Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

In a fortuitous encounter with a zoo keeper, we once stood together looking at a gorilla in a cement indoor cage without sunlight, with phony trees & foliage & not a single thing from nature. As gorillas always do in zoos, he put his back to us. Where I saw bereavement & misery & said so to the stranger standing near me, she said, “Oh no, I’m the zoo keeper. I assure you he’s very happy. We see to his intellectual stimulation every Thursday by hiding his food & making him hunt for it.” Here the caption to this photo from Tokyo says, the “monkey named Junior performs in front of a boy during a street performance.” Does this sad little monkey look like he’s having a barrel of fun? Children very often are disturbed by the treatment of animals at zoos & circuses because they see what many adults do not--that animals are living & emotional creatures, not toys, not performers, not spectacles.  (Photo by Shizuo Kambayashi/AP)

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