Oh the Zoo! I feel like I’m six years-old

Osaka Travel Blog

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Random Observation/Comment #: I refuse to wash my hands from the so called “clean water” spouting from the top of the toilet. I don’t trust that shyt (no pun intended).
This visit to the zoo would mark a momentous occasion of being the first time: a) going with a camera and b) having the knowledge of all the existing animals. It must have been at least 12 years ago since I’ve gone to see some caged animals pose for its eager fan club. I have vivid memories of seeing all of these animals in some place or time, but it was probably just my imagination running away with itself during the series “Planet Earth.” Actually, I see no other explanation, because all of these memories are accompanied by a deep-voiced British narrator (not Aliens’ girl, BBC version is so much better).
The Tennoji zoo didn’t particularly start me with high expectations due to the faded signs and cheap 500 yen entrance fee. Fortunately, my low expectations left me pleasantly surprised of the zoo’s diversity and very cute animals. It’s no comparison to the Bronx zoo, but it looks like they tried pretty hard to put together a nice 2 hour walk. Tennoji Park (adjacent to Tennoji zoo) was 700 yen, so I chose the koalas over the flowers.
I didn’t miss the smell of the zoo – that stale water and feces smelled so bad it stung my eyes. The animals’ loud calls for help have all been misunderstood. Imagine what they would be saying if you could only understand their language. I wonder if each group/herd/pack has their own separate dialect or other form of communication used only between family members and close friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if lions released from these zoos are harassed for their Zoo accents and different cultures. Those animals completely secluded from the real world would be analogous to a person living in a bubble, only taught by the knowledge of the people they lived with. Even with curiosity and a creative imagination, there is no substitute for immersing yourself in an environment.
The more I think about their position in their societies, the more I see that these animals are spoiled by the daily meals and easily accessible mates. What survival skills do they have if we basically hand them fillet? Almost all of the animals came in packs, or at least, pairs. Your best friends are with you 8 hours a day posing for pictures until you go home to your cage (with no TV or internet to pass the time). You can never understand a word your boss says to you, but he has this horrifying power of withholding the rewards you think you deserve. And worst of all, any complaints are received in deaf ears – or even worse, seen as a sign of aggression. What choice do you have?
It sounds similar to a pampered slave where their only purpose in life is their existence and a continual conformist attitude (cough, movie stars, cough). Would you take the blue pill like this lion or the red pill and open your eyes to cold-blooded murder? The more I see of the real world, a part of me wants to retreat back to my caged life with prepared meals and predetermined schedules. Oh, how I missed that life where responsibility is replaced by dependency – If only I realized this potential for mischievous actions.
I was this caged animal set free to a larger cage in this larger zoo where you need to fend for yourself and look for your own mate. What did my smaller cage experience contribute to make this adjustment smoother? Not surprisingly, it wasn’t from those teachers with whips who tried to poison my brain with stupid tricks. No – it was the common sense and initiative to learn new skills. An indescribable instinct formed to evaluate choices and weigh decisions. The concept of responsibility and consequence slowly crept into each fold of the brain and built a foundation. Why is everything a cage?
Err, I think I’ve overanalyzed the zoo enough today.
~See Lemons Take Pictures of Aminals

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photo by: yasuyo