The National Zoo, on the other hand, was a bit disappointing. Was it always this run-down? Maybe I just didn’t notice as a child? 2/3 of the cages were “temporarily” empty --- the same that have been empty for the last 6 years. The Giraffe has been sent away. The prairie dogs are still missing. Most of the restroom stalls were out of order, and the ones that weren’t were filthy. Water fountains were few and far between, and there was no shade.
The kids were happy about the elephants, though. But even the three-year-old noticed that the zoo was falling into disrepair.
“Why is OUR zoo so much nicer?” she asked. Her Dad and I explained that this was a NATIONAL zoo. That means everyone is supposed to care about it… which means that no one really does. Our zoo is smaller, and the people who take care of it really LOVE it, and work hard for it. (also, our zoo doesn’t need to go through congress to get things… they just ask the community….)
I’ll have to take the kids down to the Indianapolis Zoo some day this summer. It’s a first class zoo AND it has a giraffe for them! Maybe it’s the difference between pay-zoos and free-zoos.