This week, our letter theme is Z, for Zoology.
Mother Duck said “Quack Quack, Quack Quack” and all the five little ducks came back .. and brought friends with them!
It’s mildly amusing, I suppose, that when we visited the world-famous San Diego zoo, one of our favourite photos was of a duck and her ducklings – not exactly exotic or rare 🙂
We were wandering between exhibits – I think this on ‘eagle trail’, near the enclosure containing eagles and other birds of prey – when I spotted these 9 ducklings and their mum .. and I couldn’t help but stop for a photo: such cuteness!
But its an interesting thing: people were at the zoo to share with nature, and these were just another example, in a way.
The San Diego Zoo has a lot more, of course: recognised as one of the best zoos in the world, the Balboa Park facility has more than three and a half thousand animals, from 650 species or subspecies.
Other than the aviaries, most exhibits at San Diego Zoo are ‘cageless’ – open plan areas allowing the animals to roam in terrain as close to their native habitat as possible.
In fact, SD Zoo was a pioneer in adopting that strategy – as far back as the early ’20s, moated enclosures were set up for the big cats and it is very active in conservation and species preservation efforts.
Of course, there is an argument that zoos are inherently bad – that they rely on treating animals as ‘entertainment’ for their business model.
But given the role that zoos like San Diego play in preservation and conservation, most people give them a ‘pass’ believing that the good they do vastly compensates for the perceived bad.
If you don’t have a philosophical objection to zoos, and you find yourself in Southern California, then there are few better ways to spend a day.
And for Aussies, there’s even an exhibit with wallabies and wombats, kookaburras and koalas – plus Tasmanian devils, being raised as part of the Australian government’s “Save the Devil” program.