Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Puma Concolor

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.


flwrjane said...

You and I had probably better not travel together. I have about as much patience as you.

Plant the snowdrops. I only have 2 small patches but they make me very happy.

xo Jane

rachel said...

You should have offered, you really should! Preferably in a loud voice, drawing a crowd, and then you'd see how cool those kids really were!

Anyes said...

I agree with Rachel, it might have shown them how really cruel it could be. I love big cats, of any kind. I hope zoos like this one are going to make enough progress for the survival of their species.

frayedattheedge said...

It's nice to know that there is someone else with my low level of tolerance! (When people block the pavement/supermarket aisle, standing chatting, I 'accidentally' bump into them, smile sweetly, and say 'sorry, I thought there was more room to get past yoy'!!)

Carolina said...

Some people! Throwing rocks at animals. I admire your self-restraint.

I'm, like you and for the same reason, in two minds about zoos.

Carolina said...

(pssst, I have an award for you. It's over at my place if you want to pick it up.)

Scrappy Grams said...

My tolerance level grows lower by the year. But fear of being beat to death, not valor in any way, prevents me from getting into young faces with rage on my face. I agree about caging, but my dear, in my young years, no thought was given about trying to duplicate their natural environment.

Dartford Warbler said...

Beautiful photo. I love the camouflage and the play of light.

I know how you feel about zoos/ wildlife parks. The herbivores usually look quite contented, but the big cats and the wolves in our nearest zoo just look too contained somehow. But....they do need to keep the breeding programmes going....

Karen said...

Jane: Which is why I travel with TB who has patience galore. A calming influence.

Rachel: I would have loved to, but North Carolina is a concealed carry state and who knows how people will react these days.

Anyes: Here's hoping that it is just a phase and they will grow out of it.

Carolina: The two-mind things can be a quandary. And thank you so much for the award. I'll have to figure out how to put it on the blog.

SG: As I said to Rachel, it's not knowing who's carrying a weapon these days. Ask Gabrielle Gifford about that one.

And at least zoos no longer display in tiny little cages.

DW: It is sort of the lesser of two evils dilemma - how to pay for that conservation when the economy is in the dumps.