But before TB and I went looking for old barns, old dams and wild violets, we went to the North Carolina Zoo early Sunday morning thinking we would beat the crowds who surely were still at church.
Faced with a huge crowd of families, mostly pushing those humongous strollers, we opted to do just the North American exhibits and leave the Africa area for a later trip back. I am not very good with crowds. Mostly they annoy me no end and TB knows I have a very small limit of goodwill.
In front of us going towards the cougar exhibit were two teenagers talking about how cool it would be to throw rocks at the animals (no danger of that actually happening. The zoo has barriers high enough to forestall any attempt at vandalism). I felt like hissing in their ears, "How about you just stand there and let me throw rocks at you so that you can see how cool that is." But discretion being the better point of valor, I contained myself. Besides, TB has no sense of humor when I embarrass her over things like that.
The cougars (there are two) weren't interested in the crowds surrounding their enclosures. Or maybe for them it's "been there, done that".
I am of two minds over zoos. On one hand, I hate seeing wild animals on display just for our amusement, but on the other hand, for the Eastern Cougar since there are less than 50 still in the wild, mostly in Florida, this is their only chance for conservation.