A Sunny Day in a Zoo
This story begins with a dog.
A family in China adopted a dog , a Tibetan Mastiff, and kept feeding him large amount of food regularly. They lived happily with this large dog but after 02 years they realized that this miraculous dog can walk on 02 legs. Some wise soul in their village realized that it was an Asiatic Black Bear. Finally, it was sent to a zoo.
I am ! No doubt about it !
Think about the stupidity quotient of these people,their neighbours included, who failed to detect a bear in their bedroom ?
How can you not realize the difference between a bear and dog ?
You may have some doubts but I think if they had visited a zoo and knew about bear and other such furry animals, they would have been a little wiser in choosing their pet. Their knowledge about wild animals must have been limited to National Geographic Channel or You Tube -sort of videos on their LED screens.
You can make an Artificial Intelligence but Natural Intelligence is hard to come by.
So, this is the importance of a Zoological Park shortened as Zoo for kids as well as everyone in the family.
But, going to zoo in India isn’t a cool outing and there is a subtle class difference among the crowd, you find usually on holidays and Sundays. Rich people normally don’t visit zoo and even if they do, they do so in battery-operated Golf Carts.
It’s like taking bath wearing a plastic robe. You see water sliding on your body, but you didn’t get drenched. So, it’s good for nothing sort of bath.
Some old schools still bring students for study and observations in a zoo, but it’s not a normal course of picnic spot for young kids.
Thinking of zoo in an urban setting is a fairly new concept, not more than 200-300 years old. Though, in modern times , zoos within city limits provide a breath of fresh air, especially in a polluted city like Delhi.
Earlier, kings or immensely rich people used to keep collection of exotic animals and later on their collection helped in creating modern zoos in many cities around the world.
Few rich people enjoy keeping animals in their home even now. Michael Jackson had tigers, Giraffes, parrots and his favorite Chimpanzee inside his home. Even Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar had elephants, buffaloes and camels in his private zoo. His African Hippopotamuses are still running in jungles of Colombia.
May be they are looking for his soul in deep jungles.
Think about those large animal’s fate in South American jungles. How much homesickness, they would have felt ? Think about body weight of Hippos, they can gain up to 3200 Kgs. or may be more. What sort of contribution these large animals would have made in his business-like drug cartel . How much drugs a Hippo can consume ?
Hippos always have a tough life ? Be it in human form or animal form.
So, few days back I decided to visit Delhi Zoo on a sunny day.
I went on bright Sunday morning and was surprised by the large crowd near entrance. Car parking was full to the brim.
Delhi Zoo is strategically situated between Purana Qila and Humayun’s Tomb in a sprawling and verdant campus. It’s bang opposite the Pragati Maidan. So, you can realize the difference between animals on the road and in the zoo.
Yes, traffic in Delhi can be chaotic sometimes and you wonder that whether animals from Zoo are driving inside large and comfy SUVs and gasoline-guzzling Sedans.
When I tried to find the ticket counter near entrance, I was disappointed. Got to know from few knowledgeable persons in the vicinity (you always find such wise and helpful persons in public places in India) that ticket counters were sacrificed during Covid -wave as animals in zoo were afraid of getting infected by physical/paper-printed tickets. So, animals of zoo preferred to deal in QR codes and idea of online tickets germinated.
Oh…. good riddance.. paper tickets were killing machines as huge amount of wood and water was wasted in generating good for nothing tickets.
So, online is always better as it gives you power during purchase of tickets.
But, as I was planning to open a webpage and book tickets, few wise people offered to provide tickets to me ?
I was happy for few seconds as it’s tough to open a webpage near a jungle where 5G had the speed of 1.5 G.
But, are there any free lunches ? This helpful young boy told me to pay premium service tax of 25 % per person.
I was astonished by the audacity of this young boy but no one else was ?
There was a mini-market below a large Banyan tree(as it was providing shades in sunny morning) and people were happily paying extra money to avoid the cumbersome process of receiving OTP(One-Time Password) on their phones.
As long as there are lazy people in the world…. the business of smart people will always thrive.
How lazy you can be ?
One factor may be that not everyone carries mobile phone and not everyone has a bank account. Some people may not want to use their number or account details in purchasing tickets due to privacy reasons, but why can’t there be some mechanism for catering to such people ?
Some visitors to zoo may also be digitally-challenged.
But, I must praise the jugad (makeshift) technology of these young boys as they devised a cool way to earn few bucks without investing in anything.
So, if more people visits zoos to see animals, it will make some people richer.
Good economics… trickle-down effect, I guess.
So, shall we enter the zoo now…..enough of introduction to a sunny day in zoo.
But, good things comes in episodes…..it’s like a good web series, where you think about what’s next to come….
So, the zoo story will be written in next part….
Till then….just say to me about your views and opinions on zoos..
Nice blog Sir.
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Nice article on zoo sir. Brought back many childhood memories.
Waiting for the next part eagerly.
Thank You for encouraging words. Visiting zoo is a good way to understand humans. Will write next part in few days(hopefully).