I am a fan of zoos. A zoo enthusiast. A large part of the reason I was interested in a graduate degree in physical anthropology was the dream that one day I would be at a zoo and they would page a primatologist. They would say “Doctor, thank God you are here, someone *must* feed this baby monkey with a bottle!” I would acquiesce, don my lab coat, and roll up my sleeves. Sometimes, in the dream, the baby monkey wears a bonnet.
At any rate, I love zoos. Especially foreign zoos. I don’t consider them places of cruelty, but places of conservation, of gentle and important research, of fun. I’d like to say that zoos give a view into how a society views and treats animals, a glimpse into the behavior of local school groups, families, and couples (as a zoo may be a tourist attraction, but is rarely touristy). But really, I just love animals. Especially apes and monkeys. And bears. And llamas. And elephants.