Call me crazy, but even though I am the biggest animal lover alive, I'd never visited the Bronx Zoo -- until this past week. And what a wonderful visit it was!
When the newly appointed Chief Veterinary Advisor to WebVet, and now friend, Dr. Amy Attas, offered to arrange a very special tour of the Bronx Zoo and its adjacent hospital, I was more than thrilled. After slowly navigating our way through the Bronx (Amy will get the joke), we arrived to a very warm welcome from Dr. William Karesh, Vice President of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Global Health Program. Billy spent a gracious amount of time explaining the mission of the Global Health Program and what his teams around the world are doing to conserve and preserve our most precious wildlife. It was fascinating, to say the least.
I then received a tour of the hospital where, much to my surprise -- and pleasure, there were no animals currently being treated. To be totally honest, my curious nature would have loved to have seen some "action", however, my love for the animal appreciated the fact there was no need for those beautiful creatures to be visiting the local hospital.
My next tour was of some of the major attractions at the Zoo. From the Madagascar exhibit where I fell in love with the very charming and very vocal, Lemur (see above); to Tiger Mountain where the large cats lounged in the sun in a way that made me long for a trip to the beach; to the Polar Bear (see below) who I promise you responded to me when I asked him to simply pick his head up and smile for the camera.
All in all, the trip was an amazing experience for me. While I love my companion animals with an open heart, I think we sometimes forget about God's wild creatures who deserve the same love and respect we give our own. I would encourage all animal lovers to remember there is indeed a "call of the wild" and it's our responsibility to ensure they too enjoy the good health and happiness we all do.