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.