25 April 2011

München Tierpark Zoo

Post-dated from April 19 trip to München Zoo:

After an hour and a half of searching we found our destination - München Zoo (called Tierpark on the map).

Not having visited a zoo before, I wasn't sure there would be anything of interest, but we had heard from our Dutch friends from Amsterdam that they treated the animals well here.

Indeed there were many animals to see, and some interesting personalities among them. They had everything from sharks to large snakes to polar bears to the usual crowd favorites such is tigers, elephants, giraffes and 6 or 7 different types of primates. I found the monkeys, orangutans, and baboons the most intriguing, probably due to their likeness in both form and mind to humans. They seem to have complex interactions with each other and their human audience, and some cases even showed emotion at our actions: one example of this was when a German man with making sounds and actions through the glass to one of the chimpanzees that was 20 feet away. The chimp was not impressed and ran up to the glass, slapped the ground hard and then retreated again.

Overall, while the concept of a zoo is unnatural to the environment of the animals, these animals were treated very well. In most cases they appeared quite content, and in a select few genuinely happy. There were none that we observed as looking caged or bored to death with their living conditions. The zoo was an interesting excursion for us, and it seemed not a bad life for the animals either.