I stand firmly with those who believe that animals belong in the wild and must not be caged for the pleasure of human viewing. People no longer have to go to zoos to see wild and exotic creatures, they can see them on the internet.The shooting of Harambe, the silverback gorilla at Cincinnati zoo makes a good case for this argument. On the other hand, the internet can provide more information than zoos do, yet zoos serve well to generate empathy for animals. The sight, sound, smell; the very presence of the animal fills the heart in a way no internet image could.
We went to the Binghamton Zoo mainly because we were in the area and they have a snow leopard. A small zoo, in a small town; we weren’t expecting much. The zoo was a pleasant surprise. The zoo is full of exotic, hard to see species like red pandas, lemurs, cougars, golden timur monkeys, arctic foxes, penguins, the snow leopard.. and then there are peacocks, otters, a bear, owls, eagles, vultures, a nile leopard and some more. The last one hour is free. When the zoo closes the animals retire into a private space beyond the viewing enclosure. Much like a day job.
Do pop in if you ever get a chance, and please please please try not to fall into the bear enclosure.