Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hillcrest Zoo

I don't like zoos, although I do appreciate the trend toward larger, more natural enclosures for zoo animals. I just don't like to see animals in cages; and I feel embarrassed, awkward, and ashamed to be standing and staring at them. If you've read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, you've experienced, along with the character Billy Pilgrim, the feeling of being in a cage at a zoo with your every move under observation.

However, we had company from out of town and the little kids wanted to go to the zoo. Clovis, little Clovis, is actually home to the second largest zoo in New Mexico, after the Rio Grande Zoo in Albuquerque.

The Hillcrest Zoo is set on 22.5 acres within the 140 acre Hillcrest Park. We were surprised at the size of the zoo, as the small entry area just didn't lead us to expect such spacious grounds. It was a perfect place for little children--ours were 2 and 5--uncrowded and not very intimidating. The grounds were quite nice, with lots of shade trees, and grass, and water features. There were plenty of well-placed benches, too, which my knees and I have grown to appreciate.

Here are some photos of Sere and Geti, the young hyenas that were added to the zoo last year. I hope that there are plans for a more spacious enclosure. The local newspaper runs naming contests for the newest zoo animals, and the zoo follows through with a sign indicating which school child came up with the names--a nice touch for a very child-friendly place.


Sylvia K said...

I feel the same way you do about zoos although they may be the only way we have of saving some species. Sometimes I wonder if humans will end up someday in a similar situation, with another species coming to stare at us. Your pictures are great!

Margie's Musings said...

I do too. The zoo in Independence near here has mostly enclosures that are natural looking and very large.