This is one of the geladas at the center of a dispute that broke out. Nothing usually happens at the zoo. Animals lay about while people snap photo after photo and children tug on parent’s sleeves to beg for an outsized pretzel and an 8 dollar soda in a collectible plastic cup (free refills all day!).
Geladas share a large outdoor space with Nubian ibexes separated from us humans by plexiglass in some places and by nothing but a moat and low wall in others. The ibexes were in horn crashing mode when the gelada commotion began with wails and screams and an eruption of speed that blew back their scruffy capes.
In a moment it was over. They knew the score, but we had no idea what started it and who came out on top.
The Nubian ibexes stopped their horn knocking and arranged themselves in a pyramid to check out the action and perhaps to see if they could lend assistance.
Watchful eyes in the aftermath.
Mixed bag of thoughts about zoos. For a long time, humans have been kidnapping animals and imprisoning them in zoos which are places for people to see them and experience awe and wonder; that’s one way of looking at it. Another is that by doing this – trading animal freedom, conservators manage to preserve some species that would otherwise go out of existence, and they’re helping to make future people generations into wildlife conservators. I like zoos and feel some empathy for the imprisoned animals whose life is on display.
I think that’s what some would call a trade-off in values.