Melbourne Zoo has been in trouble in recent times for the way they treat their animals. Apparently they are being led by marketing considerations instead of animal welfare.
But let’s be honest here, the animals have had it too good for too long. At the Melbourne Zoo they have left one of the old-school cages so you can see how the animals used to be kept. My response? Bring ’em back I say.
Old style cages offer a superior experience for both animal and visitors. But mostly visitors.
These days it’s all about ‘the animals’. They have these enormous enclosures where they can hide in thick jungle, just like they would in the ‘wild’. But what’s the point of a bloody zoo if you can’t see the animals? At least with the small cages you can get up close and personal. In fact, I’d go a bit further and issue ‘poking sticks’ at the gate, just so visitors can get the animals animated. Let’s face it, no one wants to see a tiger lying in a grove of bamboo – you wanna see ’em pissed off and roaring!
Here are some other zoo ideas I think could really take off:
1) Bird on a string. Instead of giving kids balloons, each should be given one of the zoo birds to walk around with. The birds could hover on the end of the string, giving hours of enjoyment while still preventing escape. Cattle prods could be provided as added insurance / incentive.
2) Prisoners. People are always calling murderers animals – now judge for yourself! The latest addition to Melbourne Zoo could be the maximum security Metropolitan Remand Centre. For the price of normal entrance you receive a guided tour of the prison, plus a complementary cattle prod. You could even pay a premium for the opportunity to feed the prisoners at meal time.
3) Redheads. I think redheads could be a big drawcard at the zoo. Despite their tendency to bite, they are quite responsive to training. In the right conditions (ie small cage, cattle prods), young children could safely be exposed to the excitement of being near these fascinating creatures. We should explore the possibility of housing them with the orangutans.
Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section below.