Zoos get me.
They break my heart and inspire childlike wonder in me.
I see the blessing in the hard work being done... and I see the sadness in the animals, and the lives they have lived.
I love animals, I always have. I used to spend countless hours studying them in books. Looking at photos in National Geographic and imagining that one day it could be me, in the wilds of wherever, photographing them... I'd be like Jane Goodall, or something. I watched educational shows about animals, played explorer and just loved them.
There was a time when I knew more than all my other friends combined, did about animals. But... that was a while back.
We visited the Heaven's Corner Zoo and Animal Sanctuary yesterday. They had a "Free Day" hosted by the Preble County Chamber of Commerce, to raise awarness and hopefully bring in community interests and donations. I absolutely loved the day...
And I don't mind to admit that the child-like part of me, shooting away at all the cages, thought back to my dreams of taking the photos for National Geographic... I'm living the dream, I thought, with a smile. (Minus the NatGeo part)
It amazes me, the selection of animals they have, from around here that people thought they could actually keep as pets. One of them, was a leopard that a magician kept for his act. And one day, it just got too hard to maintain or ensure safety.
I wonder what posses people to do things like that. We've all seen a tiger cub and thought, I want a kitty like that, but we don't actually attempt to do so.
God gave us such a beautiful planet, full of beautiful things. All different, all there to enjoy, to study and watch. to make us smile, and make us appreciate the life we have.
I wish that was enough for people.
I don't do the whole green, organic, trendy version of being environmentally aware...
But I do make sure my kids know that "littering God's world" is wrong and that when Lydia studies animals in her little buckets or jars, that it is important to release them back to their homes.
I try to make sure they are kind and gentle with God's creatures and that all of them are worth appreciating.
These days, Lydia loves animals, and she knows so much about them. At each cage it seemed like she had a fact to tell us. It makes my heart soar when she does so. I love that she is excited about our world and that she wants to see it healthy and full of life.
I love that there are places like this that allow her the opportunity to see the things that we would otherwise never see closeup.