Thursday, July 8, 2010

'Is It 'Dangered?'

So far, the weather during our visit to San Diego has been a bit cooler than we expected. We decided, though, that it was perfect for a trip to the San Diego Zoo, and even convinced Grammy to go. It was refreshing not to be concerned with slathering sunscreen every hour nor jostling hoards of tourists.

The animals didn't disappoint, either. Among our favorites were the meerkats, the lions (whom we saw enjoying a decadent snack), and the polar bears (one was particularly amusing, lounging on his back, chomping on carrots and occasionally itching an evident scratch on his shoulder).

As part of its conservation awareness, the zoo posts the level of endangerment on each of the animal's signs. For example, the meerkat is "not threatened," while the lion is "vulnerable." The scale ranges up to "endangered," "critically endangered," and finally "extinct in the wild." From the beginning, this was a topic of conversation among the kids. So much so that we would no sooner approach a new animal than Danny would immediately ask, "Is it 'dangered?" This was spoken with genuine concern, and was always met with relief when the answer was no. (Unfortunately, that was not often the answer. Visiting the zoo can be sort of depressing, if you give it too much thought.)

Our visit was a cheerful one, though, and fairly tiring - you don't get to be a world-renowned zoo for lack of size. Danny lamented that we didn't see ALL the animals, but we certainly saw a lot of them. And we still came home with our baby goat (ask Danny).

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