Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Zoo That Time Forgot - Part G

I haven't had time to get photos of the Tropical Bird House so let's mix things up and skip from C to G on our handy dandy map.

Last Sunday, the Memphis Zoo finally revealed that the G-spot is the future site of the Zambezi River Hippo Camp.

(Of course the Memphis Zoo doesn't call it the G-spot. They call it "where the old bear pits used to be" -- frankly, I think that sounds dirtier.)

Let's start with the old eagle cage. Remember that iron monstrosity? You walk into the Memphis Zoo, trot past the gift shop and the education building and the First Recycling Bin (it really needs a historical marker) then follow the path toward the east. Ignore the entrance to Primate Canyon on your left; look to your right instead.

It's hard to tell in photos but that sucker is big. Here's a side view, looking west.

This cage has been unused for a long time, despite its huge untapped potential as a hipster wedding venue and/or sweet Roller Derby track. Before we leave the eagle cage, let's check out this pleasant little woodland path. Hey, there's an interpretive sign! What does it say?

THIS EXHIBIT HAS BEEN SELECTED AS A ROUNDUP
"PROJECT HABITAT" AWARD SITE FOR EXCELLENCE
IN HABITAT PRESERVATION AND EDUCATION.
ROUNDUP WEED AND GRASS KILLER AND THE
AMERICAN ZOO AND AQUARIUM ASSOCIATION ARE
PROUDLY UNITED TO PRESERVE AND ENHANCE THE
HABITATS OF ENDANGERED SPECIES. ROUNDUP IS
THE PRIMARY WEED KILLER
FOR MOST ZOOS IN AMERICA.

Oh dear.

The woodland path leads us to the rustic Meadow Amphitheater, where a program is held every Sunday at 2:30pm on "Living with Venemous Snakes." I'm so glad the Memphis Zoo is taking a positive approach to educating the public about our local reptiles...

...and their giant pointy FANGS O' DEATH!

Moving east, we hit the duck/flamingo pond.

The flamingos will be incorporated into the Zambezi River exhibit. No word yet on whether the Memphis Zoo plans to relocate the ducks to other exhibits or just hold a "wild game dinner" fundraiser.

Check out the size of the grassy knoll on the south side of the duck pond. Is it just me, or does that trash can look a little sheepish, like he knows he's spoiling the vista?

Here's a third view of the duck pond, looking north toward Primate Canyon and Parkway House. The butterfly exhibit area is on your right.

Now spin around so you're facing Deep South.

Impressive, isn't it? This is the "Denizens of the Deep South" exhibit, complete with a drink machine full of 20-ounce Mountain Dews (regular and diet). Too bad they don't have a Moon Pie machine to complete the vision.

Here's the best photo I got from the top:

Then it goes downhill like a greased pig on roller skates.




I never knew bluegill could express complex emotions, but this one is clearly asking "O Lord of little fishes, why hast thou forsaken me?" and wishing for a sharp hook to carry him away.

What's the take-home lesson here, kids?
a) The Memphis Zoo believes the wetland habitat of the Deep South is roughly equivalent to a stadium toilet after the big game is over.
b) The Memphis Zoo spends millions on beautiful clean exhibits for charismatic furry critters like pandas and tigers, but those slimy old turtles and fish can just suck it.
c) The Memphis Zoo is blinded by the light bouncing off the future and can't see that the Deep South exhibit is insulting and nonsensical on every level.
d) All of the above.

5 comments:

Stacey Greenberg said...

G-spot!!
roller derby track!
so much good stuff in here!

denizen said...

Agreed, that Deep South exhibit is an insult. How stupid does the zoo think we are?

Anonymous said...

I thought that giant bird cage came from the last Mad Max movie--it's Thunderdome!

Some may say that that the zoo captured one essence of the deep south--"look Mommy, it's the redneck fish tank!" In fact all that's missing is the cajun picking his banjo sitting on the log with a crawfish leg sticking out of his mouth.

mad max said...

Two birds enter. One bird leaves!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have an idea for all of you fucking tree hugging hippies. Why don't you find something better to do with your time like find a way to prevent global warming or cure cancer and quit worrying about what the zoo does with its exhibits. First things first, you live in the "deep south" jackass. Did you forget about slavery and the whole civil rights movement that took place here. Secondly, somebody had to pay money to get into the zoo to take these pictures. The zoo is privately owned and every time you buy a ticket, the money goes to the zoo. So all of this bitching you are doing about Teton Trak and the other exhibits being built in Overton Park, you are providing the funding for them.