By October 2, 2005

The real monkeys were on the outside of the bars

Lady Jaye and I went to the Richmond Zoo today. The main draw was that it was like 10 minutes away from our house. Plus they boasted over 200 primates. How can you go wrong with over 200 primates?

A mere $7.50 apiece later (plus an additional $3 each for the skytram ride) and we were in. I expected the zoo to be pretty podunk, and in all honesty it was. Richmond is known more for Yosemite Sam mudflaps with “BACK OFF!” written on them than its love of proper zoological gardens. The water was universally brackish and cloudy. Almost all of the animals were kept either in wire cages or wire/plexiglass structures devoid of anything resembling a native habitat. The penguin exhibit (more below) looked a bit like the rocky terrain you might see some penguins in, but that was about it. Several of the animals were being treated for “injuries,” and while Lady Jaye insisted he was just in deep sleep, I swear one of the primates was dead.

Some of the animals exhibited symptoms of nervousness I’ve learned to look for in animals that have been penned in for too long. The giraffes most notably had been biting at everything they could get their chompers on, and some had been raking their horns against the wooden portions of their enclosure. The animals are also accustomed to being fed by the public. While this resulted in a few really cute moments between the people and the animals, it really struck my moral sensibilities to see wild animals coming up to me, begging for food. I guess it’s an ingrained belief handed down to me by my father about keeping wildlife protected from man, as much as man needs protection from wildlife. “Don’t feed the gibbons” is one breath away from “don’t feed the bears.”

One last gripe before we get onto the cute pictures. The zoo goers, for the most part, were jackasses. Kids would throw kibble at the animals. Impatient photographers or children would yell at the animals to get their attention. While the giraffes seemed to be used to it, it boiled my blood to see children teasing them with food or screaming directly in their faces. The zoo may have had 200 primates in the cages, but there were plenty of monkeys walking along the trails with plastic cups full of kibble. I took a few pictures of an alpaca eating one of the several plastic cups discarded into the animal pen by zoo goers.

Enough black clouding. On to the pix!

First stop: flamingoes!

Lady Jaye and I were laughing our asses off by the third penned area. It housed some kangaroos:

They were basically on a house lawn with a big tree, surrounded by chain link fence. “Just like Australia,” she said flatly. We both giggled and moved along.

Lady Jaye is in bed and I can’t recall what this fellow is, but he was staring intently at something on the limb he was sitting on. Click on the thumbnail and look at his eyes. Like most of the primate exhibits, seeing him stare into nothing made me kind of sad.

The Zoo boasted the rare and wily burro. Actually, about a half dozen rare and wily burros. Here’s LJ having a conversation with one of the inmates:

This guy was totally chowing down on a piece of fruit. The fence enclosure was typical of the animals’ environments.

Chillin’ like a villian, primate-style

The giraffe section was really awesome. I took a ton of photos, but the exhibit had a wooden flyover that went above the giraffe pens. Zoo goers could stand at eye-level with these awesome animals. And, of course, give them food out of a nearby vending machine.

Ladies, check out the tongue on these guys:

One of the extremely docile but hungry giraffes trying to dislodge the feed dispenser from the flyover:


This young man made me feel particularly sad. He was sitting all by himself, the only orangutan in the zoo, at the edge of his island. He poked around in the dirt, as if he was waiting for another pointless day to end.

The tiger exhibit housed a white tiger and this bengal (I assume) tiger. Here’s Miss Kitty trying to eke a little more water out of the spigot:

I swear that many a fantasy creature has had their features modelled after this guy:

I really liked the pocket primate section. This little fellow could hang out on your shoulder. I want one for Christmas, along with a bat. Lady Jaye assured me that Santa would bring me one of each, but I think she is teasing me.

The zoo had a few American Crocs on display. While bad to the ass, they were fairly small specimens at about 4 feet long.


I actually learned that most penguins don’t live in cold climates. I thought for sho-sho that they would live in tiny ass igloos.

We snapped a pic of this beast, mostly as a reminder to myself on what I’ll be riding if I dump the FZ6:

Despite my griping, we really had a great time today. The weather was perfect, and we spent just the right amount of time at the zoo.

No tags for this post.
Posted in: gibberish

1 Comment on "The real monkeys were on the outside of the bars"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. configuratrix says:

    He was sitting all by himself, the only orangutan in the zoo, at the edge of his island.

    Well, dang.

    Zoos make me sad, most of the time.

    But I’m glad it was a good day for y’all!