Sunday, June 7, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!

The last time I'd been to the zoo was 5 years ago in Brazil. Although, I don't know if I'd even call it a zoo - as it seemed more like a glorified animal shelter. We paid 2.50 reis (the equivalent of 1 dollar) and were granted access to see an orangutan, a few exotic birds, rats, a giant rock in the shape of an elephant, a couple stray dogs and two tigers. The tigers can actually be seen from outside of the complex, and I admit that I'd occasionally catch a glimpse of them through the fence while walking by since I lived near it for a few months. It's just a shame we didn't realize the best part of the 'zoo' could be seen just as easily from the outside of the complex until after we had entered initially-- though I'm sure the rats benefited from our 2.50 reis entrance fee. But before I give the wrong impression, I should clarify that there are real zoos in Brazil... I just haven't been to one.

Ok, back from my moment of nostalgia... . I often ride by the Amsterdam zoo, which lies in the middle of the city. Since arriving I've had a desire to go inside the zoo which is fully surrounded by 200 year old buildings. The thought alone of a zoo enclosed by historic buildings is romantic and I was itching to experience it. The only problem was, I never seemed to have the time to go, until last month- thanks to a public holiday.
video
The weather was perfect, the animals were great subjects to photograph, and even though the zoo is a bit smaller than I was hoping, it was easy to spend a few hours there.

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