The zoo field trip was, in a word, disappointing. I really had a terrible time. Alright, possibly not terrible, but not in any way good. Let’s not be too dramatic. It began just fine, with a lovely welcome back by my kids. It warmed my heart really. As I walked into my classroom I was nearly knocked over by my swarm of children running to grab my legs. They missed me! It was a wonderful welcome. The hour long bus ride went well-it passed quickly and everyone was relatively quiet. But things took a turn for the worse as we arrived at the “ZooZoo” (it’s real name) and took our seats at the monkey show. The 20 minute show consisted of 6 small little monkeys, all with leashes around their necks, being forced to do tricks-generally being flipped around by the neck-leash. They were also knocked on the heads by their trainer and when he brought out a yardstick for them to jump over they shrunk back in fear before performing each trick. Not my idea of a fun-filled show. After the show ended, we split into groups of two classes each, leaving Gloria and I with Koala and Lion class. As we wandered the small zoo property, all to be seen was row upon row of too-small, dirt-floor cages filled with unhappy animals. There was no effort put into replicating the actual habitats of these animals. The lion, the poor, poor lion, paced her dusty, empty, 10′ x 10′ cell and looked prepared to eat a small child. I wouldn’t have blamed her. In a completely surprising turn, there were cats in cages on display, as well as dogs. Dogs, really? TONS of people in Korea have dogs. Why they are in the zoo, I have no idea. It was all just too depressing. I am not a huge propenent of zoos in the first place, although I understand the positive aspects of being able to show animals to the masses that would otherwise never be seen, giving a greater sense of the vastness of our world to many, as well as an providing an educational tool for children and adults. When consideration is placed onto making a HOME for these animals, rather than using them as a way to turn a profit, the pros outweigh the cons. The animals are provided for and taken care of in a way that mimics their natural lifestyle and humans have the chance to learn from their behavior and introduce new generations to the wonders of the world. It’s beneficial to all. This travesty we visited today was nothing I would like to see again. I am incredibly disappointed. Here are some photos of the day. Cute kids do make everything better!
Just so no one thinks I’m a complete negative nancy, I will include some more pictures of one of my new favorite things. Mostly, the overwhelming cuteness that is…..small children sleeping! Behold, and smile.
Those little faces make everything worth it.