It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write here — I was preparing for a trip to Hawai’i, to teach some courses about WordPress. Now I’m in Honolulu, fitting in some sightseeing before a weekend of busy hands-on training.
The first photo shows me at the top of Diamond Head crater in Honolulu. It’s a steep climb, even for a Wellingtonian. Click on the photo to see a larger version and then click the Next links to see numerous other photos from my days so far in Honolulu. Or just visit my Hawai’i album. Photos so far include the zoo, Waikiki, and Ala Moana.
Honolulu is hot and humid. It pays to take things slow and always carry a bottle of water.
I’ve been doing a fair bit of waiting for buses, and a great deal of walking.
Yesterday’s highlight was a visit to the zoo, just across the road from Waikiki beach.
I have a love-hate relationship with zoos. I like seeing the animals, but at the same time feel sorry for them having been removed from their natural environments, their social groupings, their ranges, to be imprisoned in unnatural enclosures.
I guess though that zoos now are more enlightened, serve education and conservation, and sometimes preservation of endangered species.
Honolulu Zoo was beautiful: it’s filled with trees and bushes, as well as animals and birds. The enclosures seemed to be of the more modern ‘open’ type. In fact, many had surprisingly few barriers.
The zoo has all kinds of exotic animals: komodo dragon, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, crocs and alligators. My favourites though were the huge Galapagos Tortoises.
The photos above show the rhino, the Galapagos tortoise and the endangered Nene bird, native to Hawai’i.
Even though the whole African Savannah was delightful, especially where the rhino, giraffe, zebras and some other animals were all in together, it was still very sad to see the two Indian elephants. They will soon be moving to a new enclosure apparently, but it just seems wrong these days to keep elephants in a zoo. The zoo’s own website tells us in Indian Elephant:
Asian elephants are social animals, having a wide complex of community laws, rules, and regulations, a marked discipline and many well-established customs. They are gregarious and roam about in herds of 15 to 30 individuals led by an old female.
My love-hate relationship continues: I took loads of photos at the zoo, was thrilled to see animals I can’t see at Wellington Zoo, thought many enclosures were probably very animal friendly, but still feel that the animals shouldn’t really be there. And yet I still visit …