Heather's Thairy

Heather's journey to Bangkok, Thailand: a year of adventure!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Field Trippin'

Lertlah Camp runs for four weeks and during that time, we have two Fridays where we go on field trips. The first Friday of camp we went to Safari World here in Bangkok. I'd never been, and it was yet another unique experience. It is a well-kept, clean place with large animal enclosures and a lot of infrastructure. I was torn about the animal shows, though, especially the orangutan show. It seemed almost hypocritical of me to be watching several orangutans, dressed in ridiculous costumes, being made to perform ridiculous routines, after I had recently visited the rehabilitation center. I wonder about the appropriateness of exploiting one living thing to entertain another...
Anyway, the kids had a great time and it made for an interesting alternate to being in the school for another day of camp.

There is a drive-through Safari Zone where you take your vehicle and go through the animal habitat. There are a LOT of big, scary birds throughout the Safari Zone. I think this is reason enough NOT to exit the car.

The orangutan show is a spectacle that made me uncomfortable. Orangutans are SO close to being human...and really, is it okay to use ANY living thing, regardless of how human they are or aren't, for entertainment?
We also watched the dophin and beluga show and the sea lion show. I think that the animals are well-treated and loved by their handlers, and they seem happy, but again, I was torn. It's hard to judge the happiness of a creature in such a situation. Would they be "happier" being wild? Being left alone?

The animals in both shows did amazing things and I found myself enjoying it...I don't understand enough about the workings of zoos and animal shows to judge them, really, and perhaps the most important thing about the day was the kids had a great time.

Until next time,


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