“Someone Told Me It’s All Happening at the Zoo. I do Believe it. I do Believe it’s true.”

Source: the author.

t may be that everything is still happening at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.  I hope it’s true.  But today I am severed from  my favourite haunt.  Like other public places in Winnipeg, it is closed.  It is true I can visit it virtually.

Their staff has provided a web site to read about my animal ‘friends’ there.  There are lots of pictures too, snow leopards, polar bears, bison, caribou, cougar, seals, red panda, though they are static;  I have to imagine them and what they are doing.

I am glad to have my own photos.  There is one from my January visit when I spent almost five minutes just a few feet away from the wolf resting on a rock.  An exhilarating experience  (me, of course, safe behind a heavy plexiglass!).

I remember my freezing fingers on December 16th attempting a shot of Simon the fox for my blog.  That Bactrian camel stared back at me on November 18th while the strange Sichuan Takin in the next compound simply ignored my presence!

These few images rooted in time and place are personal consoling treasures.  Thinking of these ‘friends’ enclosed in their protective shelters I remember a zoo keeper informing me she introduces different perfumes periodically in the yellow throated marten’s enclosure in order to keep it ‘entertained’.

Other keepers add balls, ropes, other objects into the compounds of  their animal charges for the same reason.  Perhaps a lesson for me!  Now during this time of quarantine and isolation, feeling slightly trapped in my Jesuit residence or church, I’ll have to think of what might be added to my enclosures to keep me attentive and alert and alive.

Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ, is pastor of St. Ignatius parish in Winnipeg.

  • Caroline Maloney
    Posted at 01:11h, 11 June Reply

    Nice! Thank you for sharing. I guess many of us are watching/looking at God’s creation more attentively these days, appreciating the beauty and stillness….all the while feeling trapped like those animals at the zoo!

  • Karen Arthurs
    Posted at 09:28h, 11 June Reply

    …and what does freedom really mean?

  • Esther Buckley
    Posted at 12:17h, 11 June Reply

    I love your blog .The Zoo Keepers are great at keeping the animals entertained .
    The animals must be missing their human friends’ visits although I don’t particularly like Zoos where animals are confined and not free in their own habitats as I am sure God intended.

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