Every adventure has a lesson in it somewhere. Today's lesson: Don't shout out "Look it's Osama Baaaaaaaaan Laden" in an Islamic country. Oops. I was referring to a bearded goat, but unbeknowst to me at the time there was a man standing next to the goat who also bore an uncanny resemblance to Bin Laden. Probably even more than the goat. If I wasn't so horribly embarrased I would have gotten a picture of the goat and the guy because it was too funny. I think this was Moroccan social faux pax number 53 at least, but who's counting right?
Let me explain. Today we went to the zoo. Now we have heard that the zoo is quite an experience here. So of course, this is enticing! It's in a residential part of town and it looks like a landfill that some animals have squatters rights on. The buildings are delapidated and the fences are falling down which makes it seem much more "African Lion Safarish" and much less "zooish", because there is the threat the animals could make their untimely escape at any moment. Despite the desperate state of the facilities, the animals seem well fed and cared for (as well cared for as caged animals in a zoo can be). While the animals on display looked healthy, we saw 5 rotting bird corpses which makes one wonder if you aren't in fact better off to be a caged animal in Morocco because it seems treacherous to be a "free" bird in these here parts.
So along with the rotting aves there were also playful monkeys, bathing rhinos, sunning alligators, playful bears, big buffalos, lumbering elephants, and strangely enough deer and cows, but the biggest attraction is the lions. So when we got to them it's feeding time. They have a big side of cow. I'm not sure if they just put the live cow in there and let nature take it's course or what. But it's a big peice of meat, bones and all and the lionesses are tearing into it. It's apparent they had a wild party the night before because there were yogurt containers, pommes cans, water bottles, chocolate bar wrappers, and bones from carcases past, all over their habitat. It's good to be king.
So we saunter from exhibit to exhibit pondering the garbage, lack of safety, dead birds, closed cafe that looks like it was bombed, the fact that there's lots of security guards but we have only run into two other families and then the goat incident. It's all so weird. Even for Morocco. And that's when it occurred to me. Oh my god, maybe Osama Bin Laden does live at the zoo. Hmmmmmmmm.