Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ghost Zoo--Benson's Wild Animal Farm

The building the cage sat inside of

His bed in the night den

His bed where he could rest if he needed relief from the glaring crowds while on exhibit.

Back area and night dens

Exhibit cage and doors leading to night den.

This is what is left of the "habitat" that the gorilla, Colossus lived in most of his life, as a single male gorilla in solitary confinement. He was one of the last wild caught gorillas alive, with extremely valuable DNA but never reproduced when it was attempted in Florida at the Gulf Breeze Zoo and later at the Columbus Zoo where he died in 2006 at the age of 40. I assume the fact that he spent 3/4 of his life living alone at Benson's had a lot to do with his reproductive inability. When I see something like this "habitat" for a gorilla, I am reminded of a Far Side cartoon that I had pinned on my bulletin board for years. It depicted two gorilla's sitting on the floor of a barred enclosure, holding the bars as both looked out. One gorilla said, "I don't know what I did, they never told me. How about you?" The other gorilla replied, "They never told me what I did either. I just know I never got a trial with a jury of my peers, so I must of been guilty of something."

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