Zoo Rules

Dear J-

A few trips ago, we kept seeing apologetic signs at the Zoo talking about the new hippo — he had angry cracks on his back, which the signs explained was because he was having trouble fitting in with the rest of the family unit. It reminds me a little of when we first brought Oliver home with Bean — both dogs thought they were dominant, but the squabble a week later sorted things out pretty well; however, the new hippo has since been taken off-exhibit and we haven’t seen him much lately. It’s hard to reconcile the docile side they show — whenever we see them, they’re always in the same corner, soaking with only their nostrils above water, nearly as inert as the rocks nearby — with the violence you know they can muster.

Funani Soak 0920 -sm

The Zoo’s reached a slow point again, off-season and so even on the weekend, the crowds weren’t thick around the most charismatic animals; our favorite routes were all flowing freely along. Whenever we go, there’s always a few people we keep seeing over and over again, especially when the visitors are relatively sparse; once you’re on certain paths, after all, you keep running into the same folks — there aren’t that many branches. So you end up with the choice of either cooperating or fighting; either rivals or fellows, but no choices in between.

Funny that we should believe that ourselves so far above animal emotions and yet here we are feeding rivalries for silly reasons: jockey for position, see the most animals, get in line first; how can we continue to push our personal agendas on our days off? Quiet moments are rare enough that we shouldn’t seek to introduce conflict — point out the animals to others, take your turn and move along without resentment.

Mike

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