Friday, April 25, 2014

The Gorilla

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the whole concept of zoos.  Some are fantastic and offer huge living spaces for animals that have been injured or are unable to live in the wild.  I've heard of zoos that work hard to rebuild the population of endangered species, which I think is a nice idea (in theory).  But to walk into a zoo that offers hardly any space for their wild animals and doesn't seem to really care about eventually improving their living conditions infuriates me.

A few weeks ago I went with a good friend of mine and my son to the Louisville Zoo.  To say that the Louisville Zoo is depressing is a huge understatement.  We walked around and my friend and I constantly made comments about the animals' living conditions being awful and shaking our heads at just how bad things must be for them.  There were many times throughout the day that I had to fight back tears because I could see the sadness and misery in so many animals' eyes.  I was completely disgusted with the zoo.

Right before we left we wandered into the "Gorilla House" that was basically a big concrete building with floor to ceiling glass walls that allowed us to see the Gorillas and for them to see us.  There were so many people banging on the glass, pointing, laughing, and just being downright offensive to these poor creatures.  There was one Gorilla in particular that stood out to me.  My friend and I inched closer to the glass until we were kneeling eye to eye with him.  He looked into my friend's eyes and then into mine.  I could honestly feel that poor guy's pain and suffering and sadness.  I began to cry as he held my gaze and constantly let out huge puffs of air.  My friend looked at me and she even had tears in her eyes.  It was so painful to walk away from that Gorilla.  I wanted to take his hand and lead him out of that awful room.  I wanted to save every animal in that zoo.  Unfortunately it's never that easy.

I thank the heavens each and every day for the gifts I've been given.  To have the ability to see the dead, to connect with animals, to communicate with animals, and to even feel their emotions, illnesses, and pain is an incredible thing.  But it can be a very heavy burden to bare.  The things I see and feel can often haunt me long after I leave the situation behind.  My heart has been hurting for that poor Gorilla ever since we locked eyes.

Thank you for reading my blog.

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