Friday, March 31, 2006

MONKEYS ON A HOT TIN ROOF

Today I drove with my kids a total of 3 hours to spend the day at the zoo in Asheboro. Usually, I leave zoos feeling rather sorry for the animals, but these guys seemed pretty happy (although still not free). The habitats at this zoo are spacious and simulate their natural homes. Notice the word "simulate." At the Patas Monkey Island exhibit, when the monkeys ran you could hear that the rocks were really made of metal. The elephant exhibit is being enlarged and is already an impressively huge African plain area. The only problem with all this spaciousness was the amount of walking involved - picture me huffing a double stroller uphill. My son's favorite animals were probably the gorillas who were so close - one napping the other playing peek-a-boo with a blanket. My daughter enjoyed the red wolf and kept saying, "She's so beautiful." I loved the elephants.

Red Elephants

I've never seen captive elephants like that:
running, rolling, making actual elephant noises
over the great, green plain below the viewing balcony
unaware of the viewers and yellow machines
reshaping their habitat in some way
with gashes of red dirt the three elephants wallow in
until dusted the color of unearthed land.

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