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?