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The Problem with Zoos

A Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)

Martine and I have this problem with zoos, namely: empty cages. It seems that one never knows whether a particular bird or animal is in residence or just hiding behind a rock or tree. The only zoos where this is not so much an issue are the San Diego and Santa Barbara Zoos and The Living Desert in the Coachella Valley.

The Honolulu Zoo is noted for its “exhibit absenteeism”: It seems that some 40% of the cages were unoccupied and without any notices that the animal is sick. I realize that in approximately half the cases, the cage occupant is lying doggo. If I were in a cage, I probably wouldn’t want to be stared at by a bunch of tourists or school children.

On the plus side, I did like the Komodo Dragon—my first. I also liked all the banyan trees, which kind of take my breath away. Below is Martine twirling a plumeria blossom in front of one of the zoo’s stately banyans:

It probably didn’t help that the temperature and humidity were in the 90s (Fahrenheit, that is).