Friday, 6 November 2009

Dudley Zoo

We went to Dudley Zoo back in the summer and I didn't every get around to posting this....

I confess, I wanted to visit and I knew that Andy was not so keen on the idea. I also knew why. When Andy and I were younger, Dudley was rather a depressing place. The architecture was protected and yet it really did not provide the best conditions for the animals it housed. I have mixed feeling about zoos.
But, I recognise that firstly some animals that are in captivity cannot now be released back into the wild and secondly that they provide very necessary breeding programs.

I am also conscious of the educational awareness that they bring to children.

A lot of work has been undertaken at Dudley to greatly improve the habitat for the animals and thankfully, conditions are much improved.
The elephants rescued from a circus which caused so much controversy have been since moved to a zoo in France where they have more room.
The lions now have a huge area in which to roam. Lemur wood is fabulous and what's more, it enables the visitor to get a close view of these beautiful animals but under their terms so to speak. I have to say whoever thought of it was inspired.
I overheard one lady saying how terrible it was that they were in a zoo and what poor things!

Now, I am not an animal expert but having allergies of animal's means I spend a lot of time actually observing them rather than trying to interact with them. I suppose I cannot possibly gauge how they feel and they cannot tell us. But, I am very in tune with suffering and I thought that they seemed happy, healthy and well cared. I think I will save my pity for those pets that are living with abusive and uncaring owners.

The one thing that had gotten to me previously was the displayed boredom of the animals. I was pleased to see that there was little evidence this time; they all seem to be provided with a lot more stimulus.
It was also good to see that the feeding regime was interactive providing a good display and a workout for the animals.

Mind, there were times I did wonder as I was taking some of these images...who is actually watching who?

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Jennifer Rose said...

those are gorgeous photos and it does look like the animals were watching you too :)

glad to see a zoo improving :)

kaslkaos said...

I love this topic. I'm fortunate enough to live close to an excellent zoo with naturalized enclosures, and an ethical conservationist approach (Toronto Zoo). It's amazing how much natural curiosity is reciprocated across species, and the lines get blurred between us & them, as your images surely capture.

Chrissy said...

Hi Jen, Yeah I was glad it had improved, it did used to be sad tbh. However, it was nice to see what a difference some careful management had made.

Hi Ingrid, I guess without zoo's so many of us would not experience the wonder of some of the species. I do love to see them and that lemur was something else. There has been artwork elswhere on here that was the same one, he was incredibly interested in us and came to investigate!

Lana Gramlich said...

Great shots. Personally I find zoos a bit of a mixed blessing. I hate to see animals caged like that, but on the other hand, some zoos work extensively on aiding endangered species (i.e.; the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans has a whooping crane program.) Zoos brought the California condor back from the brink of extinction, so they can't be ALL bad.

soulMerlin said...

Hi Chrissy...and thank you for the visit in my return to's been a while since I could concentrate enought to blog and read..the smoking after 50yrs had such a hold that as soon as I started to read an enormous craving like a wave came over me. It still does a bit...but its getting better.

The photos are great and I really understand what you're getting at. Yet what is happening is very profound for the animals (I think) Because they are removed from the eat to live to eat cycle...they have more time (as we do) to think. Don't laugh (do if you want) But "Polo" my last hamster became so loving and intelligent because he didn;t have to live in fear and in survival mode. He really enjoyed our games....seriously.

We used to have a donkey in Joseph ...Cecil was his name. Animal rights did for him. No donkey now. They didn't ask him (the animal rights nuts) if he wanted to go on stage....he did and used to know his entrance music and was so proud.

Donkeys and Ponies are working animals...If they have no work to do...they why breed them? Animal Rights may be denying existance...



Chrissy said...

Lana, I think that it is it. We would all prefer it to be ideal but, life ain't like that and the successes, in my opinion lead me to believe that they have a very necesaary place on many levels.

Henry, I am glad it is getting better (not smoking) and hope it continues in that is all consuming for a while and people that have never smoked would find it difficult to comprehend.

I was never allowed pets cos I was allergic! But, somehow throughout my life I formed attachments on a number of levels.
When it comes to welfare of anyone, be it animal or human, I think we need to be careful of extremes. IMHO that is where it all goes wrong.
I can think of a few areas where being over zealous has been detrimental, minks for example in the animal world. But, even more fundamental, we wanted to protect children from abuse but somehow along the way, I think we removed guidance when we looked at discipline!
In my mind a little moderation and balance is the key...
Cecil huh ;) I bet he was loved...