Sunday, 11 February 2018

Welsh Mountain Zoo

Back in April we had a trip to the Welsh Mountain Zoo, which I really loved and took some top notch animal photos that I think are definitely worth sharing. However, because I'm me and I worry about this sort of thing, I just want to take a quick moment to talk about zoos in general before we look at the cute animals, because my feelings on them have changed quite a bit since April.

I've only really been to three zoos: Edinburgh zoo, Berlin zoo, and the Welsh Mountain Zoo. These are all pretty good zoos, at least as I experienced them, and so it's been quite easy for me to be happy with the concept of a zoo at face value. Every zookeeper (is that the right blanket term?) I've ever met at these zoos has been very caring and knowledgeable and I can't fault them at all.

I don't want to say that zoos can never be important for conservation and that sort of thing, but recently I have become much more unsure that it's okay for us to keep animals in captivity beyond that... just for our own entertainment, essentially. I don't know. It's something I'm thinking about. I keep animals as pets, is it that different than that? The whole issue of pets is another thing I've wrestled with in the past, which is why we decided to rescue our guinea pigs and our rats come from a local not for profit rat breeder instead of a pet shop mill. My thoughts have always been along the lines of that if I choose to bring animals into my home then the deal is that I have to make sure they have the best life possible and don't support unethical breeding. (If you fancy a weep I was recommended this blog post recently because of some of the pet stuff we had going on. I worry a lot about my responsibilities as a pet keeper.)

Back to zoos, I think especially at the Mountain Zoo, lovely and caring as the staff were, it did make me wonder if a mountain in Wales really is an appropriate place to keep some of these animals just for the general public's viewing convenience. I'm not sure I know exactly where this leaves me, but I think it's worth talking about. Sorry for getting a bit preachy, but I'd feel irresponsible presenting these photos without mentioning how I feel about it now.

But now, let's look at all the adorable animals!

The bird show was one of my favourite parts. The birds all seemed to have such fun working relationships with their keepers, especially the birds of prey. The military macaws were wonderfully cheeky and penguins, it seems to me, are born show offs.

The lemur walk was incredible, the lemurs were so chilled out and happy to lounge just in front of you. They were very obliging models! I'm in love with their tiny furry people hands.

A mountain seems a particularly weird place for a zoo, but it does make for very lovely views.

I don't have any photos but there was also a huge enclosure full of guinea pigs. You'd think that being able to go home and see guinea pigs whenever I want would mean I'm less interested in seeing other, different guinea pigs, but... no. I continue to be excited to see each additional individual guinea pig the world has to offer. I'm sure you understand.

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