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A quick review of Edinburgh Zoo!

By DiscoverGlasgowOrg, Jul 8 2014 06:03PM

Glasgow as a city has many sights, but one that is lacking is a zoo. Up until 2003 there had been a zoo, but funding issues and questions regarding the treatment of animals led to its demise.

However, Glaswegians can make the hour journey to the capital to see the wonders of Edinburgh Zoo. The sun was shining on the day that we visited, with many of the animals lolling around in the warm daylight. We arrived to be greeted by a family of meerkats, and left having met both of the Pandas, Tian Tian and Yang Guang, who it was announced might be pregnant!

We also were lucky enough to see the elusive Golden Cat, pawing the window, eyeing us up for lunch. The excellent zoo keeper, who we also met at the eagles talk later on, said we were very lucky to get the photos that we did.

The penguins were of course out in force, flying through the water right under our feet!

The only real disappointing aspect of the visit to the zoo were the humans visiting at the same time. I personally wish for greater animal equality in my lifetime. I think hunting and killing animals to extinction in this day and age of dominance and self-sufficiency only shows how utterly backwards we are as a species, whether it be rich cowards shooting lions, poachers stripping elephants, or whalers harpooning their catch. Some would say that it is hypocritcal to visit a zoo, where animals are locked up, and hold these views, but zoos often provide shelter for animals who may have died in the wild. Not only that, but they help educate and nurture our own understanding of the animal kingdom, and our growing position as guardians to these beautiful creatures, both big and small.

Yet two instances at the zoo made me angry beyond belief, and ashamed to be human. The first was a young family who brought their five or six year old son to the zoo. With a large toy gun. Seriously.

The second was a middle aged woman banging on the glass of the leopard habitat, trying to wake the poor cat up. It was almost beyond comprehention, but then I realised that this person and the group she was with had it in their heads that the animals were there to amuse and entertain. Some of you may agreee, but I'm afraid I do not. Edinburgh Zoo is a great place to visit, and children and adults alike will be fixated by the wide range of animals. What it is not is a circus. The handlers, helpers and volunteers clearly love their jobs, evident from speaking to them, and hearing them offer facts and stories about the animals as if they were people. That's what I chose to take away from my visit.

Our full set of photos can be seen on our Facebook page.

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