thank you dear Aquileana! Hope you have a wonderful week ahead! xx
Fabulous photos. Fantastic creatures. The beauty of creation simply awes me,
Thank you so much Nancy!
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