Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day Tradition

It has become a family tradition of ours that every Boxing Day we go to Colchester Zoo.  It is nice to get out of the house (and away from the Christmas mess!) and into the fresh air to spend time as a family.  We’ve been lucky with the weather, since we started going four years ago; it has always been crisp and bright.

Colchester Zoo is huge, so we took two buggies as it would be a lot of walking for Fraser!  We looked at the animals and went to the soft play.  The best part of our day was seeing the Penguin Feed.  We went to other feeds and presentations such as the giraffes and elephants but I couldn’t believe how close the penguins got to us!  Fraser stared fascinated at them while they swallowed fish in one bite.  I watched him, watching them and could literally see the cogs in his head turning as he watched them and learned about them. Later at dinner time he was trying to eat his carrots with no hands, in one bite – like the penguins were J

We had a lovely day but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad, sad for the animals.  At the lion enclosure the huge male lion was pacing back and forth and staring at all of the viewers and roaring, and I swear he eyed up little Caleb thinking that he would be an easy kill.  I know that sounds dramatic but I know what I saw!
Also a chimpanzee ran and jumped on the glass as we were staring in at him, like he was aggravated.  There were signs up around the animals saying exactly why they are there and how they were rescued by the zoo, which made me feel slightly better but still sad.

The chimps had been rescued from a testing lab where they had been since they were young and the torture they experienced had understandably affected their behaviour.  The bears had been saved from a place in Asia where they were kept in cages and bile was taken from their stomachs for medicinal purposes. 

After the penguin feed I spoke to the zoo keeper and she explained that these penguins had always been captive and that they wouldn’t know what to do in the wild if they were released.  She explained that a percentage of penguins need to be captive to protect the species as they are in such danger in the outside world and therefore if the worst happened they could breed them in zoos and later release them (they are very careful to monitor family trees and inbreeding etc.).

When I was 18 years old my family and I went on safari in South Africa, Kruger National Park and it was amazing to see the animals in the wild, running free, so I think it makes it hard to appreciate zoos.  I would love to take the boys to Africa when they are older to go on safari.

Although the above sounds a little bit negative we did have a wonderful day being a family and the boys learned so much and enjoyed watching the animals eat and play.  There were also great play areas and parks there.

What I wore:
A new bobble hat (that was a pressie from my bff) - River Island.
A gillet – French Connection
A fluffy white jumper – Dorothy Perkins
Joni Jeans – Topshop
Boots - Dune


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