Last month while my mother was around, we decided to make a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo and my mother being who she is, of course had it all planned out. We would get there, ride the P-Z express around the zoo, and get off at each point of interest. This way, we wouldn't expend too much energy looking for exhibits. Little did we know that the P-Z express was just a miniature train ride for children and not a mode of transport around the zoo!
So from the get-go our plans were shot to pieces and upon arrival we still had to do the arduous walking from exhibit to exhibit. Of the animals on display, the first we saw were the snakes (shown below). Unlike most people I know, I have never considered snakes to be creepy. Neither their slithering nor their hissing bothers me much. While certainly an animal to be feared, I think that rather than "creepy", some snakes (like the black viper below) can even be considered handsome.
But don't get me wrong, I am very afraid of snakes (as I should be) and it is my firm belief that the more attractive a snake is, the further away one should stay from it.
Next we saw the primates, and just from the pictures you can see that it takes no stretch of the imagination to picture these guys as our genetic cousins. Doesn't the gorilla look familiar? All he needs is a TV and a remote and he'll be set. What about the group of friends? I think they're having a muted discussion about us!
I had only just watched Planet of the Apes a week or two before seeing these guys live and honestly, between their natural behaviour, and recent advances in genetics, that movie is looking more and more plausible. Wouldn't it be something if monkeys ruled the world?
Then of course there are monkeys like that golden tamarin, that make you want to doubt such a possibility. I mean, what exactly is that little guy doing!? He's probably the equivalent of an eccentric in our society. So really and truly, no matter how you look at it, there is some connection. They act like us, they have "crazies" like us, and I'm sorry to say this, but they even look like some of us. I know you can think of at least one person that resembles that gorilla...
We saw several other animals while navigating around the zoo and some of them are pictured below. It's funny the things we remember from childhood. As soon as my mum and I saw those Hippos, we started singing the Hippo song. Imagine! At our respective ages, singing:
H-I-P for the hip, for the hippopo
P-O-P-O for the hip-popo
For the hip-popo-tamus