Yesterday Sunday, was a beautiful day in Barcelona, 20 Degrees Celsius or so, in winter, and so in spite of the black lung that has had me quivering and coughing up vital ingredients for the past week, Milos and I braved a trip to the Zoo. I have always wanted to visit, but have mixed feelings on zoos, I like to see all the interesting creatures, but I do feel quite sad for them in their little enclosures. I know they are probably safer and maybe some of them healthier than their counter parts in the wild. Zoos also offer a fantastic educational opportunity and a way to perhaps save animals from extinction, but i have a sneaking suspicion they might miss their families at home.
Anyway the Barcelona zoo was packed with about a million children on this first sunny warm day, and with our complimentary tickets in hand (yay) we pushed and shoved our way inside. I have yet to go through all the photographs, and I’m sure zoo posts are going to be the theme this week, today I will write about some of the highlights.
First up, when we were in the aviaries, I noticed that the zoo keepers put out little tubs of live goldfish for the Kingfishers. Somewhat like feeding live mice to snakes I suppose. I wanted to stick around to see if one of the birds would actually dive into the tub to eat a goldfish, but as the zoo is so huge and had so many curious beasties waiting for us, I didn’t manage to. It did remind me though, of my lovely friend Alba and her various experiences with Birds eating her goldfish pets in the outside fountain. Now we know why… goldfish must be like cheese snacks for birds, small bright and tasty. I wonder if its like Chinese take out, or indeed fast food sushi.
Then later a moment overheard at the panther enclosures. A little Spanish girl next to me, ” Hola Bagheera!” It was too cute, and I had to agree she had the right idea. Indeed the black panthers were quite stunning creatures. You could just see their silky spots through their coats, and they are SMALL! I could have one in my apartment, if you know they weren’t inclined to eat your face for breakfast. In fact this panther reminded me so much of my siamese cat, same face shape, that I really did feel like I could go and tickle his chin. They are the size of a medium dog, but obviously feline and have inspired many thoughts of sketching… Just you wait, I’m going to crack out my paints this week, and I’m sure there will be bagheeras, and kingfishers a plenty.
The mascot of the zoo at the moment is their new Giant Anteater, who did not look very happy at all, despite clear efforts to make him at home. Well I hope he feels better soon, I know that moving to Barcelona is not necessarily an easy thing. He is huge and has the most striking marking, I just had to scribble a sketch of him first.