Monday, February 09, 2015

The non-human factor

Some of my best friends are Homo sapiens sapiens, but one grows weary of one's own genus. That's why I visited the National Zoo in Washington on Sunday (though in the company of a human friend). I saw elephants there, but no donkeys. You may choose to believe that was a coincidence.

The little menagerie presented here even has a bit of crime fiction ambience; one of the animals looks like a small-time hood in a 1950s film noir who knows there's no way out.
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(All photos by your humble animal lover/blogkeeper, Peter Rozovsky.)


© Peter Rozovsky 2015

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10 Comments:

Blogger seana graham said...

I can't think of any crime novels set at the zoo, but I can think of a couple of novels in which zoos factor significantly. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and Turtle Diaries by Russell Hoban. Come to think of it the second is kind of a crime caper.

And then there's the wonderful poem by Randall Jarrell, 'The Women at the Washington Zoo'. I haven't been to that zoo, but I would imagine they either post it everywhere or suppress it violently.

February 09, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Didn’t someone once mention Ann Littlewood’s zoo mysteries here?

I saw no mention of any poem on my visit to the zoo, but then I wasn't looking for one. That gives me something to ask the staff if I visit again.

February 09, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

My memory is as good as that of one of the animals I saw in Washington. A commenter mentioned All Littlewood when some animals from the Philadelphia Zoo joined me for a drink one evening.

February 09, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

ANN Littlewood, that is.

February 09, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

Hmm, I don't know of Littlewood's mysteries, but will keep them in mind.

February 10, 2015  
Blogger R.T. said...

Zoos are paradoxes. When I go to a zoo, I feel removed from my petty human concerns -- so I am liberated for a few hours -- but I also feel like we do an inhumane affront to nature by confining wild animals for our viewing pleasures.

February 10, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: Yep, I found that it was another commenter on that earlier post who has mentioned Ann Littlewood.

February 10, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I feel the same qualms, especially when I see an animal that appears to be trying to escape its confinement. Of course, that impression could be mere sentimental anthropomorphizing. I know, too, that more recent thinking in zoo keeping will stress more natural environments for animals, with, for example, several species kept together.

Do you know the short animated film Creature Comforts?

February 10, 2015  
Blogger R.T. said...

As for the film, about which I know nothing, I will check it out.

February 10, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I expect you will find it congenial to your thoughts about zoos, as I did, and amusing as well.

February 10, 2015  

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