A notice was put out on social media earlier in the week that the Baton Rouge Zoo would charge a special 50 cents admission on Wednesday. I hadn't been to the zoo here in years because it was in such a sad state the last time I went. It even lost its accreditation in 2018 due to animal escapes and outdated facilities. From our local paper: "Inspectors from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums were especially troubled by the zoo’s aging infrastructure, noting that circular cages with tin roofs, for example, are no longer appropriate for modern zoos."
The image imprinted on my brain from my 2012 visit was caged Macaws (inside those circular cages cited above) screeching at me as I turned to visit another area--as if they were desperate for help. "GET US OUT OF HERE!" they seemed to scream. The sound still haunts me. I'm not kidding.
I'm not a fan of zoos or caging wild animals in general, but I understand their place in society. Especially for injured critters that would not be able to survive otherwise. If our zoo continues to update and improve the facilities, I will be a supporter.
I'm happy to report that since my last visit the circular cages are gone. They even have a small aviary with at least six species of birds, ducks and pheasants. The exotic bird below is a White-crested Laughingthrush whose range extends from the Himalayan Foothills to Southeast Asia. This little bird was so hot; I felt so sorry for it. I was a mere 3', maybe 4' away, and he wasn't scared of me at all. Everyone was enamored with this little guy.
255mm | f/6.3 | ISO 640 | 1/250 sec