I remember as a child, and I'm sure this is a real memory, seeing a Golden Eagle in Edinburgh Zoo. I remember being saddened that such a magnificent creature should be living in conditions where it's flight was restricted to a few metres.
I'm not sure that I was ever against Zoos though - adopting an attitude of ambivalence and recognising that they do perform a valuable service by way of conservation and education. Over the years, I've seen Edinburgh Zoo reduce the number of animals and increase the size of its enclosures as a more modern mindset and approach has been adopted.
In response, my feelings have softened and for the most part I'd now consider myself a supporter of zoos. That's not to say that I don't think that there are not still areas of concern or things that could be improved upon but the good vastly outweighs the bad.
On Friday, I went to Bristol Zoo Gardens - the first zoo other than Edinburgh that I've visited. In some respects is still a Victorian zoo - the site is much smaller than Edinburgh's and some of the enclosures seemed small in comparison, particularly that for the Asiatic Lions. The experience was, however, positive and I'll definitely be going back - especially as the battery in my phone died leaving me without pictures of some of my favourite creatures!
Here are some pictures I did take... more tomorrow!
|Shiva, Asiatic Lioness|
|Jasmina, Red Panda|
|Lizards (with apologies for lack of further detail)|
P.S. There's more on Edinburgh Zoo on the blog of the late Andrew Reeves.