Monday, August 20, 2007

Get it together, LPZ

I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo on Saturday. I could have gone back to the Brookfield Zoo to try to re-take some of the pics I lost when the old camera was stolen, but that's like $20 + parking and shit. LPZ is free, so fuck that Brookfield noise.

Rain reared its ugly head while I was waiting for the #22 bus to whisk me away. I thought, "Nah, it's not going to rain. Tom Skilling said no, This'll pass by the time I get to the zoo."

I got to the zoo and it was just a drizzle, so I headed indoors to the monkey house. The monkey house wasn't big, and each display area (for lack of a better term) seemed cramped and crowded compared to the spacious primate digs at Brookfield. The monkeys, usually a source of mirth and frivolous laughter, were pretty depressing. They were just sitting around. One or two of them got the gumption to run around, but then they settled down.

The outdoor monkey area was awash in a horrid stench that was hard to take even in the cleansing rain. Green, scary looking water flowed down the waterfall there, and I didn't linger. It was depressing. The baboons out there couldn't even get out of the rain - there was no shelter there. They sat slumped against fake rocks looking dejected and unamused. The most depressing part was how resigned they looked to their current state of affairs. If I were a 400 pound baboon stuck in that shitty habitat, I would hell of make some noise about it. Rip open some fake rocks, start hurling some rock facade at those fucking kids who won't shut up. I would get down to business.

The poor fish, they were all jammed up together. Every fish display I saw, they were packed in like sardines. One display had a hippo in there, too. The whole display was probably smaller than my apartment, which is two rooms plus a bathroom and a kitchen. That's it. And it's bigger than the place where this hippo has to live with all these fish. 90% of the display is water, poor Hippo has two little dry areas at each end of the water. Fucking depressing.

Blurry pic of hippo:

Hippo comes:

Hippo goes:

Look at this, you can see the back wall. It's painted blue so as to fool the casual observer, who might not notice the shadows of the fish on the wall:

The cat house was only half full. The cats that were there looked emaciated and sad. One of them jumped into the gully between the habitat and the place where we all stand around leering. He was pretty pissed off when he got down there:

There was one lonely polar bear. He actually had quite a nice enclosure. I couldn't get a decent shot of it because of the rain, but he had a nice rock area and a big swimming pool. But he kept just swimming around in a circle in one little corner of the pool. It was as if he knew full well that there was no point in going to the other end of the pool because it was the same depressing scene over there, so it was better to save his energy and just hang out in his corner.

The camels all stood together as if they were scared to be more than five feet from each other. One of the camels had a bockety hump:

All in all, a pretty fucking depressing day at the zoo. It was fun to watch the ducks, though. And the kids were kind of funny when they were standing by the bat display and the bats would come flying right at them, sense the glass then fly the other way. It would have been depressing if those kids weren't screaming bloody murder and running away.

It wasn't the rain that made it depressing, it was the lack of happy animals. What the hell kind of zoo doesn't have a fucking elephant?

You get what you pay for, I guess. From here on out, it's Brookfield zoo all the way.

Oh, here are some of the pics I took there. I'll add more later:

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