Mixed feelings is what I had when we saw our first animal at the zoo and stopped to take pictures. It was the clouded leopard, which we see in the feature photo. Of course he is beautiful, and on my first trip to the zoo with the photo group I was so happy to get pictures that looked right through the glass or the bars of the cages and only saw the animals themselves. The excitement to find that you could do that was the take-away for me on that first visit. But this time when I saw this leopard he was in exactly the same position laying on that log. The pictures I took on Tuesday are nearly identical to the ones I took a couple of years ago. I thought of all I had done in those years, and it broke my heart that such a magnificent creature was still in the same place. I understand the good that zoos do, but for a little while my heart broke for this one creature. He is safe and cared for, but I wanted to see his eyes. I wondered what he was thinking…
And the next creature we came to continued this theme, because I took this same picture of him several years ago also. It’s not an alligator, and when I took it’s picture I made a mental note of what it’s actually called, and promptly forgot. Twice.
Soon we came to this bear, and again, I took nearly this same photo before. Actually I think he didn’t look up at me last time.
And the Malayan Tiger pacing in and out of it’s den was distressing.
But any mixed feelings I was having left me when we got to the orangutans. Maybe it’s their interaction with each other that made the difference, but it cheered me up to see them. We can’t know for sure what he was thinking, but is that a smile?