A Day at the Zoo

I spent my last day in Tokyo at the Ueno Zoo.

Some of the sakura trees in the park were in bloom. There were a few random groups having hanami parties on blue tarp and virtually every other person was huddled under the blossoms with their cameras/phones/camcorders out.

The main attraction at the zoo atm are two pandas on loan from China. Did you know that most countries have to pay China $1 million a year for their pandas?

In any case, the line was MASSIVE, so naturally I just snuck to the back and zoomed in on Ri Ri (or was it Shin Shin?) with my camera. I mean, sure they’re cute, but panda, please, I am not going to wait 30+ minutes to look at them up close.

Japanese macaque!!

There was a petting zoo section with goats, sheep, roosters, and a random turkey. There was an infectiously happy old man scratching a goat with a brush and it was just too cute.

I remember being deathly afraid of turkeys for a hot (vom)minute when I was in elementary school. I was at a family friend’s house/neighborhood?—it’s all a bit blurry now—and there were turkeys EVERYWHERE. They were violent and aggressive and horrible, and they chased me around for reasons unknown.

My sentiments exactly.

Flamingos are my FAVORITE, my absolute favorite. I used to do a one-legged flamingo dance and I played one in a school play.

Lemurs. GD, they were greedy. They kept jumping around trying to get at more fruit, even though they weren’t finished with the pile they were working on yet. But also, those fingers D:

What up, meerkat?

A lot of the enclosures/cages/cells were borderline-absolutely deplorable. Some had no natural elements whatsoever, and I basically went through “zoo shock.” I’m used to seeing more open range-type enclosures like at the Bronx Zoo, where sometimes the animals are so far away that I might as well be watching Animal Planet on TV.

God, this demonic dino-looking mother. The shoebill is one of the most frightening things I have ever seen in my entire life. Can you imagine looking up from your computer in the middle of the night to see it looming over you? I would die. My heart would leap out of my body. And then I’d punch the monster in the face.

The gorillas at this zoo were definitely wary of people. When I first saw this guy, I laughed out loud because the man in front of me said, “??? He has a blanket?” before I actually caught sight of him. But in actuality, he looked scared and pathetic. He only poked his head out from under his covering to funnel some food in with his lips.

Gorillas sleeping in nature

vs. gorilla sleeping in the San Diego Zoo

vs. gorilla sleeping at the Ueno Zoo :(

The baby distracted me so much that I didn’t realize that the two gray mounds next to it were actually gorillas and not rocks.

All in all, the Ueno Zoo was meh/okay. Lots of their animals are depressed but there are also a lot of happy ones, too. To each their own.


2 thoughts on “A Day at the Zoo

    • ‘Til the summer of 2013! I’m not posting as much as I want to but it’s finally starting to warm up so hopefully I’ll be more motivated.

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