Posted by: Nathan | August 27, 2006

It’s all happening at the zoo…

So they say, anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, J and I got to spend a warm, sunny Sunday with J’s sister Jessi and her fiancé Dan at the Denver Zoo. It was a pretty cool zoo, but I think we all stayed longer than we wanted to–we spent too much time at the less exciting exibits and not enough at the cooler ones. Oh well.

One of the things that really frustrates me about going to zoos is not seeing the animals that are supposed to be there. Now, I understand that habitats need remodeling from time to time, so naturally I won’t see all the animals. What really ticks me off is when zoo folk build habitats that are so commodious for the animals that the humans can’t find them. I don’t pay $9.50 to see a really sweet jungle habitat; I want to see some dang monkeys! I’m all for having nice cages for the animals who spend their lives in captivity, but if we have to shrink their cages in order for the visiting public to see these creatures, I say so be it.

Look at me making it sound like we had a rotten time. It was quite fun. It’s always enjoyable to see some of the amazing creatures God has made, and Denver Zoo has quite a number of good exibits.

The rest of this post will be nifty pictures. Enjoy!








Good times were had by all.


  1. Looks like great fun! I now realize just how lucky we are to live in DC, where the monuments and zoos are free of charge.

  2. I’m very happy that you had a good time, and sorry that you couldn’t see all the animals. I like your pictures, though!
    Ok, here is my two cents on caging animals. The way I see it, one may think it would be nice to see the animals all the time – but with bigger spaces for them to live in it means that you will see them acting more like they would naturally. Small cages make for sad animals – something I don’t want to see or even allow to happen. Remember the polar bear at Como Zoo. Sure, everyone could see him all the time, but he had developed nervous ticks that reduced him to something he never should have been – just a big lump of fur wearing a path through the pool, to the wall, and back again.
    I know you don’t want sad/pent up animals, either. This is just an important issue for me (as some from college in remembering The Burn may recall) so I figured I’d share.

  3. Excellent point — no one likes crazy polar bears. What I want is a happy medium: cages that are large enough so that the animals feel pretty at home, but not cages that are so large that they really could be home. As long as viewers can locate an animal, I don’t care how large the cage is. But if the cage becomes the equivalent of their natural habitat (especially one with lots of trees, branches, and other things that get in the way), I say scale it back.

  4. Great pics. I loved watching the Como polar bear swim in circles until I knew it was from distress. I’m pretty dense.

    Anyway, check out this article about Polar Bears swimming in an “Endless Pool” that simulates an arctic stream. Zoo’s have hope with new technology like this.

  5. Jason, neat article! Actually, I think I’ve seen this at the Brookfield Park and Lincoln Park zoos in Chicago. It was awesome – I think they had it for both the seals and the polar bears. Those became some of my favorite exhibits because you could go down to a basement to watch them underwater and they loved it and did tricks! They really did just float along underwater on their backs! I would love to see Como get that, but I bet it costs a lot.
    Did they have this as the Denver Zoo, Nathan? By the way, I agree that it is nice to have an exhibit where you can see the animals. 🙂

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