Zoo Knoxville has a new exhibit called “Asian Trek”. There are two male tigers and one female tiger, plenty of Asian decor, and a family of white-naped cranes (with a baby!). They kids saw the billboards on I-40 several months ago, advertising the tiger exhibit, so they have wanted to go for some time.
We finally made it there last week. It was better than I expected. They have a pagoda and Chinese lanterns and music as you go through the Asian trek. There are lots of facts about how few tigers remain the world (400 of them of this one species) and about tigers in general.
Through the thick glass, we can look at a tiger up close. If you remember, the tigers used to be in their own enclosure, pretty far away from the public. Now you can practically high five the tiger through the glass. My son did that.
The female tiger was brought in from California three months ago and she is still recovering from the stress of her journey. I think it is cute how much care they receive. All these animal activists who managed to close down the circus are now working on closing down zoos. Their arguments do not make sense. Animals are taken care of so well in American zoos.
Our children love animals and they learn about them at the zoo more than from a book – though I am all for reading about animals. We are vegetarian for several reasons and one of them is the humane side of things. We do not want to eat animals. Zoos provides such wonderful lessons in zoology and even botany as we see what kind of plants would grow in a certain area where a particular species lives, for instance.
They are building yet another exhibit at Zoo Knoxville, but I am afraid I did not see a lot of patrons walking around. Are zoos dying? Is our zoo dying? We will have to go there more consistently to really draw a definitive conclusion.
We have had an annual pass for several years now and we renew it faithfully, but this year it almost doubled in price. Yikes! No wonder people don’t want to come to the zoo anymore.
We, annual zoo members, are made to pay for the drop in ticket sales, is my guess. Here’s hoping this is not a downward spiral for our zoo or for zoos in general.