I know that there are people out there who have moral objections to zoos. I think that they feel it is wrong to capture animals and put them behind bars to be on display for people’s amusement. In an ideal world where habitat shrinkage is simply a fantasy, where poaching is imaginary and where animals threatened with extinction are part of a make-believe world, I would be with them. But this is far from an ideal world and this world is not going to change in the foreseeable future.
I am not so naïve as to believe that all zoos are benign and that all animals in zoos are treated well. But there are zoos that do treat animals well and do important work in education and conservation. The zoo in Columbus, Ohio is one of them.
We have been passing Columbus for many years on our way to and from visits to my family in Southern Ohio. On this trip back to Massachusetts, my daughter Carrie and I decided to stop.
Our first stop in the zoo was in the North America region. There are three Polar Bears living there. This is one of the two zoo-born sisters, Aurora or Anana, who lives there. Her diving technique reminds me of watching Carrie learn to dive back when she was a little kid.
She was diving in to grab what we were told was frozen fruit juice. It looks to me like she was pretty happy with her catch.
This little girl was fascinated watching the Polar Bear swimming with the fish. Who knows? Maybe this experience will spark a love that will encourage her to become a conservationist or an environmentalist in the future.
This is either Brutus or Buckeye, one of two Alaskan Brown Bears orphaned outside of Anchorage, Alaska. I was impressed with the size of these bears. They can get to be 700 pounds of pure bear. It makes me wonder if I wasn’t born the wrong species.
But if you want to talk about size, check this guy out. Well, actually, I believe this is a girl because she has no antlers, but a Bull Moose can weigh up to 1,200 pounds. It is not outside the realm of possibility for us to run across a moose here in Massachusetts. As a matter of fact, they have been spotted in our neighborhood a couple of times over the years we have lived here. But I have never had the luck to see one in the wild. This particular moose is one of three orphans rescued in Alaska and sent to the Columbus Zoo in 2011.
Next stop, a trip to the Shores and beyond…