Visit to zoo a depressing experience

Letter writer enjoyed zoo as a child, but not on recent visit.

Editor: I recently had some friends visiting me from Edmonton. Looking for something to do, we decided to go to the Greater Vancouver Zoo. We went there expecting to have a good time, and because I personally haven’t been there since I was a child, I was hoping to revisit the place I enjoyed years ago.

Instead, we were greeted at the gates by an indifferent gum-chewing texter, and a hefty entrance fee ($22.50 per person).  Walking through the place that I once loved to visit as a child made me more depressed than anything.

As we walked through the cracked path, alongside the rusty old railway, we noticed something sad. All the animals were alone —well, most of them at least.

The most disturbing one was a little Wallaby, alone, sitting as far as it could from any people. Its back was to the fence, it was almost shaking, and it was looking at its feet.

It made me notice how most of the animals looked — sad. There are two male eagles located in the southeast part of the zoo, in a small enclosed area. It is definitely not enough space for two birds of that size.

The Rhinoceros stood on a cracked cement pad in the middle of a grassy yard, with a barbed wire fence. His horns were chipped and broken, and his feet looked like they were splitting open. I would never want to live like that.

The surroundings the zoo has provided for its animals are pathetic. I am all for the learning experience of seeing wildlife and learning about animals, but I would not bring my children and pay a fortune for them to see these animals in these conditions.

I was recently at the Calgary Zoo, and I paid a lot less and saw a lot more, I wouldn’t mind paying the $22 if there was value in it, but I was left with a sour taste in my mouth.

It was disappointing how we paid full price to go to the zoo, and many parts of the zoo were closed off, due to renovations. This was not brought to our attention before we forked up the $90.

And the “forking up of the cash” didn’t stop there. We paid $16 for drinks at a drink stand, so we didn’t even bother with the food. When I think of a zoo, I think of exotic animals and cool enclosures, I surely did not expect to see an enclosure just for ducks.

I’ve seen more of these animals in my own backyard, and they certainly were not as depressed as the animals we saw in the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Trust me, I will not be back any time soon.

Shanaya Smith, 17,