Thursday, 22 April 2010

Behind the glass walls

Was browsing through some photos from last year's trip to the San Diego Zoo and was suddenly struck by the whole mockery of having Polar Bears in the temperate zone. "Not so polar!" as a friend commented on the photo. This year, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I saw some Penguins pattering around in a temperature controlled enclosure. In one way it was really great. I saw animals I'd probably not have the chance to see otherwise and some of these places are doing a really great job at breeding species that are otherwise declining rapidly due to the destruction of their natural habitats due to one or the other reasons.

But as I browsed through those photos of Polar Bears and Gorillas in these mammoth glass enclosures that are cages nevertheless I ended up thinking how sad it is that the only places that we can see some of these animals is in cages because there are so few of them in the wild. Also, somehow, the experiences just do not seem to compare. I end up feeling much more awed watching a National Geographic or David Attenborough documentary on Gorillas than to see one doing exactly the same thing (which is to be chomping on some twigs) behind a glass wall.

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