Of Rusty Cages and Monkey Butts

So in spite of having lived within stone’s throw of the oldest zoo in India for most of my life, I can count the number of times I’ve visited it on one hand. Recently I decided to pop in and see how much it had changed (hopefully) with rollingstones2k16 and though I could see some difference, it was still vastly disappointing.

Not in the case of the animals housed, mind you. They had a very good ‘collection’. My issue was with the tiny spaces the animals were forced into and the general hygiene. It felt awful to take pictures, but you know what they say- a picture speaks louder than a thousand words. (Or something to that effect)

So the trivandrum museum is a pretty beautiful place.

I like going here, especially with friends, because it’s just a great place to sit and talk. Maybe take a couple of photos because the green of the grass in the background will make us look 110% better.

The zoo is a part of the Museum, and adults have to pay 20Rs as entrance fee (extra if you have a camera and plan to use it). Unless you run pretty fast, it’ll probably take you more than an hour to explore it.

The one thing I liked the most about the zoo is that they had directions at every corner so as to not give us the liberty of getting lost!

And the very first photo I had the pleasure of taking was that of a monkey’s perky butt. 😂

Most of the animals kept moving here and there restlessly, maybe because of the huge crowd that day. I was actually impressed with the first few enclosures. The monkeys had enough and more space to run, they had trees to climb AND a water source. Furthermore, there were no rusty fences keeping them at bay.

There were a LOT of trees around, so the walk was pleasant under their shade.

But then the path led us to the birds, and it was less than a pretty sight there.

When people think of birds, they immediately think of freedom- the kind of freedom flight would bring. These birds we kept in dingy cages that looked almost rusty, which may have made them easier for us to see but still made them look extremely exploited.

A few cages down,the enclosures began to get significantly larger,albeit with more birds. The creatures there paused and stood as still as statues. It made me wonder whether they were just posing for the cameras or perhaps something darker was at play.

There were these pretty trees at one point, and they had weirdly beautiful blossoms. I later came to know that they were called “Cannonball trees”.

When we reached the deer, they were being fed. I have to admit- when I saw so many of them in one place, I had this grand urge to just jump into the middle and waltz around like a Disney princess.

The leopards had a decent enclossure all for themselves. It looked clean.

Sadly, I could not say the same for another species of deer here in the Trivandrum zoo.

Then came the most harrowing sight of all. A stretch of smelly, dark cages where they kept birds, including the national bird of India- the Peacock.

The wild buffalo were larger than I’d ever imagined. It didn’t take long for my mind to conjure up images of being gorged by these beasts- but at the same time I wanted to touch and feel how soft their fur was. 

We couldn’t see the reptile house because we had another pressing engagement.

I admit, I’ve never been to another zoo, so I don’t know whether the conditions here are the norm. So maybe my criticism is unwarranted. The only other zoos I’ve ever seen are those oversees and that too through television. Maybe they will seem inadequate too in person.

However I can confidently say that there has been some positive change from the zoo I’d visited in the past. Even now, construction was going on in a new enclosure and maybe very soon, they will all become equally stunning.

Ps- A lot more animals were there, but because of my crappy photography skills  they all came out looking like pictures of UFOs- blurred beyond recognition. 

6 thoughts on “Of Rusty Cages and Monkey Butts

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