A Disturbing Kind Of Monkey Business

, , , , , | Right | October 12, 2018

(My mom, her boyfriend, and I are in the zoo on a hunt for a new baby monkey that was just born a few months ago. It’s on the other side of the huge place, and by the time we get there we’re sweating and already annoyed with people disrespecting animals and not reading what they are. We find the baby and it’s super cute! We’re on a built path that is above ground with random gaps in the wall around us. We’re silently watching it climb all over the trees and the top of the enclosure when I hear a mom say:)

Mother: “Oh! It wants to hold your hand!”

Son #1: “It’s so cute!”

(All three of us whip our head to where the kid is. He’s poking four of his fingers through a gap in the wall. Right away I’m in a bit of a panic, waiting for the kid to scream or something, and for the mother to go ballistic and demand for the monkey to be killed.)

Mother: “Here comes the baby!”

Son #1: “They’re licking me!”

Daughter: “I want to touch it!”

Son #2: “Me, too!”

(Now all three of us are worriedly looking at each other. Now that both the mother and baby monkeys have licked and touched the kid, they got whatever is on his hands! They could get sick with something that we can’t! Plus, it’s a baby; they already don’t have much of an immune system!)

My Mom: *whispering* “We have to tell somebody.”

(We started to walk off when we noticed the mother was sticking her ENTIRE arm out of the walkway! We went speed-walking through the rest of the zoo, searching for an employee. We got to an older lady and she took out her walkie-talkie and reported it. I believe we saved that baby, and hopefully kept from any other monkey from getting sick. There was already one that was — he was being quarantined — so I bet that’s how he got sick.)

The Tusken Raider Exhibit Is This Way

, , , , , | Related | September 12, 2018

(My parents and I are walking around the zoo. It’s near the end of our day there and we’re pretty tired. We’re walking around the African area and my mom asks a question.)

Mom: “Where are the sand people?”

Me: “What? Sand people?”

Mom: “Yeah, you know, the little guys that…” *mimes popping up out of the ground*

Me: “Oh! Meerkats, mom. I think you mean meerkats.” *dies laughing* “I’m calling them sand people from now on, though.”

(And yes, we did end up finding where the “sand people” were, and had a good time watching them. I won’t let her forget this, though.)

Unfiltered Story #119334

, | Unfiltered | September 2, 2018

(This is at a zoo with a dinosaur exhibit on. They are robotic dinosaurs, so they can move their heads. As I’m waiting for my cousins to come out of the exhibit, I hear this exchange.)

Girl: “How’d you like it?”

Boy: “I thought there would be real dinosaurs; I was disappointed.”

(Pause.)

Girl: “They’ve been extinct for, like, a million years!”

People At The Zoo Behave Like Animals

, , , , | Right | August 24, 2018

(I am a zookeeper and I have worked in the same zoo for the last three years. The zoo is popular but small, so all the zookeepers work with all the animals. This gives us all a personal relationship with them. This story takes place on a Saturday; we are pretty busy. I am walking across an open area where most of our primate enclosures are, including the home of a pair of beautiful but very dangerous gibbons. As I’m walking across, I look over, and to my surprise I see two members of the public — a father and his twelve-ish-year-old son — on the wrong side of the safety fence. I sprint over.)

Me: “Hey! Excuse me! What are you two doing? Do you have any idea how dangerous that is?!”

(The two turn around, and I see that not only are they pushing bananas through the fence, but they are also physically touching the male, who is known to everyone for his tendency to grab, bite, and just generally hurt people!)

Father: “Oh, sorry, are we not meant to be here? He just looked so cute and was coming right up to the fence at us!”

Me: “No! Please, come away right now! Have you any idea how dangerous he is!? He has hospitalised people before!”

(It’s a small exaggeration, but I needed to get them back, and he has badly hurt people before.)

Me: “What were you thinking? There are warning signs everywhere!”

(The father and son jumped back over the chest-height, fully-wired safety fence, gave a half-hearted “sorry,” and wandered off like nothing had happened. I was stood in shock at what I had just witnessed, then ran to alert my superiors. They warned the father but didn’t ask him to leave. The kicker? When he was talking to other members of staff later — me included — he was happily boasting about how he comes in every couple of months, and always goes and gives the cute gibbon a stroke! I have never seen anything so irresponsible as to not only jump over the safety fence to touch highly dangerous animals, but take his twelve-year-old with him! Please, people, warning signs and safety fences are there for your own safety!)

Otterly Disgusting

, , , , , , | Working | June 20, 2018

I took my daughter to the zoo. They have a family of otters and that particular day the otters were having a grand time. We noticed that a couple of them were doing a peculiar stamping dance move. I filmed it and pondered out loud if it was a mating ritual or play.

A zoo employee was nearby and said, “Actually, they’re going to the bathroom and covering it up.”

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