They can be fun and educational for kids and adults, if they’re paying attention, but they hold animals that would range over thousands of square miles in a complex of a few dozen acres. Many contend zoos make people care more about the planet’s other inhabitants, but others dispute the notion. They work to bring animals closer to us, but we’re still safely remote behind windows, fences or moats. Zoos expand enclosures, but animals still grow either lethargic or edgy, pacing over and over.
Zoos are tricky.
These issues were on my mind when I went to the Tulsa Zoo this weekend. I don’t know the answers. I had a good time in Tulsa, and I’ve seen animals I’d never see in person otherwise thanks to Tulsa and the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo. It’s hard to argue with the excitement and wonder from kids as they watched the elephants and chimps and hellbender salamanders. Maybe the only answer is zoos are good and bad.
Anyway, here are some photos.