Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Goin' to the Zoo

In 1969, Morroco built it's first zoo here in Rabat. When we first moved here we heard all kinds of stories about it. That it was unsafe. For both animals and for anyone visiting it. We were told visitors mistreated the animals and their cages were littered with garbage, that there wasn't enough staff and sometimes as many as 5 lions to a cage, that animals were being stolen, and that in one year alone (2004), 100 animals died there.  So, back in 2010, we checked it out for ourselves.  Turns out the stories were all true.

You can read about that first trip here. And, bonus, you can also see how significantly my blogging skills have progressed since then.

Earlier this year they opened a new zoo here in Rabat.  We couldn't wait to see it. Except we did because we heard the crowds were enormous. And I hate crowds.  But finally, this past Monday, we went. And you know what?  It actually looked like a real zoo.  

Like look, there is a map of the whole park and it's even got a roof to shield you from the sun while you look at it. The funny thing is, there isn't a map of Rabat that is anywhere near as good as that zoo map.

Not only that, there's little reassuring markers that let you know if you're headed in the right direction. AND garbage cans.  I can not express to you how utterly unmoroccan both of these things are.

But, wait there's more!  The bathrooms?  They have seats like real western toilets AND they're clean AND have toilet paper. I've never been more happy to tip a bathroom attendant in my whole life!

Then, in front of every habitat there is a sign telling you what the animal is. I know that sounds pretty basic, unless you've been to the original Rabat zoo where you had to just guess which animal it was.  If it was in fact there was an animal there at all.

They have a pretty wide selection of animals compared to the old zoo which was like a retirement home for old cat species.  Now the zoo has Asian elephants, which is a bit weird. Wouldn't they have spent less on shipping for an African elephant?   Unless Thailand was having a sale of course.

The lions actually had a wide trench to keep them in and a barrier to keep humans out. Novel. The old zoo was always plagued by rumors that some kids fell into the lion pit.  And if you saw it, you know rumor just means they couldn't find any evidence of this because the lions ate it.

Check out how much room this ostrich has.  Or did he just fart?

But then when we got to the crocodiles, they were crammed into the smallest ditch of water. And they look a bit dehydrated. Not that I'm a zookeeper or anything. Wait are there zoo keepers at this zoo?

But, the scariest thing at the zoo is the leopard. It has a very narrow trench to keep it from escaping and it doesn't have a lot of room.  And I'm pretty sure he could get out any time he wanted to.

Later that night I changed my mind about the whole leopard thing.   Not about him being able to get out. Cause I'm still totally convinced he can. No, the scariest thing at the zoo? The food poisoning we got from eating at the cafe there. So if you've wondered how I've managed to knock out 3 posts in 3 days? It's because I'm not leaving the house to do anything else or I'd shit myself.   And I'd rather shit myself at home. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to run to the bathroom...


fahad said...

The tigers pics are awesome.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

To tell the truth, I did notice that you were posting unusually often. Sorry to hear the reason.

Chantel said...

Aw damn, now you know why they have such great toilets!

The "ditch instead of a fence" thing totally terrifies me.

"Unless Thailand was having a sale, of course." Hahaha!

Leah Griffith said...

I don't usually visit zoos simply because I over empathize with the animals..."The poor thing! He's so skinny; and lonely...yadda yadda yadda"
Yeah, me and zoos don't mix well. Neither do me and the shits;) Enough said.


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