Tag Archives: l.a. zoo

Back to the Vulture

Holy Carrion, Batman!

Tomorrow is International Vulture Awareness Day at the L.A. Zoo, and MJ is beside herself with excitement. She’s designed a tee-shirt for it and everything. She’s also fed all of her stuffed vultures to get them pumped up for an outing, as they’ll all be coming along. Thank goodness we had some extra coils of the rubber stuff we got with our new robotic vacuum cleaner. Normally it demarcates which rooms our Botvac can and cannot enter. But today a bit of it got snipped off and used as rotting flesh.

Me, I’m sorry I’ll be working. The look on MJ’s face when she sees a California Condor eat a dead squirrel will really be worth witnessing. Take lots of pictures, Mike!


Zoonked Addendum

While I’m on the subject: isn’t it weird that the L.A. Zoo uses a song about–as my husband so genteelly puts it–a “borderline pedophile” to accompany the rotations of its Conservation Carousel? OK, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic. Still. It seems an odd choice. Methinks somebody’s not listening to the lyrics very closely…

I also wish to clarify. The version of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” they play isn’t the muzak one. Not technically. It’s Sting’s cloying, soporific, superslow, keening and wailing remake. It just feels like muzak. And/or waterboarding.

Finally, I wish to add one more thing to my list of complaints. Who builds a zoo on a mountainside? Or–OK–an extremely steep hill. Still. It’s brutal. And that’s during the winter months. In the summer it’s just cruel and unusual. There’s no shade. (Other than in the gift shops — infernal design). The exhibits are miles apart. And that’s when you get to them. The area one has to traverse to even arrive at the first one is so vast it should have its own zip code. Or just be called Mount Everest. One is so exhausted by the time one gets to the first measly duck that the whole “animal thing” feels largely beside the point. What you really want to see is a medic. Or a Sherpa.

Combine this with the ubiquitous strollers, punishing sun and the yellowjacket infestation I haven’t yet mentioned and you get–

Why, a place we have a family membership to, of course.



Would someone please remind me, the next time I think of going to the L.A. Zoo on a three-day weekend, that it would be saner, calmer, and more pleasurable to go to an NRA rally on the 4th of July?

I don’t do well with crowds. My idea of Hell is any place with more than twenty people in it. Maybe thirty, but only on the plains of the Serengeti. On a day like today the zoo gets thousands of visitors. Tens of thousands. And the children. Busloads of them. Barbarian hoards. Each comes with his or her own stroller. Of which there are tons. Millions. Swarms. Like wheeled, metal locusts with cupholders. Look, I get it. The zoo is sprawling, sweltering and shadeless. Without strollers kids would be keeling over by the dozens. But still, there’s nothing that elicits despair like the sight of four hundred Gracos vying for position in front of the flamingo pen. Then your daughter whines “Mama, what’s that smmeeeeelll?” And you step on someone’s soft serve cone and ruin your shoe. Now you know misery as few do.

Finally, I have this to say. I’ve complained before about the music on the “Conservation Carousel.” I have, however, to do it again. Spinning slowly around astride a a star-nosed mole to the muzak version of “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” may be a three-year-old’s idea of a great time, but for me it creates cognitive dissonance on a level barely describable.

To save all of our sanity, bring back the calliope.

And consider getting some people movers.