Jon and I joined some friends for a day out at Great Adventure's opening weekend. The last time I was there was in 1985 - the day after prom. We never got to go on the Safari because most of the day was spent looking for the other half of our group. By the time we joined up it was after dark and the safari was closed. But this time, we got there early enough to enjoy the animals. But did the animals enjoy us?
As cool as it is to see wild animals face to face, there seems to be something inherently wrong with allowing animals to roam free with cars that can kill them.
This is a girl elk. The boys had big antlers and were walking in between the cars slowing down traffic but nobody seemed to mind.
There were 6 elephants penned up in a space probably only big enough for one or two. They looked old, tired and some of them had tattered ears. But again, it was so cool to see elephants so close up.
There were quite a few animals roaming freely including the camels which, much to my surprise and the surprise of those with me in the car, people were feeding. In spite of the fact that there were warnings posted everywhere about the danger of feeding these animals people food, people were sticking things out of their windows to attract the animals. Hopefully people had sense enough to feed the animals appropriate food but I doubt it.
It was the same thing with the giraffes but I was so filled with childish glee at the sight of them in the road, I didn't get upset until after we drove through the Great Adventure herd. Here is a giraffe approaching us and then bending down to visit and see if we have any food to offer.
The zebras were grazing on NJ grass while people drove by taking snapshots. It's just not right and it doesn't look right.
The last sad picture I'm going to post from the safari is this picture of a baboon sitting behind the fence like a prisoner. The only thing missing from this shot is a tin cup in his hand for him to rattle on the bars. Even sadder were watching the babboons playing in a bare field of grass with a noisy roller coaster in the back drop. They were using an old piece of roller coaster track as a jungle gym. And half of them looked sick with big pink protruding asses. I don't know a lot about monkeys but I don't think their butts are supposed to that.
The rest of the day was quite lovely. The safari was lovely. It's just that sometimes seeing animals in captivity saddens me.