Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo

Entebbe has a zoo.  It's not a shiny, flashy zoo  but the animals are indigenous and seem to be well cared for.  Monkeys swarm everywhere, and anyone foolish enough to offer food is instantly surrounded.  They are common vervet or red tailed monkeys which climb and play.  
Verdant trees with gnarled branches shade the pathways.  The trees are home to noisy, social bird life, which is surprisingly hard to see.
In the enclosures we watched lions and a leopard. There was a chimpanzee, and various herbivores, like antelope, impala, zebra, water bucks, and buffalo.  
There was an ostrich and a crested crane which is the official bird of Uganda.  
And under a footbridge two leathery crocodiles sunned like statues.
The zoo was full of school groups.  Each different school wore a different uniform and they decorated the zoo more than the animals.  The most colorful was a uniform in pink and deep purple.  The children smiled and waved at us.  One little girl startled me by sinking to her knees and bowing her head in front of me.  I have never been treated that way, and I had no idea how to respond.  All day I've been thinking of things I should have said. Otherwise, the presence of school groups felt very familiar.  I'm glad that so many children got to visit the zoo.

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