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kyonoki - 京のキー Inmates

kyonoki

京のキー Inmates

Inmates

I was taken to the zoo at Colchester when I was young, and I clearly remember the sad bear enclosures stuffed away beside the main highway, all of them tiny and concrete. There was not a tree in sight and the bears would pace back and forth foaming at the muzzle or else sprawl lifelessly on the old tyres that had been tossed in with them. My mum and dad were always affected greatly, and hated seeing the animals like this, but would take us so that my brother and I could see the different animals we had learnt about. Colchester transformed its zoo soon after and now boasts enclosures rather than cages. The animals are still prisoners, but they can stretch their legs this way and frolick amongst the vegetation.

Well, Kyoto zoo is how Colchester used to be, except much worse.

Kyoto Municipal Zoo is the second oldest in Japan, and it shows. Possibly because the government continues to support it, rather than privatise, cash seems to be a massive problem. I am not going to involve myself, here at least, in a discussion about how badly Japan 'generally' treats animals (very badly, in a nutshell). Kyoto Zoo is, quite clearly, a lot more concerned with having creatures, than conserving or caring for them. I've been to four or five zoos in Japan and Kyoto is the worst, but only by the skin of its teeth. The general standard is this low. So why post photos? Why not simply ignore it? Well, these animals are amazing and beautiful and, despite their adverse conditions, took my breath away. Even with the regret and sadness for their plight, the huge variety on show served as a good reminder to us of how the animal kingdom is magnificent, and still mysterious.

I hate that they are caged like this. I hate the decaying exhibitions and displays. I hate that there is more care for the childrens playground than for the formidable Brown Bears. Without visible conservation projects, and with no endangered species under protection, surely there is no reason that this depressing museum should not be dismantled (and the creatures sent somewhere they can be respected as they deserve).

I wasn't going to start ranting (I really want you to check out the 'this post's gallery' link below for some great snaps), but it is a little late now. I feel for these animals. It was wonderful that Kitty could see them, but not in these conditions. When she is older she can visit some British wildlife parks and see how you can merge exhibition and conservation. Rather than a glorious, handsome polar bear with no clean water, no snow, no ice, and with no place to stretch his legs.
  
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Rhod and Ki's tour of life in Kyoto, Japan.

Kyonoki Gallery


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