Saturday, 6 June 2009

Unwise Adventures

Let me give you a piece of advice. If you're so under the weather that you need to sleep from six p.m. until the following morning (with an hour off for good behaviour, and for watching Chuck), you might not want to commit to a three-hour drive to Edinburgh, and a day eating haggis and visiting the zoo. I haven't felt this crappy for quite a while.

On the other hand, Edinburgh zoo is fucking awesome. I've always been unsure on zoos; I find it hard not to over-identify with being trapped in a cage (despite the fact that I probably wouldn't care if I never left the flat again so long as someone regularly brought me pizza and booze), especially when they seem particularly morose (there was a leopard there that seemed particularly disconsolate). On the other hand, they are very useful in breeding programs and keeping species from going extinct a bit longer, and if that means kidnapping a few "least concern" animals and forcing them to stand around for my entertainment, then I guess I'm OK with that.

Here are some of the creatures I encountered this afternoon in lieu of anything more involved (like I said, feeling crappy). There are some more photos taken by Ibb in an aviary in which you can feed the rainbow lorikeets; I shall try and add those later in the week.

First; a tiger, which has to be one of the top ten most beautiful creatures evolution has thrown up:

(In fact, this specimen was so beautiful the French woman beside me was moved to attempt to describe its wonder in broken English to me. It's probably not that surprising that international agreement might be much easier in the face of marauding predators that want to eat our children).

Next, some sea-lions, a creature which Ibb described with infinite subtlety and yet commendable concision: "They're much less shit in the water".

Also, a jaguar chowing down on his tea (mercifully out of shot):

Baby penguin chicks! Face the cute and perish!

One of the rock-hopper "punk" penguins, captured at speed during one of its brief appearances (who knew penguins had so many places to be?):

Finally, my personal favourite:

Worth feeling like shit for, I think you'll agree.

Also, Scotland is weird. I got carded for the first time in a decade. Apparently "Challenge 25" means denying alcohol to anyone who might conceivably have been born after the last M*A*S*H episode was broadcast.


Chemie said...

'[Photo] Baby penguin chicks! Face the cute and perish!'

Squeals and falls over.

So Sweeeeeeeeeet!

SpaceSquid said...

Yeah, I figured you would like those. There were also baby Jimmy Saville Monkeys, but I decided they would be of far more limited appeal.

jamie said...

Tigers are indeed stunning. I'm guessing by the distinctive ruffs on their jaws that these were Sumatran tigers, a very isolated subspecies, and one you don't see at many wildlife parks (although I think I saw them at London zoo a few years back).

This reminds me, I really must sell some raffle tickets for the Environmental Investigation Agency... (plug, plug)

SpaceSquid said...

It was indeed a Sumatran tiger.