They Don’t Really Like Us, Do They?


Back when I was a kid, the Zoo was not an Animal Friendly place.

It was all concrete and people throwing peanuts at the animals and the Primate House was like- as I would discover years later- like walking onto a Psyche ward.

Those Gorillas and Chimps would sit there and glare at you and when they played it looked frantic.  People would point and make faces  at them and  they ( the humans ) would wave their babies around  and make Monkey faces and I would think:

” Those Monkeys don’t like us and they look really, really sad.”

So when my family would wander around and look at the animals I would be quiet- which was not the way I normally behaved. After my family had taken in the bears and big cats  I would start in about going to the Nocturnal House and the Reptile House to see the snakes and bats and bugs  and I kept asking until I made my family’s ears bleed.

I wasn’t a big fan of reptiles- however I liked the bats because they looked like cats with wings and my Mom refused to let us have cats back then so hanging around the Bats at the zoo  was as close as I could get to cats.

Plus I liked the little bowls of blood they had out for the tiny Vampire Bats and I loved the Fruit Bats because  they were big and I was sure they’d make great pets and I even had a spot picked out in our house two keep one or 15 of them.

So why did I like the Reptile House so much if I wasn’t a Reptile fan?

I liked it because the Reptiles looked alive.

Reptiles looked right  at you and when  they did it looked like they would like nothing better then to crawl out of their cages and eat you  bit by bit and I had heard some of them would stash body parts from their kills for snacks.

I felt sorry for the other animals, they looked sad and broken and if you really watched them, it was obvious. They didn’t like people very much.

The Reptiles though, they were not looking sad and broken and if they had gotten loose and eaten their way out of the zoo and hid body parts up and down Aurora- even as a kid in Kindergarten I understood one thing-

it would have been fair.

Maybe even right.


5 thoughts on “They Don’t Really Like Us, Do They?

  1. You’ve a very intriguing persona Anita. This anecdote is interesting. I was staying at place two years ago where monkeys were abundant–they were glee and thier young ones were so cute–I used to feed them all and they started liking me. I loved them but observed that their elders didn’t let them eat properly and used to snatch thier food away. How strange isn’t it?


    • I’m guessing the elders weren’t feeding their young because they themselves were being fed by humans so they were not foraging for food on their own ( it kept them in youngster mode.) So the elders began competing for that food as if their young were siblings. I think in many zoos now days the animal habitats and the animals are being cared for properly. Back when I was a child- and this was over 40 years ago – you could actually buy peanuts to feed to the animals and people would actually throw other food- like candy and popcorn and marshmallows to the bears and elephants.

      • Very interesting. Are you in 40s? You look much younger 🙂 I understand it’s because of the lack of availability of food. But humans would generally let their young get fed before them and hence my wonder 🙂

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