Yesterday was Kroger's Free Day at the Zoo, which meant free entry with a suggested donation. There were actually three options for suggested donations: you could bring canned goods for the rescue mission, bring Pedigree pet food for the Human Society, or bring any kind of pet food in cans or bags smaller than 20 pounds for another animal rescue place. Since Bryan agreed to drive, I requested that we stop at my local Kroger so that I could buy a bag of pet food rather than bring canned goods for people.
Bryan seemed to think this was somehow wrong, but not unexpected from me. I actually had good reasons for this request, though. First, logic dictates that most people have canned goods laying around their house already, so if they decide to go to the zoo they will grab what they have rather than make a special trip to the store to buy pet food. I was trying to think of the less fortunate, the poor neglected animals who would be overlooked.
Also, people are monsters. Puppies are not.
If you don't believe me, you should have seen the number of people walking up from the parking lot with no canned goods. Granted, it was a suggested donation and admission was free regardless, but that doesn't mean people should take advantage. People will, though, because that's how people are. Worse than the people with no donation, though (since maybe those people are all unable to donate for financial reasons and just wanted to treat their families to a day at the zoo that they would not otherwise be able to enjoy; see, I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt even if I don't actually believe it) were the families of five and six piling out of giant SUV's with one can for the whole family. Really, affluent parents? Really? You can afford to drive to the zoo in an Escalade but you can't afford to give Brytneigh, Jayden, and Mahdyson each a can of their own to go donate? I guess we know how you afforded that Escalade, and that you have nothing to teach your children about charity.
That's why, given the choice, I opted for a bag of puppy chow.
Shockingly, I also managed to climb off my moral high horse long enough to actually enjoy the zoo. Since we were there as soon as the gates open (although Bryan and I both believe they opened them earlier than posted), most of the animals were still asleep:
At first I thought the rhinos (rhinoceri?) were cute, but when we were on another walkway and saw into the back of the exhibit from another angle, they looked noble but kind of sad:
The sleeping zebra, on the other hand, looked kind of dead according to the woman behind me:
"He dead! I know he dead! Jes layin' there dead!"
The zebra's companions seemed unconcerned:
The hyenas were wide awake:
but morning found the meerkats in comfortable repose:
Over in the Central American birds exhibit, the pink bird whose name I haven't learned even though I've seen it on two visits to the zoo was up and about:
but his friend the duck was still perched and dozing:
Despite not learning the pink bird's name, I did learn a couple other things. First, the zoo wants to make sure there is no confusion about which restroom is which:
The symbols couldn't really be much bigger. Also, the zoo is very, very proud of their red pandas. Aside from the signs everywhere, they've made one of the animals on the carousel a red panda:
and they have a big red panda mascot who walks around being creepy to children:
All in all, it was a pretty fun day, especially for free. We got to see some animals, some animals got to see us:
and I got to give food to some puppies.