Posted tagged ‘Animal Rights’

A Day at the Zoo

February 11, 2011

It was a beautiful day to go to the zoo. Donning a safari hat, black reflector shades and a white muscle Brando T-shirt tucked into -floppy to circulate air- multi-coloured shorts, I looked every bit the part of a big game hunter. The black socks and training shoes were the only part of my apparel uncool but who looks at feet anyway?

Zoos have a polarising effect on people. For some it seems cruel to have animals away from their natural habitat and kept in captivity for the amusement of customers. Zookeepers will tell you that the animals are well treated and that they have a lot of conservation projects in place that help the welfare of some of the endangered beasts. I’ve always enjoyed visiting zoos but as I walked through the park I began to feel sorry for the beings behind bars.

Giraffes have always been a favourite of mine. Anyone with a fireman’s pole for a neck is the bees’ knees in my book. At the giraffe station I opened the gate and walked into the herd. Like a cowboy I yee-hawed and slapped the giraffes on the bottom. This started a stampede and they escaped through the gate. Run free my children, I shouted.

I decided there and then to free as many of the imprisoned beasts as I could. Not wanting any fatalities on my conscience it would only be tame non-carnivores I would liberate. Obviously, the big lions growled at me as I was Noah good to them. The good-looking camels kissed me (the ugly ones shook my hand), the meerkats hugged me and the monkeys ate bananas with me such was the unrestrained joy of freedom.

The entire zoo was a pandemonium of shrieking guests, animals wandering here and there and zookeepers trying to recapture their pets. The scene was straight out of a Benny Hill show. My laughter came to an abrupt halt when a snake sneakily slid into the gap in my baggy shorts and bit me high up in the groin. Some fool had aped my plan and let loose the reptile house. I fell to the floor in agony and shock. A crowd surrounded me and I could hear murmurs of “who wears black socks with shorts nowadays?” “Look at the state of those old-fashioned trainers”.

Lapsing into unconsciousness as the venom was entering my system a snake handler pushed through the crowd in the campest of fashion. He was draped in pink overalls and called to me. From the pitch of his voice I recognised it was my old adversary who never failed to catch me when I was at a disadvantage.

“Hello, sailor boy.”

“What are you doing here? I thought you were a masseur.”

“The place got raided. By the way we’ve no anti-venom left, I’ll have to bite the poison out.”

And he pulled my shorts to the side.