I haven’t been to the zoo in a very long time. Maybe I should do something about that.
I seem to remember being very fond of Melbourne Zoo as a child, we went an awful lot according to my memory. The exhibits were a little hit and miss, though this is not so much the fault of the zoo as the animal kingdom in general. Don’t get me wrong. Animals are incredible and do some pretty amazing things. Just look at, well, any David Attenborough documentary. But they also spend a very large amount of time just sitting around, eating, and the logical follow through of eating. Especially in a zoo, where – let’s be honest – they don’t really have much else to do.
Giraffe’s were pretty cool, as were elephants, but frankly they smelled and spent most of their time upwind, so I was always pretty glad when we moved on. The reptile house and nocturnal house featured some very interesting creatures but had the chief failing of being filled with creatures that a) spent a lot of time hiding, and b) were pretty damn good at it. So it was not so much “look at that lizard” as “look at that patch of dirt.” It was pretty exciting when we did see a snake or a jerboa, though (fortunately never in the same cage, that would end badly). Actually, even when it was “look at that lizard” it was engaging only in the short term. Ever a pragmatist even then, my internal response was generally “Ok, so I’ve looked at the lizard, now what?” Don’t get me wrong, I liked lizards, but I could only spend so long staring at one before I start wondering what’s in the next enclosure.
By far the most boring thing at the zoo was the monkeys though. They really weren’t doing anything interesting, and mainly just sat around looking depressed and giving off very strong vibes of “I don’t want to be here,” and generally the feeling was mutual. It probably sounds like I didn’t enjoy my zoo trips but I really did. They were great fun, I just honestly wanted to spend less time on each of the animals than my parents expected or hoped.
They say the average time a person visiting the Louvre spent looking at the Mona Lisa was 11 seconds. I feel roughly the same way about Chimpanzees.