283. Take a four-year-old to the zoo
Updated February 21, 2010
I put this on the list in high school when my family took a trip to the local zoo on a whim. I hadn’t been to the zoo since I was little, and I so much enjoyed walking around the zoo, looking at all the animals, and learning about them.
As an adult, now, though, zoos mostly make me sad. I am so grateful for the opportunity to see animals up close that I’d otherwise never get to see, but so many of the animals seem so restless and unhappy – I guess it’s roughly the equivalent of us spending our lives in jail. Sure, they’re fed and cared for, but they’re trapped in a small enclosure for the entirety of their lives.
Regardless, zoos are playing an important role in conservation through study and breeding programs, and they help to raise public awareness of the plight of endangered animals in the wild. And the reaction of small children when they see an elephant or a tiger for the first time is just priceless.