Monday, August 23, 2010

Show You Care

I love zoos. I’m the first to suggest we visit a zoo on any trip anywhere in the world. Of course, the better the enclosures and the more life like the animal’s environs the better an experience it is for me to go along.

While in Santiago, Chile recently I was warned off going to the local zoo by almost everyone that I spoke to. Usually this would be enough for me not to go, but for some reason I found myself hiking up the hill towards the central zoo

In fairness, it didn’t look to be one of the best-funded zoos I’d ever been to (I’m spoiled by being a regular visitor to Melbourne’s amazing zoo) but I enjoyed my initial walk around and found some great local animals that were really interesting.

As we progressed we found an enclosure that housed macaws and turtles. Only one of the turtles had met with a seemingly untimely fate. It had slid down an enclosure bank, landed on it’s back and now each of its four legs and it’s tiny head and neck were lolling out, unmoving. I gasped at the sight of this poor little turtle, upside down and expired.

I wasn’t the only one who had gasped apparently as about 15 minutes later a zoo worker approached the enclosure. He was probably mid 40’s, a manly looking type in a brown zoo uniform. He entered the enclosure, picked up the turtle, inspected it and then did something fantastic.

He kissed the turtle, placed it right side up and off it wandered to resume it’s life.

The kiss was unexpected. It wasn’t for show. It was a heartfelt gesture from a zoo worker who clearly loved these animals.

I was the only person to my knowledge who saw the kiss, but I knew then instantly that regardless of how well funded the zoo was, there were people here who cared passionately.

If someone watched you do your job on a daily basis – would they get the same impression?

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By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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