Sunday, September 28, 2008

A day at the zoo

It's been a long campaign, and one of the problems is that you can't always find 'us time', as I like to think of it. You want to make sure that everything that can be done, has been.

However, we managed to find a little time to spend doing something that I enjoy particularly, i.e. a trip to a zoo, in this case, Marwell Zoo in Hampshire. Now I fully accept that zoos are not perfect, and there are always questions about the size of enclosures, diet, activity and, to be frank, whether or not it isn't simply better to leave them in the wild.

My view has always been that less is better, and zoos should be encouraged to maintain less animals in bigger enclosures. However, the reality is that such conditions are uneconomic, and that many zoos would go to the wall in the face of spiralling costs. Zoos perform a vital role in protecting endangered species, maintaining a viable gene pool and providing an opportunity for young people to see animals for themselves. The hope is that, having seen them in captivity, they might be moved to ensure that, one day, they might have an opportunity to see them in their natural state.

It was the perfect day for visiting a zoo, warm sunshine but not too warm, a gentle stroll between exhibits, and a nice variety of animals to look at, including a few that you don't usually see.

And now, back to the campaign...