I've been to the Lincoln Park Zoo researching for my Animal Behavior class a couple of times over the last few weeks, and even though I dread the packed 151 bus trips*, I really enjoy my time at the Zoo. Taking walks there has been so calming and wonderful- a nice change from being in the Loop. It's really quiet, there are babies around every corner, and true to Midwestern form, the leaves on the trees are all bright yellow and orange. Today I actually stopped and said out loud, "those are some yellow leaves." I talk to myself a lot at the zoo. I talk to the animals, too. Sometimes I'll ask them how or what they're doing, but mostly I say things like, "look at that sweet baby" or, "poor baby." Most of the animals' pens are really spacious and nice-looking, but I feel like some of them don't have quite enough room. I've seen a lot of animals pacing or swimming in the same patterns over and over again, which makes me feel really awful. The title of this post is a joke, but I really do feel guilty when going to zoos. I feel like, in general, the people that work in zoos have good intentions that are rooted in conservation and education, but there's something kind of messed up about watching animals in fake environments, with tags on their arms being yelled at by middle schoolers and other assholes. Today, I saw this teenage girl banging on the glass between her and a sleeping lion. I was watching her, shaking my head without realizing it. Then she and the boy she was with looked over at me. I walked away, hoping they weren't the kind of people to shank a bitch for giving dirty looks.
ANYWAY, the point of this post is to bring attention to some of the gorgeous decorative arts and architectural details at the zoo. Every time I go, I notice a pretty little something. I've been taking a lot of pictures of flowers to draw later, but mostly I'm really, really interested in all of the little unique bits and bobs that adorn the animal houses. I really want to go to the Harold Washington and research the evolution of the zoo and how the buildings have changed over the years.
Here are some interesting links:
-I would like someone to make me a personalized piñata for my birthday (or Earth Day) at some point in my life.
-Scroll down to see some pictures of Bushman
*Today there were three teenagers sitting by me who couldn't stop talking (loudly) about the albino man that had gotten on with some friends at the stop after ours. It was really weird. Like, they didn't recognize that he had any sort of condition, they just seemed to have a kind of disdain for him. They thought he'd dyed his hair white because he was arrogant and wanted to make a *statement* or something. Then, one of the kids started talking about his friend's mother and her "mild case of Tourette's." He said she'd once told a man wearing a white jumpsuit at the grocery store that he looked like a hot dog. He also mentioned that she had Social Anxiety Disorder, too and that she was "always good for a laugh." Jeebus!
I hope my kids don't turn out to be bratty little shits.