The Memphis Zoo!!!
Ill-thought to be enjoying an aesthetic resurgence over the past five years, due mainly to the low-rent Asian restaurant décor/pay twice work-up celebrating what is possibly the most boring animal on earth (1), the laughable matriarch of Memphis natural science experiences (2) needs a quick bullet point treatment.
· Once housing a sea otter, there’s the decades-old, oddly detached tank (w/ underground viewing area) that promptly greets visitors on the counter-clockwise zoo route. This now holds a three-foot alligator gar and a medium-sized alligator snapping turtle. The turtle rarely does anything apart from hang upside down from the metal kiddie pool ladder, implemented, I’m assuming, for live feeding displays that never occur.
· During the last free day (Tuesdays) taken advantage of, I was stopped in the nocturnal section, looking at flying squirrels (or something similar), when a extra short, extra large mom with nine kids in tow directed this comment right into my face:
“Somebody needs to move they azz!”
One of the little kids yelled, “Yeah!!!”
· The lonely building masquerading as an aquarium features exciting underwater photos on several walls were logic would put a live tank. This not-so distant cousin to a PetCo’s tropical fish department boasts a piranha tank as its money shot (and a very large South Asian catfish, but not in the same tank….noooooooooo!!!!!!). Recently, I was witnessing one of the day’s piranha feedings (goldfish), which are over in a matter of seconds, when a deep voice, immediately over my shoulder, asks, “DO YOU WANT ME TO FEED THEM AGAIN?” Not sure how he snuck up on me so quick, but finding that the aquarium employee and myself were the only two people in the building, I replied, “Yes,” and swiftly exited the premises.
· “Cat Country” is great if you want to witness some fascinating natural behavior, like that of pacing the very upper reaches of a miniature Thunderdome ad infinitum.
· There’s a Backyard Burger (for regional readers only) on the grounds.
· Several years ago, a zookeeper was kicked to death by a female giraffe.
· As far as confused Egyptian/Oriental motifs that surround over 400 species of critter (234 of which are living in special “zoo personnel only/under maintenance” habitats!!) are concerned, the Memphis Zoo can’t be beat!
1. Ok, let’s break it down. They are vegetarian bears. Come on, mother nature!!!
2. Also includes the Pink Palace Museum, which has no idea what it wants to be, and Lichterman Nature Center – the uber-minimal urban getaway from which I, strangely, derive the most enjoyment.