Delhi National Zoo (pronounced “joo”)
We visited the zoo (yes, pronounce all “z” as “j” in India) on Tuesday this week as a team. Team Day was supposed to include a picnic lunch at Lodi Garden but it happened to be the coldest day we’ve experienced in Delhi. The lows have been in the mid-30s. I realize that’s not a big deal for most of the U.S. right now, but try mid-30s with no heat! I’m ready for spring to get here.
The Delhi National Joo was about what I expected. We got to see some cool Indian animals (like mithuns and other weird things I can’t remember) but the place was a bit depressing. The animals weren’t cared for like animals in American joos. I’ve never seen depressed chimpanzees — they have them at the Delhi joo. Several of the reindeer had mange and one seemed to be a bit crazy. I did think to myself that I regularly see lots of animals throughout all of Delhi. I could have saved my 10 rupees.
Signs in India are always amusing — especially at the joo.
The coolest part of the joo was getting to see Pirana Quila or the Old Fort looming over us in the trees. I am always amazed at how close one is at any given point in Delhi to ancient remains. I heard someone say that India is the soul of the earth. I do feel the past wrapped around me like a shawl.
The highlight of the entire trip was the touching of hippo. Yes, Kevin touched a hippo on a triple dog dare. It’s incredible that more animals don’t escape this place. One hippo was in a pool by herself (all hippos are girls, of course) and she was floating (do hippos float?) close to the edge of the cage. There were no tall fences to keep her in or to keep idiots out. Kevin crawled over and touched her. She didn’t move except for a slight turn of the head. He’s the only person I’ve ever known to touch a hippo!
We were concerned not for his safety but for the potential fine of 2000 rupees and 6 months in jail for teasing the animals. These signs were posted everywhere. Put yourself in the hippo’s shoes, Kevin.
We did enjoy being cold for most of the day in India. We’ll be begging for a break from the heat in about a month. I’m ready for it. Someone will have to remind me that I said that, I’m sure.
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